The Prohibition Progressive Party from Juneau Food Tours elevates classic Alaskan food. // © 2016 Kara Tetley
Feature image (above): Tour guests enjoy filet mignon and red wine at Salt. // © 2016 Kara Tetley
Tourists often enjoy Alaska food tours because of specialty offerings such as wild blueberry sourdough pancakes and salmon chowder.
Midgi Moore of Juneau Food Tours, however, has elevated this standard to the next level with The Prohibition Progressive Party, a 2.5–hour tour that matches Prohibition-era Alaskan history with four-star dining. The dinner is popular with both locals and tourists, who often dress as high rollers and mobsters of the roaring 1920s.
“The three tour locations in downtown Juneau, which were active businesses during the Prohibition Era, are set up to require a password, secret knock or playing card to initiate the tour,” Moore said. “This enables guests to have an interactive role in the experience. For example, at V’s Cellar Door fusion restaurant, a guest whispers a secret password to the server to receive a cocktail along with food.”
Each tour restaurant offers a themed dinner paired with cocktails. V’s Cellar Door serves a garlic fondue with “dippers” of fresh vegetables and breads, a signature Korean chicken dish and two shrub cocktails. New for 2017, the restaurant will serve a “Roaring Twenties” signature cocktail that will feature house-made gin.
The second location is Salt restaurant, where guests enjoy a mini filet mignon, served with bordelaise sauce and paired with red wine.
The final location is new for 2017: The Narrows Bar is a historic, refurbished craft cocktail bar. Owner Jared Cure presents a traditional creme brulee, paired with a sidecar, a cocktail named after the sidecar of a motorcycle that was popular at the end of World War I.
“We tell the story of a time in America when being bad was considered oh-so-good,” Moore said. “The experience is rich in food, drink and history. Many may know how Prohibition happened, but few truly know why. As we progress to each location, we incorporate photos and materials to immerse our guests in this history and debauchery of the era and to show guests the best of Juneau dining.”
During the summer, these dinners are replaced with “A Tour With Taste.” On this tour — which takes about 2½ hours to complete — guests visit seven locations around Juneau and enjoy nine tastings. Menu items include crab bisque, crab cakes, panko-crusted salmon fillets, smoked salmon spread, kelp marmalade, halibut-fusion nachos, rockfish tostadas and white wine and ginger snap cookies, along with beer from Alaska Brewing Company.
Agent commission is available, and reservations are required.