Marissa Hermer, co-owner of The Draycott, located in the center of Caruso’s Palisades Village, was the guest speaker at a Palisades Chamber of Commerce virtual event on February 9.
The ever delightful Hermer, who is the mother of three young children, hosted a cocktail master class. She taught people how to make The Crisp (recipe below), which is the latest cocktail on the menu.
“But new for me is that I’ve stopped drinking for the time being,” Hermer told Circling the News. “With all the curve balls that this pandemic has thrown at us all and managing two restaurants in the worst crisis the hospitality industry has ever seen, and homeschooling three young children, I wanted to be as clear-headed as possible.”
This is an interesting predicament for Hermer, whose passion and profession is food and drink.
Fortunately, she discovered Ghia, a non-alcoholic aperitif. “It is sold at Erewhon and is the perfect social tonic to drink when my friends are having cocktails or I want something to pair with my meal,” Hermer said, noting that she has added it to the cocktail menu at The Draycott: Ghia Fix – a mocktail (recipe below).
During the last shutdown, the restaurant worked on the menu, adding West Coast Oysters, Venison Scotch Egg (which Hermer says is her favorite British snack), French onion soup and roasted beet salad with goat cheese. The restaurant continues to carry patron favorites, such as Mediterranean branzino, fish and chips, ribeye steak and lamb Bolognese, which is simmered all day.
The restaurant also continues its “YOU GIVE. WE COOK. THEY EAT.” donation meal delivery program to hospitals and first responders.
Hermer said that in March, when the first shutdown went into effect, The Draycott delivered meals to people in the community who were alone or who had compromised health. Hermer also started a social media giveaway that delivered weekly winners a meal to their doorstop.
“With Valentine’s Day weekend here, we are feeling the love, and we wanted to continue to share love with our community,” Hermer said. “The end is in sight — but we also don’t know exactly when this end will come. The final stretch to the finish line feels overwhelming as we don’t know how long this final sprint will last.
“And so, we thought it would be a good time to pick up where we left off — and start the social media giveaway again. Because, just like 11 months ago, we all can use a little smile shared from afar,” Hermer said.
The first delivery went to Bobbie Farberow, who Hermer calls “an inspiration to me as a female restaurateur in the Palisades.” The second delivery of a roasted chicken and a Gun Ranch Salad went to Lee Calvert, 96, an Optimist, a member of the Badminton Hall of Fame and the inaugural Arnie Wishnick Award winner on behalf of her volunteer efforts during the Palisades Fourth of July celebration.
“I’ve never felt more energetic and optimistic,” Hermer said. “During a seemingly never-ending pandemic, optimism is valuable and with three young kidlets, nonstop energy is priceless!”
2 Crushed Cucumber Slices
4 Dashes Yuzu
1.5oz Jalapeno-infused Tequila
.5oz Vida Mezcal
.75 Lime Juice
.75 Red Pepper Agave Syrup
Ice: Premium Kold Draft
Garnish: Peppered Aleppo Salt rim + Fire Stix wrapped in Basil
GHIA FIX (mocktail)
2oz Mineral Water
Garnish: Mint Bouquet