MiNGO, a restaurant and bar located in Beaverton, Ore., is focused on clean, simple Italian flavors, and the space is known for its wine pairing dinners. Recently, however, owners Michael Cronan and Michael Tocchini made inroads toward drawing more spirits-loving guests by hosting very lucrative and impressive Distiller’s Dinner, featuring the drink stylings of Portland’s House Spirits co-owner Ryan Magarian.
Working alongside Magarian was one of MiNGO’s own mixologists, Monica Zuercher. The dinner was set at $60 a head and included four courses with four cocktails. It went so well that the group is planning on doing one Distiller’s Dinner every four to six months.
“We have a long history of doing winemaker dinners and now are getting into this,” Tocchini says. “The micro-distillery movement here is fairly young. This event helped raise our profile as a cocktail destination above just wine and food.
“I think it will drive in business and create buzz around town,” he adds. “I am talking to Eric Martin from Artisan Spirits right now and also the group at Integrity Spirits about hosting the next one.”
One of Magarian’s drinks stayed on the menu for quite a while after the dinner. His Uva Bella combined hand-pressed green grapes and fresh citrus with Aviation Gin and St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, finished with a dash of Regan’s No. 6 Orange Bitters.
“We just rotated it off recently, but it had a great run,” Tocchini explains. “The others are in the vault — available upon request but not on the menu.”