Date Night: Franklin Room

Lately, Liz was lamenting that after our big trip to Scotland… we’ve mostly been homebound. We’ve returned to our regular routine, and most of the days are filled with us working remotely during the day… and then maybe we do some house stuff in the evenings. But that’s about it.

For me I’ve returned to a cadence where it’s now normal for me to not leave the house at all. MAybe I’m outside for a few moments while I take out the trash or pick up a package off the porch. But other than that, I’m inside. All. The. Time.

We both have had our shots, and we both got tested a lot (for our return flight home, and we also tested ourselves once we returned to Chicago).

After a bit of searching, I discovered the perfect place for us to go on a date night. An official Date Night. Something we really haven’t done in a really, really long time.

Arriving outside the Franklin Room.

We settled in at the bar (sharp eyes might spot the reason I picked the Franklin Room as our destination). Here’s a hint.

When we pointed to the bottles from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, our bartender (Peter) got really excited. He brought them all over, and the three of us fell to talking. He was impressed that we visited them in Edinburgh, and we talked at length about their bottles and the whole process.

It sounded like there were some other places that served SMWS bottles… but as of now, the Franklin Room is the only place.

Liz and I went our separate paths here (me with the bourbon casks, her with the sherry), with both of us opting to skip the smoky/peaty bottle (Wood-Burner in a Coastal Bothy).

Instead of a dram each, we decided to do half drams of each. Liz’s two choices:

Sweet, Sweet Memories: 13 year. Initial cask: Ex-Oloroso Butt. Final cask: 1st Fill Ex-PX Butt.

Petrified Decadence: 7 year. Initial cask: Ex-Bourbon Hogshead. Final cask: 1st Fill Ex-PX Hogshead.

Liz really liked Petrified Decadence, and it’s now very high up on her list of favorites.

My choices:

Pleasant Affair: 14 year. 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel.

Summer Garden Adventures: 11 year. 2nd Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel.

Peter was also kind enough to give us a free taste of Ballechin (a peated version of Edradour). Reading up a bit on the Edradour website, this looks like it would have been a lovely distillery to have visited.

At our table for dinner.

For my meal, I got the Marinted Butchers Steak (chimichurri, fried sunchoke, bearnaise, red vein sorrel), along with a side of Fingerling Potatos (charred pearl onion, cornichon, black truffle mayo, rosemary, parsley).

Liz got the Chicken Roulade (fire grilled maitake, fingerling potato, pickled mustard seeds, lemon caper, soy butter, chervil).

For dessert, mango cheesecake (coconut gelato, toasted coconut flake, salted cream).

An interesting side note: the table next to us, there was a small group of people gathered for a tasting (they were all young, black, early 30’s, and seemed like potential social media influencers). The dinner was hosted by a woman who invited everyone, and there was also a representative from Aberfeldy (the whole table had several bottles set up).

It was technically a scotch tasting party, and more of an introduction to scotch. We had a fun time eavesdropping a bit, during our meal.

Midway, the Aberfeldy rep sent us over some small samples of their 12 year. We saw him at the bar earlier, next to us. And on our way out, the woman who organized the event gave us her card… and encouraged us to contact her. It sounded like she was looking to do more of these types of gatherings/tastings, and aimed to get more folks involved.

At the bottom of the stairs, looking up to the entrance.

On our way out, we passed a lot of bottles of Blanton’s. One of many bottles that visitors keep here, as each has someone’s name on them.

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