Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Dinner at Monk's Cafe: 12/16/08

I do these things not to brag, merely to inform. Therefore, I must tread carefully in matters of these Monk's Beer Dinners. When weather interferes, not everyone is fortunate enough to attend (seems I may have been faced with a similar message to communicate in the past). In this spirit and out of deep respect, I will simply pass along what has transpired with nary a boastful word...all of this to engender good will and to leave undisturbed the sensitive souls of those who could not attend. Hopefully, having waited a week to post this will ease some of the pain of those who could not attend. Also, the only pictures I post here will be those taken with artificial light to show the naysayers that my camera's flash does still, indeed, work. Otherwise, just the facts. - George kicked off the evening with an obligatory and festive greeting - Tom and Fergie mingled - Adam and the kitchen crew presented another above-average dinner (oops, was that too much?) - My dining mates (Mark, Mary Lu, Tony, Larry) and I cleaned every plate and, but of course, every glass How am I doing? At the risk of sounding too pleased with myself on this trip, here's a quick run down of notable notes from last Tuesday. - Del Frisco's is truly the visual feast for the eyes that you've heard about. Only stopped in for a peak, not a pint...not even sure if they do those sorts of things. Spotted some generic bottles of beer floating around. Some people who oozed money, and many more who wanted to appear as if they did. - Nodding Head's O-Tay is a good full of flavor drinker and highly recommended On to the dinner... - Can never get enough of the Cuvée de Fleur - The foie gras lightly-seared was a nice preparation - The blend of flavors from the salmon and sake glaze mixing with the justa toucha sour, earthiness, and fruit of the Jolly Pumpkin made this not only my favorite beer, but also pairing of the evening. - If forced to take sides, would have to take the Baladin over the La Moneuse with the rosemary and lamb. - The duck, how to discuss the duck? It was a, uh, large serving. Sort of reminded me of the rack of wild boar at the Lost Abbey dinner earlier this year. And, the beer? No twisting of arms here; thought the Gouden Carolus (one of my holiday faves) went perfectly while the porter just didn't cut it for me. - The Italian cow's cheese (and its funk) went best with the Scaldis. - The 3-piece dessert had three components that were all stellar on their own, yet didn't really come together the way I'd expected...but once again if I had to take sides on the pairing, it would be the Brooklyn. - A very good night to be at Monk's to be sure, but yet not the best beer dinner ever. Perhaps that will take some of the sting off of not being there? 10 Glasses of Beer...7 Plates of Food...no partridge, pear tree, or other festive nonsense... ~ Salad of micro greens, mango, & crab meat (citrus dressing, crispy capers, & warm tapenade toast) w/Southampton Cuvée de Fleur ~ Seared foie gras (sour cherry gastrique) w/Ølfabrikken Kloster Jul ~ Grilled salmon (sake/mirin glaze served on braised watercress) w/Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza ~ Lamb lollipop (rosemary scented jus) w/La Mouneuse Special Winter Ale & Birra Baladin Noel ~ Braised duck (shipwreck & bourbon sauce, maple glazed winter squash, and christmas rice, raisins, and walnuts) w/Aracdia Shipwresk Oak Aged Porter & Gouden Carolus Christmas Noel ~ Cheese selection (robiola di bosco (cow-italy); majorero (goat-spain); ford farm clothbound cheddar (cow-england)) w/Scaldis Prestige 2006 ~ Bûche de Noël w/Tröegs Mad Elf & Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout 2007

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