Hanging with Harris and sipping Cocobolos at The Rose Cafe

There were no empty seats in The Rose Cafe's back patio.

There were no empty seats in The Rose Cafe's back patio.

I’m always glad to see good food and good booze support a good cause. So as I navigated my way through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd inside The Rose Café, I was excited to see that so many others felt the same way.

Chef Jason Neroni getting ready for the evening with host Billy Harris.

Chef Jason Neroni getting ready for the evening with host Billy Harris.

This was the fourth installment of the Hanging With Harris Dinner Series, a set of multi-course dinners built by some of LA’s most rockstar chefs. Hosted by Billy Harris, all proceeds are heading straight to charity. And, of course, each evening’s menu is completed with wine pairings and stellar cocktails.

Making friends and wasting zero time on those Cocobolo cocktails.

Making friends and wasting zero time on those Cocobolo cocktails.

To start things off, I met Ashela Richardson, brand ambassador for Flor de Caña. She deftly stirred me up her Cocobolo Cocktail, a simple but striking mixture of Flor de Caña Rum, Hudson Whiskey, and good old Drambuie. Okay. Now, listen. I’m a long-standing fan of each one of these little darlings on their own, but I never would have thought to blend them together. Which is why Ashela is a genius. The drink was somehow both soft and sturdy, with moderate viscosity, a lighter body than I would have guessed, and a long wash of bittersweet goodness.

The Burrata Fundido showed no mercy.

The Burrata Fundido showed no mercy.

Chef Jason Neroni did not hold back on dinner, where each of the three courses was paired with a different vino from Frisson Wines. I was a big fan of the Burrata Fundido, full of lamb bacon and mandarinquats, served with Sauvignon blanc. Another standout was the Wakame Radiatore with crab, uni, and pickled jalapeño, paired with Chardonnay. That said, the 2012 Frisson Cabernet Sauvignon may have been the wine I grooved with most of all.

My favorite wine of the evening, the 2012 Frisson Cabernet Sauvignon.

My favorite wine of the evening, the 2012 Frisson Cabernet Sauvignon.

Before dessert was served, Mr. Harris took an interlude to auction off some impressive items to raise some further funds for the night. This included, amongst other things, a chance to go shopping at the farmer’s market with Mr. Neroni himself. Some day, I hope to have the kind of green to win a bid like that.

Until then, I’ll just be dreaming of that Cocobolo.