Imagine stepping into a world where opulent dining meets the seductive embrace of cannabis. The air is thick with the promise of an unforgettable evening; are those candles in the wind or lighters setting the initial spark flicker like secret desires? Only time will tell. Now, add a twist to this intoxicating ambiance—a cannabis-infused symphony that's ready to take center stage. Welcome to Cannabis Mezze, a realm where fine dining collides with craft cannabis, and indulgence knows no bounds.
What Is Cannabis Mezze? Fine Dining From MAISON BLOOM And Sonoma Hills Farm
Honeysuckle was granted an exclusive peek into this unparalleled cannabis service, unveiling its secrets during a private dinner at the historic Claremont Hotel's Limewood Restaurant. Picture this: R&B royalty mingling with Hollywood's most notable character actors, all gathering on a warm summer night to experience an affair like no other. And this affair wasn't just about the stars—it was about the symphony of flavors, aromas, and sensations waiting to be unleashed thanks to a newly minted collaboration between Emerald Triangle award-winning craft cannabis purveyor Sonoma Hills Farm and original “wintners” of Wine Country – a catchy portmanteau of “weed” and “vintner” – MAISON BLOOM.
Under a canopy of lightly twinkling stars just peeking out beyond the dusty hues of the setting sun, we were met with a bewitching smile and meticulously curated cannabis-infused alt-tailTM upon arrival. This was the opening act of an evening that promised to be part information, part education, and all charm—a hospitality hallmark of what this dynamic duo calls their “mezze moments.”
But what makes Cannabis Mezze a truly unique experience? It's the union of two worlds—the meticulous art of fine dining and the captivating domain of craft cannabis. The brains behind this operation are a group of visionary entrepreneurs who have honed their craft at Michelin and James Beard Award-winning establishments, including renowned chefs Thomas Keller and Michael Mina. Together, the teams at Sonoma Hills Farm and MAISON BLOOM have converged to create a sensory abbodonza that reframes infused dining, producing a series of experiences that volley between food, beverage, and cannabis consumption like a rich conversation full of vin, vigor, and intoxicating vapors.
What Happens At Cannabis Mezze? Infused Pairings And Epicurean Delights
After a tour of the well-appointed cannabis bar serving up the best of aperitivos – where your traditional alcoholic refreshments are replaced by a wonderous cannabis-infused bar offers hand-rolled joints, dabs, and gravity water-based consumption – we settled into our plush seats, our eyes feasting on an extravagant spread as tantalizing as a forbidden affair. There is no question that Cannabis Mezze blends abundance with curation, where each strain, beverage, and moment of consumption is a vibrant dish in its own right. The signature sequence of Mezze’s abbodonza takes you on an indulgent journey mixing indulgence and whimsy like the finest white tablecloth prix fixe from the most lauded culinary creators.
Let’s break this performance down into its essential acts of epicurean elegance:
After “le début” – a cannabis-infused Seasonal Strain-Specific Spritz, custom-blended to align with Chef Josh’s culinary vision – each of us were given a personal introduction to the evening, ensuring comfort around the dosing and consumption options for the evening and maintaining a safe, enjoyable experience. This emphasis on consuming responsibly, and without fear of pressure to consume everything offered, served as an opening salvo that set the tone for the evening and left us wishing more purveyors would take such care. We were then greeted with a delightful amuse cannabis course designed to awaken the senses, prepared alongside a specific beverage pairing from MAISON BLOOM. Terpenes' power took the spotlight, guiding you through the upcoming meal's intermissions.
First Cannabis Mezze Course: Sonoma Hills Farm Craft Cannabis Flower And MAISON BLOOM Handcrafted Beverage
For the primi course to accompany the Chef’s first dish, an elegant personal use pipe pre-packed with a Sonoma Hills Farm strain complemented the food. The craft cannabis flower was matched with a handcrafted beverage delivering layers of flavor, each substantial on their own but even more engaging when brought together in concert like a well-tuned string quartet.
“In the times before legal consumption, we were conditioned to treat cannabis as something in limited supply – a scarce resource that we consume with an eye on stretching it out to the point that we are smoking stems and the saddest of leftover shake,” said Sonoma Hills Farm co-founder Mike Harden. “Cannabis Mezze is a celebration of the world of legal weed, and we mean this to be an evening of indulgence and abundance.”
Second Cannabis Mezze Course: Sonoma Hills Farm's Gastro Pop And MAISON BLOOM Matching Beverage
He wasn’t kidding. Just as soon as we polished off our first of the sensational savory courses, we were greeted with our next in the series of mezze moments. Aptly named “secondi,” it was time for freshly Sonoma Hills Farms flower – this year’s award-winning Gastro Pop – carefully curated to amp-up the excitement before the second course. It was chosen to supercharge the ways in which we taste key notes like sweet, salty, and umami. This unique strain, paired with a perfectly matched MAISON BLOOM beverage, was a moment all on its own, only outshined by the fact that we were enjoying a “farm to table” experience where everything on the plate, in the glass, and in the pipe had come from Sonoma Hills Farm’s fully regenerative ecosystem.
Third Cannabis Mezze Course: Freshly Milled Sonoma Hills Farm Flower And MAISON BLOOM Digestif
As the evening's sinfully sweet epilogue approached, we found ourselves greeted with freshly milled flower that leaned harder into the more grounding novel cannabinoids than heavy THC – rich in flavor and serving to help keep us present. Alongside it, a juxtaposition in beverage complements the experience, serving to maintain equilibrium and help transition us from a rather sexy set of savory courses towards all things sweet. And just when we thought the evening was truly winding down, there was one final digestif to bid us adieu as our Cannabis Captains made their way tableside with repurposed vintage cigarette holders filled with a surprise pre-roll for each of us.
Why Is Cannabis Mezze Important?
“We’ve set out to tackle the question of if cannabis really does belong in the world of fine dining and answer it definitely,” said MAISON BLOOM co-founder and head of brand Tony Sananikone. “Our answer is one of simple elegance: we are the show.”
The Mezze service is a sensory masterpiece, an immersive journey where every puff, sip, and dish coalesce in an intoxicating dance. Flavors burst on the tongue like a symphony of tastes, an invitation to savor, explore, and indulge in pleasure. It's a rendezvous with flavor, a passionate affair where cannabis and culinary artistry merge in ecstasy, leaving you yearning for the next tantalizing moment. If you're ready for a rendezvous with the extraordinary, the Mezze service beckons. Surrender to the allure of a feast fit for indulgence's gods, a sensory symphony that promises an affair you'll remember long after the final notes have faded.
What's Next For Cannabis Mezze?
Rumor has it you’ll find the next Cannabis Mezze making its way to California’s Russian River for a collaboration with frequent guest visitor to Guy Fieri’s “Flavortown” empire of entertainment on the Food Network and Guerneville’s leading culinary visionary Chef Crista Luedtke, offering a celebration where wine and weed country collide for an experience that is farm to table, bloom to bottle, and an undeniable explosion of flavors.
*A version of this article originally appeared in Honeysuckle's 17th print edition, featuring Havoc of Mobb Deep. Get your copy now at Housing Works Cannabis Co or click here to order!