Belgian Beer Dinner
Savaradio Restaurant
Linwood, NJ

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.
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.

Our first course was a shaved fennel and baby spinach salad accompanied by Hennepin Saison Ale, a nicely spiced farmhouse ale.
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 palate-pleasing experience.
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.