On Monday, September 17, Midnight Cowboy will welcome Chef Jason Donoho into our intimate cocktail space for our first pop-up restaurant night.  Over two seatings (7:00 pm and 9:30 pm), each limited to 24 guests, Chef Donoho will prepare a six course tasting menu, with each dish paired with a cocktail created by the Midnight Cowboy staff.

Donoho, currently with the Alamo Drafthouse, began working in professional kitchens in his early teens, was recently the head chef at Austin’s acclaimed FINO and Asti restaurants and honed his chops in Austin at both The Four Season’s and Jeffrey’s.  Prior to moving to Austin in 2006, Donoho cooked in San Francisco where he learned in kitchens under the direction of Mark Franz and Elizabeth Falkner.

For one night only, Chef Donoho will be reunited with Bill Norris and Brian Dressel, both of whom worked with Donoho on numerous themed cocktail dinners at FINO, and the chance to work together again has been terrific for all involved.  “Reunited and it feels so good,” said Norris, “It’s always fantastic to work with Jason on these dinners.  We really play well off each other and it’s a lot of fun.”

The seasonal menu (below), featuring produce from Austin area farms and locally sourced proteins is designed to be a tribute to the change of seasons in the South.  “It’s still brutally hot in Central Texas,” Donoho said, “but we’re getting hints of fall at night, and I was looking to feature what’s here, right now.”

Dressel, Norris and the Midnight Cowboy staff worked to create a cocktail menu that plays off the flavors Donoho is putting on the plate.  “Jason’s food is focused, with clear, clean flavors,” Norris said, “He makes our jobs easy.”

Reservations for the $80 a person dinner will be taken at Midnight Cowboy’s website (http://midnightcowboymodeling.com) starting at 2 pm on Thursday September 13th.  Due to the size and space limitations at Midnight Cowboy, the maximum party size for this event is four people.  Seating is extremely limited and guests are encouraged to book quickly.

“This is the first of what I hope are many collaborations with local chefs in the Midnight Cowboy space,” Norris said, “I can’t wait.”

Photo credit: Nick Simonite

See below for the full menu and drink pairings:


Foie Gras / Pickled Mustard Seed / Honey / Fancy Salt / Pimento Cheese / Bread & Butter Pickles

Paired with Colonial Spain: Dry Olorosso Sherry, lightened with Apple Ginger Shrub and a hint of celery bitters

Course 1:

Bluebonnet Farms Butter Lettuce / Fried Green Tomato Croutons / Mozzarella Burrata / Pickled Shallots / Basil / Lime

Paired with: Finch: Platino Rum, Cocchi Americano, Becherovka, Hopped Grapefruit Bitters & Orange Oils

Course 2:

Texas Corn Veloute / Crispy Ham / Field Peas / Kettle Corn / Espelette Pepper / Fried Sage / Cotija

Paired with: The Moonshiner’s Daughter: White Whiskey, Amaro Ramazotti, Honey-Saffron Syrup, a Hint of Smoke & Creole Bitters

Course 3:

Market Gulf Fish / Candied Tomatoes / Squash / Mint / Charred Scallion / Citrus Labne / Za’atar

Paired with: Galliano Smash: Galliano, Lemon, Mint, Sparkling Wine

Course 4:

Smoked Bandera Quail / Crispy Quail Livers / “Ranch” / Frank’s Red Hot Butter / Micro Celery Salad / Carrots

Paired with: A National Acrobat: Stone IPA, Chichicapa Mezcal, Aperol, Fresh Orange and Grapefruit, Salt

Course 5:

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta / Ginger Soda Granita / Sarsaparilla Syrup / Salted Pretzel Crunch

Paired with: A Solid Trinidad Sour: One Scoop Each of Angostura and Orgeat Ice Cream & Lemon-Rye Whiskey Ice Cream


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