Sunday, November 23, 2014

Brasserie St. Feuillien Beer Dinner at Trenchermen

After I get to know a restaurant, it's fun to go to a special dinner that they are hosting to see what else they can do and/or how they handle different pairings.  I have been to Trenchermen several times including the recent Icelandic Dinner and really enjoy it.  They recently hosted Belgian Brewery Brasserie St. Feuillien (pronounced Foo-Yen) for a beer dinner, pairing their food with St. Feuillien's beers.  I may have heard of Brasserie St. Feuillien, but they were definitely not on my active radar.  While I didn't know much about them, I knew that I like Belgian-style beers and after a little research, I was interested in trying their beer, so I bought a ticket and attended the dinner.  We were seated in the same elevated area in the front of the main dining room where we were served the Icelandic dinner.  I actually sat in the same place I did before because it seemed like a good place to view the interactions and happenings in the dining room.  Unfortunately, this was also the night in which my phone, which is also my everyday camera, started acting up and while I did try to document every course in the dinner, some of them did not take, so while I have memories and descriptions, I do not have pictures for everything.  Dinner began with a drink, a Brasserie St. Feuillien Grand Cru, a Belgian Strong Pale Ale with an effervescent character, a light dry flavor, and a great head.  It served the same purpose as Champagne in a dinner, to open the palate. 
After our palates were sufficiently opened we were presented with our Amuse Bouche, Pickle Tots with Red Onion Yogurt, Caviar, and a garnish of Fresh Dill presented with the caviar.  This was a great start.  Every element exploded with flavor.  The pickles were breaded and fried but still maintained a strong pickle flavor while still having a crispy exterior.  The red onion yogurt had both the yogurt tartness which went with the tartness of the pickles as well as an onion flavor/smell that could be detected before even testing it.  The caviar was salty as caviar is and the dill brought it into the dish.

The next course was Chicken Fat Roasted Carrots with Smoked Fried Chicken and an Apricot Sauce which was served with a St. Feuillien Saison.  The dish was topped with a "chip" of Chicken Skin.  This was a good and hearty dish with both the chicken and carrots served as large chunks and a strong aroma of chicken fat.  This could have actually been a negative thing, but it played positively with a rich chicken flavor.  The carrots were tender and flavorful with a richness from the chicken fat and the chicken itself was very flavorful and spiced well.
The next course was a seafood course which was again very flavorful.  It started with Olive Oil Poached Shrimp in a Lobster Curry Broth and served with Quinoa and Herbs.  The beer pairing was St Feuillien's Tripel which emphasized the sweetness in the dish.  The shrimp was tender and tasted very fresh.  The lobster broth had a rich lobster flavor which went well with the shrimp but the curry added a spicy flavor which contributed to it's complex flavor.  The quinoa added some texture and the herbs connected through the curry of the broth.

For the entree, we were served Heirloom Duroc Pork, Grains, and Malt Roasted Vegetables which was paired with Green Flash Belgian Coast IPA, a collaboration beer they made with St. Feuillien.  The pork was tender, well prepared and flavorful with the grains adding a crunch to the dish and the vegetables adding additional flavors.
Our final course was, of course, dessert and it was a thing of beauty.  It was called a Biere a Misu, a play on tiramisu, and it consisted of a cake with Mascarpone, Golden Raisins, and Chicory.  It was bitter, sweet, and rich with a variety of textures from creamy to crunchy.  It was served with a St. Feuillien Speciale, their seasonal rich and sweet holiday beer.  This was a fitting end to a meal that I really enjoyed.  I enjoy trenchermen and I will definitely return for future special dinners.   

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