Coffee is simple, but preparation can get complicated, so most restaurants leave espresso up to the cafe across the street. Luckily for us, restauranteur Joe Johnston likes a challenge and stuck the E61 Bar - where a chrome 1965 espresso machine is the daily driver - right inside Liberty Market to unite excellent food and good coffee under the same roof in Gilbert.
Safe to say it worked out nicely. So nicely, in fact, that Liberty Market will be playing up their love of coffee to new heights for their "Perked Up Dinner," serving coffee-centered dishes at 6:30 p.m., Monday, April 30.
"Each course of the dinner contains coffee or is a twist on coffee culture," Johnston says.
He, Chef David Traina and the rest of the Liberty team are developing the five-course menu that will include Stumptown "Hair Bender" espresso-dusted sea scallops, a seasonal greens salad with green, unroasted Ethiopian coffee vinaigrette, French-pressed brodo with pork-stuffed agnolotti, Mr. Espresso "French Roast" marinated filet, and a cortado pot de creme. The Perked Up Dinner event is priced at $45 per person ($55 including a beer pairing or $65 including wine pairing), and will be limited to 40 guests. As usual, sign-up is available exclusively in the E61 Bar.
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What is this Stumptown "Hair Bender" espresso we speak of? All of a few months ago the baristas at the E61 Bar were slinging South Paw espresso roasted by PT's, an award-winning company roaster out of Topeka, Kansas - one of the nation's best.
It would seem hard to top it, but as called for on an annual basis, Johnston, Traina, and their two head baristas conducted a blind taste to select a new roaster for the year.
Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters, a company that consistently purchases the world's highest quality coffee right from the farmers, won out against eight other choices. So, synonymous with quality coffee and top-of-their-craft coffee bars in much of the Northwest (and now even in New York), Stumptown has their first Arizona wholesale client in Liberty Market and the E61 Bar.