Venue Martini

September 14, 2010 (Day 227) — Venue Martini

Happy Tuesday, everyone! So, last night we indulged in a little microbrewery action. Tonight, let’s take it down a notch. Make it a little smoother. Just a bit more… smooth.

Right across from my hotel in Kearney, NE there’s a little joint called Venue, tucked alongside the Holiday Inn. But, as you’ll soon find out, being a hotel restaurant could possibly waylay those it aims to please. This isn’t a shoddy diner, but rather a pretty damn classy restaurant and lounge. I had a chance to sit down with Joseph, the executive chef of the Kearney location. He told me a little bit about how Venue began in Lincoln, and only recently opened its Kearney location.

I sampled the Hungarian Mushroom Soup, which was frakking amazing. Very earthy, but well balanced. For dinner I had the cannelloni, which was unbelievably good. While many cannelloni recipies call for loads of basil — my own included — Venue’s cannelloni featured a huge blast of oregano. This strong oregano flavor, coupled with the perfectly crisped edges of the noodles, made for a unique, but perfect meal.

Who would have thought that you would find a delicious little restaurant in the middle of Kearney, Nebraska? Seriously. Kearney. Nebraska. So, the atmosphere is good, and the food delicious. But, how is the booze? They made me up the restaurant’s signature drink:

Venue Martini

1 oz Midori

2 oz sweet and sour mix

.5 oz Chambord

.75 oz Blavod vodka

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, fill with Midori and sweet and sour. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, almost to the top. Pour the Chambord down so it sinks to the bottom. Float the Blavod on the top. If you’ve done it right, you should have a very pretty, three-layer drink.

Sorry for the low-quality photos. I only had my cell phone camera with me. I didn’t want to haul my DSLR into the restaurant. Just a smidgen rude, when you get right down to it.

It’s a very smooth drink. There’s absolutely no bite from the alcohol, and it’s very sweet on the end. It has interesting, almost bubblegum-like flavor. It’s not an ugly, saccharine flavor either, it’s just a very mellow sweetness. I sipped on the cocktail throughout dinner, and as it wramed up it retained it’s solid smoothness. That’s the sign of a well-made cocktail.

So, if you end up finding yourself in Kearney, be sure and stop by Venue, right off the interstate ramp. I was told by everyone there tonight that I had to check out the Lincoln location. A couple of my coworkers lives in Lincoln, so I may have to find and excuse to pay them a visit one of these days.


— Mark


  1. gonna send this to my mom


  1. […] Nebraska travel series! Over the past two nights we’ve reviewed a local brewery and a classy little joint. Now, we’re hitting up another Kearney institution — The […]

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