Allagash Dinner w/Rob Tod
Monk's Cafe

What with the 6th anniversary of the NY Towers and the recent passing of our friend, Michael Jackson, we looked forward to sharing some good times with our friends at Monk's. Rob Tod finally made the trek down from Portland, Maine to host a dinner with Tom Peters and we certainly couldn't have been happier that he did.
George Hummel, the ubiquitous host, greeted everyone, filled us all in on upcoming events and made the introduction of the special guest.
Rob is very enthusiastic about his beers and well he should be! In just a few short years, they have built up quite a reputation for excellent Belgian-style beers. His fascination with the barrel-aging of beers has led him to some very interesting places beerwise and we were going to taste some of them tonight!
We started out with his flagship brew, Allagash White, served up with an amuse buche of hummus, lamb w/tzatziki and a grilled chicken skewer. The White is a takeoff on Hoegaarden, the Belgian witbier revived by Pierre Celis and made world famous by Inbev. In its own right, it is an excellent beer and is brewed in smaller batches than in Belgium.
Next up was his entrance into the hop fray. It was also the first time I had ever had a chance to taste this beer. Hugh Malone is a Belgian-style with lots of hops (relatively speaking)...90 Minute IPA it is not, but closer to a Hommelbier or an Orval. Outstanding hop bite with some fruitiness lingering. Paired up with a vegetable terrine, it stood up perfectly to the dish.
Allagash Triple is an outstanding version of the abbey style that began in Westmalle so many years ago. It is drier and less fruity than most others of its style. The fresh fried clams w/smoked tomato ketchup was definitely accented by the light fruit.
Another new beer for me was Interlude, an accident that became a very popular beer upon its release. It was a wonderfully tart brew full of Brett. Part of the batch was aged in oak and part in stainless. In the end, they blended the two to take the oaky edge off of the beer. Served with an onion tart which we have been served before and love.
A Curieux-glazed Salmon Mole was placed before us next and served up with, what else? Curieux!
Even my wife who doesn't care for salmon really enjoyed this course.
Two great beers by Rob were poured with the main course, Musette & Four. Four was one of those special barrel-aged beers that was made with four yeast strains. Lots of strawberry, vanilla and oak come out in the nose and palate of this exceptional product. BBQ Beef Brisket w/ collard greens and mashed yams paired up wonderfully with the two selections.
When you were ready to say "enough", they served up that Chocolate Fig Cake with poached pears accompanied by the Allagash Dubbel for a nicely sweet finish.
I can never say enough about these dinners. You always get the best of everything....Tom sees to that. Make sure you keep an eye on the schedule and sign up for the next one! Cheers!