DINNER: Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Ahhh! Now this was a meal!

On Tuesday, January 14, 2003, Wendy & I attended (with our friends Doug, Doug & Meg) a Holiday Beers and Wild Game Extravaganza at the IRON HORSE INN in Glendale, Ohio.

The menu, prepared by Chef Jackson Rouse with beer pairings by Beer Dave, was as follows: 

Brown Bagged Fire Roasted Chestnuts with Brown Sugar, spicy Pinenuts, Dried Cranberries, and Rosemary Walnuts.
Served with: Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome

This “gourment trail mix” was served in brown bags tied with colorful ribbons. It became strangely noisy as the 40 or so guests all opened their bags at the same time. The Pinenuts, Cranberries, Walnuts, and Pistachios were excellent. The Chestnuts weren’t as tender as they could be, but I appreciated their sweet, earthy flavor.

1st Course:
Arugula and Smoked Oyster Caesar Salad with Pomegranates, Shaved Parmesan, and Sweet Onion Straws.
Served with: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

This was a very pretty arugula salad with two large firm smoked oysters set on top. Very tasty, with the oysters lending a smokey, briney flavor.

2nd Course:
Hazelnut Crusted Quail, Honey Veal Reduction, and Caramelized Shallot Cornbread Stuffing.
Served with: Grant’s Deep Powder Winter Ale, Berghoff Hazelnut WinterFest Ale

This was probably our favorite course of the evening. The quail was delicious, well prepared with crispy browned skin and a sweet cornbread stuffing inside. We detected truffle oil on the plate, which is always a nice addition. The Berghoff beer was amazing by itself, but paired with the quail, it was sublime. The Grant’s Deep Powder was a tremendously smooth accent to the bird.

3rd Course:
Venison Shank, Braised Apple Brown Butter, Mashed Turnips, and Crispy Veal Bacon.
Served with: Avery Old Jubilation Ale, Young’s Winter Welcome

The venison shank was nicely browned and the mashed turnips with veal bacon were a silky smooth compliment. There was some discussion around the table about the best way to get at the delicious marrow within the narrow shank bones, but we got it worked out.

Flambeed Chocolate Molten Cherry Jubilee.
Served with: Quefque Chose: Ale Brewed with Cherries

Chef Jackson flambeed the cherries in the dining room and spooned them over his already-wonderful molten chocolate cakes for a nice sweet ending to the meal. The Quefque Chose, an ale brewed with cherries, was unexpected, tasting more like a cherry wine than an ale. It was the only beer that Wendy, who doesn’t typically like beer at all, enjoyed.

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