Thursday September 12, 2013 | 04:22 PM

Chef Shannon Bard and Sergio Ramos of Zapoteca

Contrary to what some might think, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's independance day. Mexico became independent from Spain in September, 1810, an occasion that will be celebrated at Zapoteca restaurant in Portland with a special dinner featuring, naturally, tequila.

Chef/proprietor Shannon Bard and managing partner Sergio Ramos, a tequila sommelier, will host the dinner on Monday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. The five-course dinner will be paired with several varieties of Herradura, the only 100 percent hacienda-made tequila in the world.

"We are excited to celebrate Mexico's independence by educating people on authentic Mexican cuisine and how hand-crafted tequila can enhance these amazing flavors and the experience,” said Bard. "Sergio Ramos has completed the first phase of tequila expert class "T" certification by the Tequila Regulatory Council of Mexico and is endorsed by the association of tequila from Mexico  He loves to share his knowledge of tequila and great Mexican cuisine which I know will be a treat for our guests."

Here is the menu with drink pairings:

Empanda de Conejo con Tuerca Ahumado Mole (adobo glazed rabbit empanada, walnuts and smoky nut mole) — Pina-Lope Margarita

Sopa de Langosta de Maine con Maiz Local y Chile Poblano (local corn, poblano chile and sweet Maine lobster bisque and house made Mexican creme with micro cilantro)  — Herradura Blanco

Vieras con Mole Verde y Gambas Enpolvadas con Chile (chile dusted prawns, sweet scallops, green mole and Stone Cypher Farm's greens) — Herradura Reposado

Duo de Cordero (duo of lamb, pepita crusted rack of lamb, barbocoa style roasted lamb shoulder, roasted pasilla agave glaze and masa corn pudding) — Herradura Anejo

Pina Divina (tequila glazed pineapple cake, pineapple sorbet, candied pineapple with tequila caramel sauce) — Herradura Selecion Suprema

Tickets are $75 per person and seats are limited. For reservations, call 207-772-8242.

About the Author

Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.

Meredith can be contacted at 791-6332 or
On Twitter: @meredithgoad

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