So good has the living been that the restaurant has been able to have a bit of fun every couple of weeks with its Libertine series of dinners – which are now packed with those in the know.
Libertine – dinners with a theme – is the brainchild of chic American food-lover Quetta Locchi – “Ms Q” to her fans, or “Ever Fly Ms Q” in her own alter ego.
“The Libertine concept grew out of my own desire for an interesting gastronomic experience in Phuket,” Ms Q says.
“I rarely had a dining experience where all of my expectations were satisfied; if the food was delicious, the music and ambiance were lacking. If the atmosphere was stimulating, the menu and wine list were less than stellar or the service was uninspired.
“So the Libertine idea slowly revealed itself over the last two years – to create a thematic event where all elements of a vibrant night out come together: cuisine, ambiance, hospitality, cocktails and wines.”
Recent themes have included “Lights of Buenos Aires”, “Harlem Renaissance” and “Swinging London”.
The most recent, last Wednesday (April 25 – Libertine is always on a Wednesday) was “Warhol’s Factory”, featuring a mini-exhibition of Warhol prints and a menu “inspired by his most iconic images”.
That of course, included tomato soup. Creating the menu is Winch co-owner Vincent Meuwly.
“I had a (very) short list of my favorite chefs on the island, but an incredible degustation dinner at Le Winch in November last put Vincent Meuwly at the top of it.
“So I made a straightforward proposal to him and he was enthusiastically on board.”
How does it work between Ms Q and Vincent? Who comes up with the themes, the menu? What are the dynamics?
“I came to Vincent with a sackful of thematic concepts and ideas inspired by everything from my American background to my travels, as well as iconic films and art.
“Vincent has been game for everything, even the daunting themes that challenge him to work with unfamiliar flavor profiles and ingredients – the Harlem Renaissance event springs to mind.
“Once we discuss the important elements of the theme, Vincent suggests possible dishes/recipes and begins outlining the menu – usually four courses: an amuse-bouche, an appetizer, a main course and a dessert.”
She says that Vincent’s classic culinary education and career, in his native Switzerland as well as in Thailand, means that his technique is not only formidable, but allows him “a solid foundation to approach his cuisine with inventive flair”.
The dinners are also very reasonably priced, at B1,200 a head for the food. “Vincent and I want guests to leave Libertine feeling as if they’ve received a bargain.
The Phuket News, having sampled the recent Côte d’Azur event, feels just that way. We’ll be back.
To become a Libertine, keep an eye on libertine.everflymsq.com or use the contact page to get news alerts of upcoming events. Ms Q also maintains a sassy blog at everflymsq.com.