Belgian Beer Dinner
The first ever Beer Dinner
at this newly-opened gourmet venue was a last minute decision for us, but
well worth the time. Being only 5 minutes from our house, it was exceptionally
convenient....something we can't often claim. 90% of the beer functions
we attend are in Philadelphia, over 50 miles away.
Our first course was a shaved
fennel and baby spinach salad accompanied by Hennepin Saison Ale, a nicely
spiced farmhouse ale.
Sponsored by Kramer Beverage
Co, the local Coors and Ommegang/Duvel distributor, the dinner was based
around the beers of Ommegang of Cooperstown, NY. This exceptional brewery
has made Belgian-style beers since 1997 and was recently purchased
by Moortgat Brewing of Breendonk, Belgium. They thought their beers
were so good, they wanted them to be part of the company. As a matter of
fact, they are selling so much beer, some of the Ommegang beers are now
being produced in Belgium and shipped back to the U.S. to maintain adequate
supplies. But I digress!
The dinner was also a celebration
of the first ever Atlantic City Beer Festival to be held on March 18-19.
Principals Jon Henderson, Mark Monte and Gary Monterosso were in attendance
at the dinner and free tickets were awarded to a lucky few.
I had never been in this
restaurant before and was quite impressed with its size and decor. We were
promptly seated and received our aperitif beer: Ommegang Witte, a fine
brew made in the Belgian White style with curacao orange peel and coriander.
Patrick from Ommegang
came to each table and introduced himself and told us a bit about each
beer and what we should expect as well as answering any questions we had.
Next up was Moortgat's
most famous beer and, at one time, my favorite beer, Duvel, a strong Golden
Ale brewed in Belgium served in a large tulip glass to allow the very large
foam head to fill the glass as well as your olfactory senses. It is a sight
to behold for beer newbies and one of the most picturesque pours in the
world. The food they paired with that was clover honey tagetelli with grilled
peaches and sorrel, an excellent combination!
The entree for the evening
was prune and Ommegang lacquered duck with toasted grits, pancetta hash
and muscat jelly paired with the fruity Ommegang Dubbel. The Belgian Abbey
style goes so well with food like this. The esters from the beer melds
with the fruity coating on the duck and the alcohol cleanses the palate
of the oily dark meat filling each bite with lots of flavor.
Last but not least was
the best part of the meal for me, the dessert! I am a chocoholic and can
never get enough of it. The bittersweet chocolate torte with black peppercorn
gelato and cherry sauce was superb and, of course, Ommegang's Three Philosophers
Quad was made for a dessert such as this. A high alcohol warmth with just
a hint of cherries mixed with the chocolate and cherries in an exceptional
We're hoping that Savaradio
will hold events like this on a regular basis. The growing contingent of
beer geeks in my area(South Jersey) are always looking for beer activities
and they are few and far between here.
I will update you as I
hear of anything interesting. If you are not on my mailing list, e-mail
me(see the home page link) and I will add you.
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BREWERIES
AND BEER BARS!