Friday, July 29, 2011

Dragonmead Dinner At Foran's Grand Trunk

I'm a little late in getting this up, but it's still worth salivating about...

Menu, click to embiggen.
This dinner was great from end to end, and we were very happy to dine with our friend Mr. Bill Wrobel, one of Dragonmead's owners, and his son Andrew. Bill is an active supporter of the homebrewing scene, and a first-rate beer judge.

The first course was pretty exciting for us, as it combined so many of our favorite foods in one course (polenta for Mr. C, prawns and Manchego for Mrs.) The beer, which has a lot of depth in both the malt and the hop department, seemed to tilt one way or the other depending on how much of each morsel was on the fork.

The sweet sloppy joe and zippy slaw were really good with the Ring of Fire; both carried heat but also tempering sweetness.

Guest Chef Marc Djozlija's pork loin dish was very carefully put together, and it paid off. The potato/goat cheese puree was a good foil for the apricot ale, with its tangy and earthy flavors. The pork and stone fruit compote resonated with the fruity and malty flavors in the beer, and it was all bound together with a drizzled reduction made from cooking down some pork bones with, among other things, (if I recall correctly,) some of the beer. A great pairing. We look forward to Marc doing a beer dinner again some day at his place of employment. It was interesting to find out from Bill that "Castlebrite" is actually a variety of apricot, the name making it a compelling ingredient for Dragonmead....

Dessert. Well. Mrs. C. and Mr. Wrobel just basically thought all they needed was some of the Calders Vanilla and the Sin Eater beer, a strong Belgian Dark type ale as an ice cream float. The ice cream melted quickly on top of the battered, deep fried apple, but they just poured it right into their beers! I must admit that although this was aesthetically challenging, it tasted OK. The apple, with a light crispy fried batter coating, lit up a sense memory for me, and it took some rummaging around in my dusty old brain to figure it out: McDonald's apple pie! They don't make these any more, because they're unhealthy(!?)(Who knew you're not supposed to subsist on fast food?) but they were standard apple pie filling inside a crispy, deep fried batter coating. And they were awesome, if you weren't so eager that you burned your face off on the scalding thing. A tasty blast from my distant past.

The next beer dinner at Foran's will feature New Holland beer, and is on Tuesday, August 16. We'll be there!

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