Every time I go to one of The Garlic Poet‘s Chef’s Table Dinners, head chef Kurt Wewer outdoes himself. The most recent dinner featuring Troegs Brewing Company was no exception. A four course meal paired with two classic Troegs beers and two new ones? I was in there like swimwear.
Course one was a lime infused, rice-krispie breaded BLOWFISH TAIL with seasonal mixed greens with a green tomato and citrus vinaigrette topped with hopped mozzarella butter cream. Yes, all of those things. Perfectly paired with is was the classic Troegs Dreamweaver Wheat, one of the first craft beers I’ve ever had and definitely a ‘conversion beer’ for many, including myself. There was something about the tiny bit of fruit flavor in the Dreamweaver that pulled out a ton of flavor in the vinaigrette and at the same time complemented the blowfish without overwhelming.
The second course was organic grass fed cow’s tongue from Sugar Hill Farms with duck fat seared shiitake mushrooms on top of a clove spiced and Saaz hopped cherry mostarda. The whole thing was then topped with Fairytale Pumpkin seed dust. I had never had cow’s tongue before, so I was a little apprehensive. After talking to Chef Kurt about it, he informed me that it was slow cooked and then shaved to avoid the weird texture and optimize the flavor. Believe it or not, I actually liked it! This was paired with Troegs’ brand new Jovial, an Abbey Dubbel. I think the cherry mostada is what pulled the food and the beer together. Of course, tasting notes on the new Jovial are what you’re here for right? Expect to find a well balanced Belgian Dubbel that isn’t overly sweet or ‘grapey’ as some Belgians can be with a perfect malt backbone and hints of fig. It’s bottle conditioned, but the body evens out if you let it sit and settle for a little bit.
Third course was a big one. De-glae Organic Farm’s bone in lamb chop that was infused with a pomegranate and crystal malt wort, a side of tahini and lemon roasted Yokohoma squash, pickled purple carrots, pomegranate arils (seeds), then topped with purple hermanos chili and soy foam. Being a hardcore carnivore, this was clearly my favorite course. Served with it? The super dank and juicy Troegs Scratch #162 Fresh Hop IPA. I can’t explain why these two items worked together other than it was two of my favorite things happening at the same time and who doesn’t love that? PS if you can still get more Scratch #162 I highly recommend you do so, it’s delicious.
The final course, the dessert course, was kiwi-lime-jalapeno ice cream made locally by Urban Churn and topped with house made Centennial hop rocks. The ice cream wasn’t a favorite to those with sensitive palates, but I found the creamy ice cream to quench the slight heat of the jalapenos perfectly. The hop rocks are always my favorite because…hop candy FTW. This was paired with Troegs newest hop cycle seasonal Blizzard of Hops. Chef Kurt loves to pair desserts with IPAs which I think is a true challenge to most palates. This dessert worked because of the jalapenos. The earthy, vegetable flavor really goes with hops, so the sweetness of the dessert didn’t make the IPA taste extra bitter in comparison.
So when can you get yourself to a dinner? The next dinner will be on January 10th at 4:30 with DuClaw Brewing Company. This dinner will be unique in that Chef Kurt will be going to DuClaw to brew two special beers just for this dinner with their head brewer – definitely not something you’re going to want to miss! Click here to make reservations now, because this will sell out! Also, keep an ear open for a big announcement from them in the new year. I can’t spill the deets, but be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook so you don’t miss out!