On November 9th I was invited to a dinner hosted by Barbancourt Rhum. Have you ever had Akra? Or the Kreyol spiced Barbancourt Rhum-infused Mussels? This, and more, is Haitian food, an experience of its own, an irresistible blend of tropical and French influences.
I got to Rebel Restaurant and was greeted with a welcome cocktail. Rebel, one of the most authentic Haitian restaurants in New York. We sipped our cocktails and the group listened to Jean-Baptiste Robert, CEO of Crillon Importers as he discussed the process of creating the rhum. Produced in Haiti since 1862 – and made from 100% sugar cane juice Rhum Barbancourt has become a cultural icon in the heart of the Haitian people and a strong worldwide brand.
The appetizers came out first which included. Chef Marie Charles came out and discussed Haitian cuisine with us. We tried the Signature Barbancourt Mussels (Kreyol spiced Barbancourt Rhum infused Mussels), Signature Barbancourt Shrimp (Kreyol spiced Shrimp, infused with Brabancourt Rhum) and Akra (Fried taro root grated with fine herbs served with Pikliz). The seafood was delightful infused with the rhum and it light. The sauce of the mussels was hot yet so delicious that the Italian in me wanted bread but Chef Marie highly recommend taking shot glasses to drink it up. I also never had Akra before, so I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked it. I paired this with the Kreyol Punch which was made with Dark Barbancourt Rhum, Pango Rhum, Cocktail Juice and Passion Fruit Juice.
For dinner I had a choice of goat, salmon or pasta, so I went with the Signature Salmon. It was prepared in a pan seared garlic herb sauce, served with your choice of traditional Djon Djon (black mushroom rice) and Beans with Green Plantains. I wasn’t expecting the rice that had truffles. All of it was so good and was great with Rhum Sour made with Barbancourt 3 star, freshly squeezed lime juice, and a dash of bitters.
Lastly, we paired the Rhum Barbancourt Estate Reserve 15 Years with Kremas Ice Cream for dessert. This creamy cinnamon dessert was the perfect ending for a good night.
This was my first but definitely not my last taste of Haitian food.
29 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002
CEO of Crillon ImportersChef Marie CharlesHaitian foodJean-Baptiste RobertKremas Ice Creamrebel restaurantreyol spiced Barbancourt Rhum-infused MusselsRhum BarbancourtRhum Barbancourt DinnerRhum Barbancourt Estate Reserve 15 Yearsrhum barbancourt reserveRhum SourSignature Barbancourt ShrimpSignature Salmon