Wednesday, March 2, 2011
In today's 24 hour news cycle it's all about getting the message out quickly. Get the video uploaded to YouTube, craft a blog post, and by all means tweet everything leading up to the event and then tweet some more. With that in mind, we bring you our review of dinner with the folks at Harpoon Brewery. The dinner was held on February 25, 2011.
The four course dinner was held at the Chevy Chase Club just across the boarder in Maryland. As you may have guessed this event was invitation only. Like famed attorney Peter Blunt we put on some fancy clothes and glommed on to some rich folk for an evening of fine dining, fine beer, and Dan Kenary serving as Master of Ceremonies. So, here we go...
The Reception: Held in some fancy room with lots of dark wood, family crests, and a really big fireplace the reception was an opportunity to rub elbows with 150 of your richest friends. So, basically, we gorged ourselves on the Celtic Ale because it's easier than carrying on a conversation with the people whose homes you clean during the day. The Celtic is good but pretty ordinary. The kind of beer you can drink at the dive you would normally be hanging out at on a Friday night. It's sort of the Bud of craft brew.
The First Course: Pork belly and octopus served with UFO White. All were new to us and we enjoyed the trip. Pork belly is almost better than bacon. Octopus, once you get past that it looks like octopus, is actually very good. We could get used to this lifestyle. UFO White is a Belgian-style wheat - crisp, clean and a citrus finish. Mr. Kenary suggested that some might like to dip a slice of orange in the UFO but we have a hard and fast rule that prohibits adding fruit to any beer (even Corona). Regardless, we can't want to have more UFO White.
The Second Course: Rock fish, veal cheeks, potato and artichoke filled peppers, and bell pepper salad with Harpoon IPA. Two gentlemen sitting across from us agreed that the chef made perhaps the best veal cheeks either had ever tried. While tasty, we couldn't help but wonder what kind of cheeks we were actually eating. The cheeks located close to the nose or the cheeks normally kissed when the boss is filling out your personnel evaluation. Seriously, can somebody tell me if we were eating ass cheeks? Oh, the IPA was fine.
The Main Course: Buffalo strip loin, 36-hour braised ribs, gorgonzola-polenta pave, haricots verts (which is fancy-talk for beans). All served with the monster of the night - Leviathan Imperial Ale. We've sampled some of the Leviathan series but the Imperial Ale was a first for us and it was the big winner of the night for us. We sampled quite a bit of this high-alcohol brew. The Imperial Ale is both sweet and hoppy. The food was good but the main course really was the beer.
The Finale: Actually, who cares? We didn't really need dessert at this point and the beer was not our favorite. Of course, we still ate the caramel apple granola bar with poached apples and creme brulee - just so we could feel fat. Mr. Kenary served Catamount Maple Wheat, which actually starts out full bodied and smooth. We were pleasantly surprised but the maple finish was a big turn off - well, not for everybody but it was for us so we finished other people's left over Leviathan.
We really had a great time. The people were very friendly, the food was great, and the beer was even better. Now, if the ninth green were a hockey arena the night would have been perfect.