Zagat: Will Pot-Friendly Restaurants Become a Thing?

"At the edge of a flower-lined pond in Longmont farm country, long banquet tables set with china and crystal stand beneath big old shade trees. Waiters bearing hors d’oeuvre trays circulate amid the well-dressed, all-ages crowd gathered on the lawn to mingle and sip Arnold Palmers from Mason jars. If you didn’t know, you’d guess you were at a wedding reception. Until, that is, the THC-infused tea in your drink starts to kick in. Turns out this elegant affair is a multicourse cannabis dinner catered by no less than acclaimed chef Hosea Rosenberg (Blackbelly Market) — the sort of thing food media has been clamoring for ever since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use in 2012 (us included, as this video attests). Bye-bye pot brownies; hello haute cuisine for so-called cannasseurs.

Though “we’re still building a reputation for these experiences,” says Mason Jar Event Group founder Kendal Norris, “people are excited about the level of sophistication” they can achieve. “I use my parents as an example: they would never go to something like this unless it was in a setting where they felt comfortable.” Rosenberg agrees, seeing his involvement as a chance “to be a part of something amazing, brand-new, experiential and fun.” For now, he eschews cooking with cannabis in favor of wine-style pairings: “We talk to the growers about what they see as the qualities of a particular strain and create dishes that pair best with its flavors, aromas and overall sensations.” Take the first course at the Longmont dinner, in which a sprightly salad of beets, fennel, goat cheese and pistachios matched thecitrusy aromas and energizing effects of OG Kush. But Norris incorporated edibles into the meal as well, such as the BlueKudu Black Forest chocolate bar that accompanied dessert, and Rosenberg predicts that the future for boutique infused foods, “not just sweet but savory" too, is “limitless.” 

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