Monk's Holiday Dinner
Every year we look forward to this event where Tom and Adam try to outdo themselves. This year the ante was raised by the fact that Chef Adam Glickman was overseeing his last dinner at Monk's. To the extreme disappointment of his fans, Adam has decided to move on after 9 years of pot rattling at this premiere Philly destination. He left us with lots of memories but an empty feeling. Tom will be the new Chef until a replacement is found.
We did things differently this year. I invited some of my friends who are avid wine drinkers to join us once again at Monk's. They attended a wine/beer dinner with us here in 7/08 and loved it. I thought that the Christmas Beers would be a perfect fit for their palates.
The night began locally with a Sly Fox Christmas Ale from '07. This was accompanied by a pot of steaming mussels and chorizo steamed with the SF Xmas. Not our favorite, but they're growing on us!
From there, we went to Michigan and Jolly Pumpkin's Noel de Calabaza with a Hearts of Palm and Spinach Salad w/strawberries and toasted pine nuts and a dressing made from the JP beer.
After the great Belgian-style beer from the US, we head across the pond to Belgium and France. From Brasserie La Rulles, we sampled the Cuvee Meilleurs Voeux and from one of the rare French brasseries, St Germain, we were poured the Page 24 Biere de Noel. A Pan-Seared Scallop w/beet risotto and sauteed beet greens was served with these 2 fine beers and was a big hit with me!
Staying with the Belgian theme, we had the spicy Cuvee de Noel from Abbaye de St. Martin(Brunehaut) and from De Struise Brouwers the Tjeeses. Something new to our palate was made to accompany these beers. We had Elk Loin w/brussel sprouts and sweet potato stoempf and a blackberry sauce made with the St. Martin. An excellent course it was!
The most expensive if not the best beer of the night came up next. A 2007 Scaldis Prestige was poured in limited quantity to each person. I do love this beer and recently picked up a bottle of it at State Line. The price has dropped a bit since I first bought it, which was a good thing and I savored it to the end. We received a cheese plate to accent this fantastic libation: Molierno(sheep milk from Sardinia, Italy), Bayley Hazen(raw cow milk from Vermont) and Quadrello di Bufala(raw buffalo milk from Lombardy, Italy). An apple and blueberry compote was served on the side.
Last but not least was the Buche de Noel, my favorite dessert at Christmas time. We returned to the US and went coast to coast for the offerings. First was a jereboam of Troeg's(PA) Mad Elf from 2005 and then Port Brewing's(CA) Santa's Little Helper! Talk about an ending to a meal! I have some '04 Mad Elf left in small bottles, but it pales to this....very little oxidation and still lots of cherry to complement the Yule Log chocolate.
After the dinner, we all got a chance to say farewell to Adam for 9 years of great food. He will be sorely missed by all.
Making the decision to stay over in Philly this year was certainly a smart move. The Doubletree Suites is just around the corner and less than a 5 minute walk. Not having to drive home also allowed us to stay behind a while and have another great beer, Dupont's Avec Les Bon Voeux and talk to the beer celebs there: Don Russell, Lew Bryson and Jack Curtin as well as Pierre Celis' daughter, Christine.
Needless to say, it was an excellent night as always and we're looking forward to the next event in February!