As I previously posted, Sunday night was the Dogfish Head Beer Dinner at Julian’s on Broadway in Providence. We arrived a little before 6 and found a couple of Nikki’s regulars already there drinking. We went inside and waited for them to start (which we were told would be promptly at 6). We got our first beer, Festina Pêche and the first course, almond-mint pesto stuffed mission figs with pickled jalapeno pepper. The beer was pumped through the Randall, a device that’s basically just a pipe filled with stuff (usually hops), that had strawberries and oranges in it. It added a nice fruity dimension to an already awesome beer. The fruit served to balance some of the tartness. I was very impressed. It was served in Dogfish Head snifters which ended up being given back to us as a gift to take home at the end of the night.
The next course was a champagne-poached pear, preserved lemon, and baby arugula salad with celery root chips and a green tea vinagarette. It was served with Black & Blue. The salad was really good, though, obviously, the lemons were super sour. The root chips were awesome, as were the pears. I’m not normally a Black & Blue fan, but the beer paired perfectly with the salad.
The third course was cucumber stuffed curried sticky rice balls golden beet carpaccio, and curled jicima. This was paired with Chateau Jiahu, another beer I’m not overly crazy about, but was perfect with the appetizer. The rice balls were awesome. It’s a purple sticky rice, which I have only previously seen at Julian’s. The only thing I wish is that the curry was a bit more predominant as I couldn’t taste it at all.
There was a palate cleansing intermezzo course. For this, they gave us a ginger ice cream float made with 3 year old Pangaea with a ginger lace cookie. It was really good, but we all wanted to actually try the aged Pangaea on its own, so they gave everyone a small glass of it. I was impressed. I wasn’t overly crazy about this beer fresh when I tried it at Nikki’s the night before, but it was awesome aged.
The entree came next. We had a choice of brown sugar and soy marinated flank steak or seitan (a vegan steak) with pomegranate smashed carrots, herb dressed watercress, and meyer lemon coulis served with Immort Ale or pink peppercorn rubbed escolar with bruleed summer vegetables, butter braised frisee, and rhubarb Raison d’Etre reduction served with Palo Santo Marron. I chose the steak and Susan got the escolar (which we later found out can cause some not so fun digestive issues). They were both absolutely awesome and the pairings were spot on.
Finally, we had dessert. There was also a choice for this course. I had the vegan peach cheesecake with peanut butter drizzled over the top and raspberries served with World Wide Stout. Susan got the quince, which sounded better and was served with Raison d’Extra. My whole dessert was actually better, and while the pairing didn’t sound like it would work, it was perfect.
Brian, the bar manager at Julian’s, told us that they’ll be doing a beer dinner the last Sunday of every month. July’s will be a Belgian beer dinner. I haven’t made a reservation yet, but hopefully they’ll announce a menu soon and then I’ll make my reservation. It should be good.