Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Holiday Beer Dinner at Monk's Cafe 12/11/07
2007. It was a very good year for Monk's. In addition to the opening of sister restaurant, The Belgian Cafe, Tom, Fergie, and crew at 16th/Spruce hosted no less than 14 events. The all-star lineup of beer events/dinners to celebrate Monk's 10th anniversary included Vinnie & Natalie (Russian River), Tomme (Port/Lost Abbey/Pizza Port), MJ, Garrett (Brooklyn), Eric & Lauren (New Belgium), Stephen, Lucy, Ed & Carol (Stoudt's), Rob (Allagash), and Sam (Dogfish Head). How many of these did you know by first name alone? That's what kind of lineup it has been this year at Monk's.
Last night, Tom & Fergie hosted their always-anticipated Holiday Beer Dinner. The gems that Tom pulls out for this event are usually only rivaled by what he finds for New Year's Eve. I don't believe I've ever had a beer thrust in my hand any faster than last night when I walked through the front door. The "Welcome Beer" was a ten year old Anchor Christmas Ale. While the usual holiday spices found in Anchor's annual spice treat have become muted after ten years, it was still a smooth sipping beer, with dark fruit and prune flavors dominating.
To tell the truth, I don't feel much like writing about the nuances of the remainder of the evening. After all, it's already passed and there's nothing you can do about it if you weren't also there. And, really, it's not like I need to mention yet once again how spectacular of an evening most of these Monk's dinners turn out to be.
So, instead of waxing poetic once again (or at least attempting to!) I'll simply leave you with a copy of the menu below and the reminder that if you haven't yet been to a Monk's dinner, you should put it on your list of New Year's Resolutions for 2008. It is that time, isn't it?
Oh, maybe I will add just one little extra tidbit that I learned from Mr. Bryson's mistake. Don't ever leave your writer's notebook sitting unattended while you take your, ahem, "bio break" (is that what you call it Jack?)...you'll never know what phantom notes show up that you'll scratch your head over the next morning!
Anchor Christmas Ale 
de Regenboog t'Smisje Kerst
- Amuse Buche
La Moneuse Special Winter Ale & La Binchoise Speciale Noel 
- Pickled Mackerel with Watercress Chiffonade & Szechuan Oil Drizzle
Gouden Carolus Noel (draft)
- Pheasant "Fruit Cake"
Dupont Avec Les Bon Veoux
- Grilled Smelt with Fried Red Onion & Citrus Marinade
Val Dieu Grand Cru (draft) & St. Bernardus Christmas
- Duck Ragout topped with Smoked Duck Breast
Gales Christmas Ale  & Port Santa's Little Helper
- Cheese Selection (Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen Bleu; Munster Gerome; Buche Boucheron de Chevre)
Samichlaus  & Samichlaus 
- Buche de Noel