|May 4, 2009|
Part 2 includes courses 3 through 8 of the 12 courses of the 2009 PNC Beer Dinner held in Russian River’s barrel room and presented by Sean Z. Paxton.
Course No. 3: ’23’ Scallops, jumbo sea scallops cold smoked in Empirical 7 (Russian River’s newest beer) soaked union barrel oak chips with a Damnation glaze, celery root puree, chioggia beet disk and fennel pollen.
As a special treat, Vinnie and Natalie provided entertainment in the form of belly dancers who regularly perform at their brewpub.
Which was a fun respite while we sipped beer No. 3, Batch 23 Damnation.
Course No. 4: Tongues & Cheeks, local pig tongue cured and braised in New Belgium Anniversary Wild Ale, Sonoma lamb cheeks sous vide in Hair of the Dog Matt, along with Russian River Deviation duck tongue confit and Sanctification infused fennel puree with fiddle head ferns.
This dish was paired with two beers; Russian River Deviation and Hair of the Dog Matt.
Sean Paxton poses with Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo and the belly dancer’s swords.
Course No. 5: Spring, a veal tenderloin wrapped with caul fat, spinach, wild ramps and a morel mushroom along with Orval mousse, grass fed beef bone marrow and served with a purple potato smash (just so Sean could say he’d included potatoes for me in the dinner) and fresh garden peas.
The beers served with this dish were Russian River’s Empirical 7 and Orval.
In between courses, Natalie presented Monk’s Cafe owner Tom Peters with a framed photograph taken at Cantillon in Brussels. Apparently Tom writes just his first name in chalk on any Cantillon barrel he wants to later purchase for his bar in Philadelphia. Vinnie and Natalie came across one of those while in the brewery and snapped a photograph of it.
Course No. 6: The Big Daddy, duck legs infused with Russian River Consecration cooked sous vide with spring leeks, shallots, thyme, currants, dried sour cherries topped with a duck Consecration demi-glaze and almond oil powder (which you can see on the edge of the plate).
This course was paired with Russian River’s Toronado 20th Anniversary.
Course No. 7: The Sacrificial Lamb, a Moroccan spiced encrusted loin with Drie Fonteinen Oud Gueuze Israeli cous cous with house-made preserved Meyer lemons, Supplication cubes, sour cherry, green almonds and rose petal salsa.
The lamb was paired with Russian River Batch 3 Supplication.
Course No. 8: Younger’s Dreams, an American spirit ‘yellow’ (yes, the tobacco) and Hair of the Dog Adam infused cream custard with fresh blackberry and Firestone Walker union barrel smoked sea salt and garden fresh mint.
Several Younger’s Dreams on a tray.
During the next course break, Vinnie started opening up barrels for an impromptu barrel-tasting. We were in the barrel room, after all.
And sure enough, the assembled Publicans began marking their territory with chalk.
Though not everyone could agree on whose barrel was whose, as Tom tries to take one of the barrels reserved by Bottleworks.
And there was much erasing, re-writing and even name-calling for the eagle-eyed.