Although this was to
be Tom Peter's favorites, he was nowhere to be found. Family commitments
had him out of state, but we muddled on with Fergie recovering from jet
lag from his trip to Africa to pick up his new daughter. Congratulations!
They kept this dinner confined to the back room so as to minimize the effect of his absence. Mr Hummel as always was a wellspring of information on the beers and pairings.
We started out with a beer from General Lafayette Inn, The Economizer, a true 3.2% beer with loads of flavor. A wonderfully refreshing summer ale and a great beginning for the meal.
Next up was the recently reformulated Saison from the newly reorganized Yards Brewing, an icon in the City of Philadelphia. I've always liked this beer, but now it is now closer to the style guidelines and has a fuller flavor profile. This beer was paired with Scallops Ceviche w/plantains, poblano pepper and white truffle oil. I do love scallops and I got to eat my wife's portion as well! The citrusy flavors in both selections really accentuated the positives in this course.
Flying Fish's first release of the Exit Series celebrating the NJ Turnpike, Exit 4, was served off the tap handles and was accompanied by a Margherita Pizza. The Exit 4 is a hoppy American/Belgian-style tripel which started a storm of controversy with the NJ Turnpike Commission which I'm sure most of you are tired of hearing about, so 'll end it there. Suffice it to say that this course was my favorite of the evening. They should serve that pizza as an appy in the Cafe!
Tom had chosen the 4th beer that was aging in his cellar and hoped for the best. What the heck, he wasn't there anyway! Victory had had problems in the past with the 10 gushing uncontrollably and a lot of disappointed customers who ended up with just a mouthful of beer from a 750 bottle! Tom had opened a bottle before he left and found it pouring well. It was oxidized and slightly sour as expected which was not a bad thing. I thought it had aged beautifully and I believe I still have a bottle somewhere. A Country Terrine was served with this course and proved to be a nice pairing.
From several blocks away at the Nodding Head Brewpub, Gordon Grubb, the brewer, introduced his Southwark RyePA, a tribute to Southwark Restaurant in Philly who has one of the largest collections of Rye Whiskey in the state. (Sounds like a road trip is in order!!) This dry, hoppy brew was excellent and complemented the Pan Seared Pork Loin w/veal demiglace, bitter greens and fingerling potatoes.
For dessert (not that we needed it) we had a Blueberry/Peach Shortcake and an '04 Dogfish Festina Lente to wash it down. WOW! The Lente was quite tart and gave the shortcake another burst of flavor. A most appropriate ending to another outstanding job by the Monk's crew!