A Diez de Mayo fiesta

BDC members at Casa Azul

photo BDC team

Every year on the fifth of May, Americans go absolutely crazy for tacos, enchiladas and margaritas. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a great excuse to celebrate the flavorful food and delicious drinks that our neighbors to the south gave us, but what about the rest of the month?

We here at the BDC are ready to eat Mexican any day of the year, there are so many layers of flavors in each dish that there is something for everyone to get excited about. That’s why we teamed up with Casa Azul to host a Diez de Mayo fiesta.

“We do a lot of authentic styles of cooking and use authentic products, and then kick it up in contemporary ways that showcase the food,” Casa Azul owner and head chef Zina Lapi explained.

The dinner started out with cocktail hour specials ($5 margaritas and draft beer anyone?) as everyone arrived and settled in. Members had a chance to chat, mingle and take pictures against the vibrant blue walls that give Casa Azul its name.

The real fun started when the meal was served.

Dinner at Casa Azul in Buffalo, NY

photo BDC team

Zina designed a menu filled with some of the most delicious and exciting flavors that Casa Azul has to offer, but this time, there was an added upgrade. BDC members could choose to upgrade their dinners with a three course cocktail pairing.

Guests who upgraded chose their food off the menu designed exclusively for this dinner, and would receive a cocktail that was curated to pair perfectly with each option.

As Zina explained each course, she talked about which elements were traditional and which were her added, contemporary flair.

With the civche, the traditional ingredients were showcased with a contemporary plating. Those who chose the salad saw how the traditional Mexican ingredients were cooked in a non-traditional way - with charring on the corn and tomatoes that added an extra layer of flavor to the food. Both of these starters were paired with a Viva Verde cocktail. The light cucumber flavor of the cocktail was accented with a slight spice and complemented the lighter flavors of each starter dish well.

Buffalo Dinner Club members at Casa Azul

photo BDC team

Choosing which main course to eat was a difficult decision to say the least. Luckily, deciding between a seafood tamal, vegetarian quesadilla and Mexican braised short rib there is no wrong answer.

Perhaps the most strikingly plated meal was the seafood tamal. Made in a traditional Awaken-style and wrapped in a banana leaf, the meal was filled with corn and two types of cheese and topped with seafood. This meal was paired with a white wine, instead of a cocktail, but diners who ordered it had no complaints to this pairing when they realized why it’s such a classic.

Anyone who ordered the braised rib were also in for a treat. Served with a Rum a Dum Dum cocktail, the subtle sweetness of the drink mixed perfectly with the layers of flavor in the sauce.

Short Rib at Casa Azul

photo BDC team

“It’s been braised with chipotle, and then one of the most traditional sauces in Mexico- a mole.” Zina explained, “It’s made with 40 different components, it takes all day and each region has its own style, this one’s from Puebla.”

The quesadilla was filled with charred cauliflower, roasted poblano and chihuahua cheese and topped with a gorgeous assortment of salsa verde, pickled cauliflower, requeson and pepitas.

As if that wasn’t enough, dessert was warm, house made churros or mezcal-infused chocolate mousse. Decadent doesn’t quite cover how delicious these desserts were, especially when paired with the Sherry, Sherry Baby cocktail whose light flavors let the richness of the dessert take center stage.

Dessert at Casa Azul

photo BDC team

If you were able to attend the dinner, please head over to Casa Azul’s Facebook page and leave them a review! If you weren’t, don’t worry. Casa Azul is one of the Buffalo Dinner Club’s VIP restaurants, which means that VIP members get 15% off their food! Don’t miss out on this amazing deal! Become a VIP member today!

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