Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An Evening for the senses: Caribe Beer Dinner

Sharone, setting the stage for an intimate dinner.

Every beer glass was washed, sanitized, polished and inspected closely to ensure it was "beer clean." Without perfectly clean glassware, the beer will not form the desired head upon pouring.

Adam Schulte, the certified Cicerone from Ale Jail starts off the evening with a fun sensory trick we all got to try, and encourages guests to breathe deep, take in the smells, and savor the flavors.

After frying the tostones, Tony & LaRonn quickly plate the first course.

The Amuse Bouche before it got whisked away to the dining room: Salt Cod Ceviche, toston, with avocado relish. Paired with Hennepin Saison.

The food guy & the beer guy.
With each course, Adam speaks about the beer, and Tony speaks about the food.

Back in the kitchen, the staff works like a machine (even with me in the way!) LaRonn & Tony pull the hot appetizers out of the oven & within minutes they are all plated and ready to serve.

II. Appetizer: Pionono (a "mini piñon"), topped with coconut chutney. Paired with Weihenstephaner Hefe.

Tony talks about the next course, explaining cooking techniques, ingredients used, and answers questions.

"This is soooo good!" was heard several times in the back, as we got to sample dishes once everyone in the dining room was served. Sharone (left) and Jenn.

In another well-choreographed act, they pour, drizzle, garnish & send off the third course.

Guests at Adam's table are served the third course.
III. Soup: Gazpacho topped with black bean sauce and micro greens.
Paired with Flat Earth Belgian Pale Ale.

The fourth course is underway in the kitchen.
Rum glazed jumbo shrimp sits in the pan of bubbling glaze; waiting to top the Paella.

Tony pulls the cover off the steamed mussels & I grabbed a picture.
Here they are, just before being scooped out and plated with the Paella.

IV. Entrée
Caribbean Paella: Saffron rice, spicy chorizo, jerk chicken, octopus, mussels, langoustines, almonds, golden raisins, roasted sweet peppers; topped with rum glazed shrimp. Paired with Lagunitas Maximus IPA.

The Paella is served.

These LaTrappe chalices are specially designed for the LaTrappe beer, made by monks in the Netherlands, to be served in. They feature a tiny etched feature in the bottom to enable the carbonation to originate from the center of the glass.

Tony sprinkles powdered sugar over the Banana rum cheesecake, made locally by Muddy Paws . It was complimented with pineapple caramel, whipped cream and fresh berries.
Paired with La Trappe Quadrupel.

Shortly after the cheesecake course was served, Tony and Adam surprised guests with an extra beer; a pour of Rodenbach, as we toasted to celebrating our first year in business!

A happy chef.

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