Saturday, December 10, 2016

Sunday Dinner Club - Three Floyd's Beer Dinner

I was recently added to the Sunday Dinner Club mailing list.  It is one of the most popular underground supper clubs in Chicago and you have to be invited on to the list.  They do multi-course dinners several times a year.  While I recently was able to try some of their food via a Takeout Night, this dinner, a beer dinner featuring Three Floyd's Beer was my first dinner in their event space.  Located above Honey Butter Fried Chicken, the entrance was not obvious as it is unmarked with the exception of the letters SDC at about chest height on an otherwise unmarked door.  The door is also locked, so you have to press the buzzer to be buzzed in.  Opening the door reveals a staircase immediately behind it.  At the first landing, the wall is decorated with plates of many sizes and colors.  Entering the room room there are three communal tables that will seat about 10 each, a wood floor, and two hanging lights that kind of reminded me of octopuses.  There were several wires radiating from a central hub that supported Edison lights hanging at different heights.  There was a fireplace on the same wall as the entrance (unlit on the night I went) with many cookbooks on the mantle.  There was a room off to the side where there was a coat rack and the kitchen was in a second room off to the side.  Things started out with the crew introducing themselves, welcoming us, and and telling us a little about both Sunday Dinner Club and Three Floyd's Brewery.  Our first course came out shortly afterward which were Chicken Fried Cheese Curds and Cauliflower with Lime Salt and Sriracha Aioli, paired with Gumballhead which is a Hoppy Wheat Ale.  The curds seemed pretty fresh because they still had a squeak even after the deep fry.  The flavor was medium, but the lime salt enhanced the salty sour flavor.  The Sriracha Aioli provided a nice spicy finish.
The meal followed a fairly standard progression with the soup following.  We were served a Pub Style Trout and Bacon Chowder with Rushing Waters Trout, Neuske Bacon, Fennel, Fennel Pollen, and Housemade Oyster Crackers, paired with Yum Yum Pale Ale.  The chowder was very flavorful with the bacon and the mild licorice flavor of the fennel.  The chowder was very creamy and the oyster crackers provided a nice salty crunch.  Yum Yum is also pretty hoppy as most of Three Floyd's beers are, but it also has a lot of malt which gives it a biscuit flavor.  Which went very well with the creamy soup.
After the soup came the pasta. which was also the seafood dish.  We were served Spaghetti and Clams with Cardamom, Garlic, and Parsley, and topped with Orange Brown Butter Bread Crumbs.  This was paired with Zombie Dust Pale Ale, a very hoppy pale ale that is not an IPA simply because the ABV is too low.  This dish and the pairing were probably my favorite of the meal.  The spaghetti was perfectly al dente pairing with the chewy texture of the clams.  The Cardamom, Garlic and Parsley went well with the hoppiness of the beer and the orange brown butter bread crumbs provided a savory citrus finish.
For our main course, we had a Pork Loin and Ham Roulade filled with Creamed Spinach and Kale, served with Honey Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and topped with Apple Cider Jus.  This was paired with Three Floyd's first beer, Alpha King APA which paired with the roasted Brussels Sprouts and the Cider Jus.  The food was porky and sweet with bittersweet caramel flavors from the Brussels sprouts, tartness from the jus, and a little bitterness from the vegetables.
Dessert was pretty simple, but it had both the flavors of a very good dessert and hit all of the right comfort food notes.  We were served Chocolate Cake Doughnut Holes with a Coffee Glaze.  If you are going to serve a dessert with flavors of chocolate and coffee, it makes sense to serve a beer with flavors of chocolate and coffee.  Many stouts and porters with their roasted malts fit this description and we were served a very good member of this group, Alpha Klaus Christmas Porter.  It had a lot of chocolate flavor (although not much on the coffee front) and as with all Three Floyd's Beers, a lot of hops.  It was a good pairing and a very good finish to a fun and very good dinner.  It was my first official dinner with Sunday Dinner Club, it certainly will not be my last.     

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