One of the most creative Virginia Cider Week events is a cocktail competition between three Roanoke restaurants, Lucky, Local Roots, and River and Rail. The restaurants all create a cocktail that features Foggy Ridge Cider, and at the end of the week a winner is decided by most cocktails purchased. Many of Maddy’s Roanoke friends rave about Lucky, so my mom and I made reservations on Monday night so we could try their Colonel Pippin.
Lucky is nestled on Kirk Street in downtown Roanoke and serves French/American comfort food. Although the menu is pretty meaty (my mom and I are both vegetarians), we were impressed by the effort put into the non-meat options. We both ordered small goat cheese and beet salads, “chicken fried” Twin Oaks Tofu, and the Colonel Pippin, of course! The food was absolutely delicious; the Colonel Pippin took some getting used to…
The Pippin is made with Foggy Ridge Pippin Gold (a dessert cider), corn whiskey, yellow chartreuse, bitters, and lemon. Mostly, we tasted the whiskey. The presentation gave me high expectations; the Pippin is the color of lemonade and served in a small cocktail glass garnished with a sliver of orange peel. It isn’t a bad cocktail- it’s made with quality ingredients and is stiff, yet drinkable- but the cider isn’t detectable. If you’re a liquor person, you would probably love the Pippin. Since my mom and I are beer and wine people, we were a tad disappointed. That being said, when we reached the bottom of our glasses we were warm and giddy, and considered getting another round. 😉
For dessert we stuck with the apple theme and ordered apple crisp with buttermilk ice cream. Let me be the first to tell you that this baby is a little ramekin of heaven. Tender, juicy apples are blanketed by a crumbly, brown-sugar-sweetened crisp, and a dollop of rich ice cream melts perfectly on top. This final course confirmed our verdict on Lucky: we came for the cocktail, but we’ll come back for the food.