Brooklyn Beer Dinner
If you have never been to a dinner
with Garrett Oliver, you are missing one of the great culinary pleasures
in life. Here is a man who is as passionate about food as he is beer and,
of course, has written the quintessential book on the subject of pairing
them, The Brewmaster's Table. Combine that with the kitchen skills
of Tom Peters and Adam Glickman at Monk's and you have the recipe for one
of the greatest beer dinners we've ever attended. Surprisingly, this was
the first event that Garrett did at Monk's and he certainly made up for
For our first course, we had an amuse
of smoked salmon mousse with a hint of framboise in flaky pastry cups.
It was accompanied by the Brooklyn Cuvee d'Achouffe made in Brooklyn with
the assistance and yeast from Brasserie Chouffe of Belgium. This slightly
fruity yet dry brew was made with thyme and candi sugar syrup.
He arrived early and we got the chance
to talk to him and rep, Mike Carleton. For a reception beer, they served
up some '05 Saison which had kept its fruitiness though a bit drier for
Next up was something new. Brooklyn
Local 1(9%abv) is the start of a series of specialty beers. Here was a
totally bottle-fermented beer: 3 weeks in the bottle with Belgian yeast,
filtered and reyeasted and sugared with demerara sugar and left for a 10
day warm fermentation before shipping. It contains no spices and is hopped
with Perle & Styrian Goldings. Brooklyn had to set up a completely
new bottling line for this as no CO2 could be used. This nicely sweet golden
ale was served with pan-seared PA rainbow trout with local baby cilantro.
Definitely another excellent pairing!
Thai glazed quail with spring roll
stuffing exited from the kitchen next and was met with great delight. The
slightly spicy quail was complemented beautifully by the old standard East
India Pale Ale made with 100% UK malts.
Before we knew it, another of Brooklyn's
flagship beers was in front of us, Brooklyn Brown. It was paired with a
smoked pork loin with chipotle sauce. The sweetness of the Brown cleansed
the lightly smoky spiciness of the pork from the palate.
In my opinion, nobody prepares duck
dishes better than Monk's! The roast duck with cherry sauce was a delight
and matched up with a Smoked Weissbock, an 8%abv beer
made with Belgian wheat and German
smoked malt from Bamberg. Its light smoke, banana and bubble gum flavors
was certainly distinct and complemented the duck perfectly.
What else could you have for dessert....Black
Chocolate Stout and Chocolate Coffee Cheesecake!!!!???? A perfect ending
to a perfect dinner!
I heard most people say that it was the
best dinner they had ever attended. Of course, Garrett's charisma and constant
commentary between courses makes for an informative as well as tasty experience.
To add to the excitement, Michael Jackson and his friend, Carolyn, showed
up to enjoy the dinner. It was certainly nice to see him again as we had
not for the last year. He is coping with the progression of his Parkinson's,
which is quite evident now. It seems there's a lot of travel and writing
left in him after all!
Check out Monk's website
for future events and Brooklyn's
website for a list of their happenings.