|Fr. DeSimone pours the Holy Water...|
Chef Eric LeVine of Paragon Tap and Table and Sam Calagione of (off centered) Dogfish Head Beer were brought together in marital bliss Tuesday evening, with Fr. Mike De Simone presiding.
The Good Father has been doing wonderful things with his "Holy Water" promotions at the Clark locale since its inception, and the packed houses are an indication that the public appreciates it.
This very special, five-course beer dinner was pretty much sold out, and Chopped Champion Chef LeVine and his crew made the decision to "plate" the attendees' food in full view of the large audience, which was pretty unorthodox --and cool--if you ask me.
|Chef LeVine educates the class...|
He sure did have some good beer to work with, though.
The first course was Smoked Duck Breast on a Salad of Blood Orange, Fennel, Roasted Peach and Herb Basil Brush. It was accompanied, smartly, by DH's Festina Peche, a relatively light, low-alcohol brew. Kevin, one of my tablemates, wasn't quite sure about it on first taste, but by the end of the dish, he'd been hooked. He simply followed the "Three Sips" rule.
Course #2 was Roasted Pork Loin and Roasted Corn Pudding with Mushroom Ragout, and it worked exceptionally well with Calagione's "American Beauty," a beautiful beer for more senses than just the eyes.
Course #3 saw a very special beer
--Black and Blue--(are you listening, Larry Porter?) paired with a Salmon dish with Crusted Seared Scallop and Shaved Asparagus Salad in a Black Garlic puree.
The fourth Course was an amazingly tender and perfectly cooked Monkfish, served on avocado, watermelon and a Star Fruit hash. It was accompanied by the granddaddy of the Dogfish Head IPA's
--120 minute, and it, too worked perfectly as its big alcohol bottom worked its wonders with the dish. In fact, every beer after the Festina Peche ran the ABV chart upward. Thank God there was food.
And speaking of ABV, the Raison D'Extra that joined the dessert course of Honey Lemon Cake with Beet Sorbet (yes, BEET sorbet) was plain and simple "outtasight."
At night's outset, DH rep Nick Vitalo predicted that he might have a hard time keeping control of the forty or fifty members of his "beer class" as the night wore on. He was right, because not only did the conversational decibel level rise considerably (commensurate, perhaps, with the increased ABV of the beers) but some "students" actually engaged in classroom mischief--like Claudia (an American Beauty herself), who shot a hair tie across the room at Kevin to have it land on his shoulder during dinner.
|Stephanie, Allie and Claudia (The Troublemaker)|
'Twas all in good fun, though, and, if you add "good food," "good people" and "good beer" to the mix, that describes the dinner perfectly.
Father De Simone is having a special "Blessing of the Mead" Event on Wednesday, August 19, where you can come and "get your Viking on."
You might even consider wearing your horned helmet, in case Claudia is in the house.