Cocktail Corner: Mussel Madness in Montecito

Mussel Madness takes place every Tuesday and Wednesday at Ty Lounge, photo courtesy Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore.

Mussel Madness takes place every Tuesday and Wednesday at Ty Lounge, photo courtesy Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore.

A Spirited Toast to All Things Alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg 

Mussels—which pair well with everything from wine and beer to G & T’s and Martinis—are in season year-round in California, and, in a nod to this bounty, Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore‘s new Executive Chef Marco Fossati has introduced an all new Mussel Madness Menu at Ty Lounge  on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3-10 p.m.

Ty Lounge's G&T Cura, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Ty Lounge’s G&T Cura, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

I was fortunate enough to check out the mussels this week (along with a delicious G & T Cura, of course). What a yummy treat! It’s hard to choose from the all of the unique variations of seasoned mussels served in cast iron bowls accompanied by grilled country bread and French Fries, but luckily, you can’t go wrong. Mussel dishes include The Belgium, with steamed Belgium ale, Dijon Mustard, shallots and herbs;  and the Thai, made with lemongrass, wine, coconut milk and red chili.

Other flavors include Calabrese, with house made nduja sausages, white wine, smoked paprika and white onion; So Cal, with tomato, chorizo, wine and cilantro, French Dijionnaise, with wine, cream, Dijon mustard and parsley; and The Moroccan, made with Riesling, chick peas, Moroccan spices and tomato.  We tried a few and they were each unique and oh-so-very tasty!

Ty Lounge’s Gin & Tonic Bar has a number of delicious variations to pair with the mussels, include my favorite, G&T Cura, made with Cutler’s Gin, Fever Tree Tonic, and assortment of Chef’s Garden Botanicals and a seasonal fruit shrub. Also worth tasting are the G&T Pepino, made with Hendrick’s Gin, Fever Tree Tonic, Juniper Berries, and a cucumber mint honey shrub; as well as the G&T Sueno, made with Nolet’s Gin, Elderflower Fever Tree Tonic, cardamom, peppercorn and a coconut grapefruit shrub.

If Gin’s not  your thing, other Ty Lounge cocktail specialties include the Masquerade Ball, with Buillet Rye, Balsamic Reduction, Fever Tree Soda, Lemon Juice, Blackberries and Basil, Barrel Aged In American Oak; and 8 Barrels, made with Four Seasons Select 1927 Barrel Aged Breaker Bourbon, Maple Syrup, Lemon, Spiced Simple Syrup and Nutmeg, served in a hand-smoked glass.

Cheers to mussels!  Ty Lounge—which is surely one of the most beautiful spots in town—is located at Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore, 1260 Channel Dr., Montecito; 805-969-2261;

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Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Published in Santa Barbara Seasons on December 9, 2016.