August 07, 2014

Tomatoes everywhere!

Monday brought friends back to Beer Kitchen, as the folks from Kurlbaum Farms joined us for the Summer Beer Dinner -

The food was spectacular, the beers expertly paired. Sweet and acidic tomatoes with tart, sour, hoppy, and everything in between.

It started with an amuse-bouche of a Bloody Mary, the way all good meals should start. This had some heat to it, too. Perfect.

All meals should probably contain this dish, too. Tomato-glazed bacon, with a ricotta and tomato jar. And toast. Toast is always good. Jolly Pumpkin's Calabaza Blanca was great here. Light but funky, able to share the stage with the food, and nothing overwhelmed.

Ahi tartare "benedict" with a Nightshade tomato bearnaise. mmm, yes. Monk's Cafe is less funky and more sour, and almost served as a wine here. And the tuna dish wasn't fishy in the slightest, instead rich and tasty.

It's important for summer dishes to keep things cool, so these are two cool dishes back-to-back. A chilled avocado soup with tomato "croutons." This was like eating guacamole with a spoon. Something we've all done. Pivo Pils from Firestone Walker was perfect, a light and hoppy pilsner that would be lovely alongside this chilled soup on a patio.

Now the main dish, heritage farms pig in a box with sticky rice and a tomato usu glaze, with Cambridge Brewing's Sgt. Pepper saison. Tender pork in an Asian-inspired dish, with a big sprig of cilantro, perfect sticky rice, and a great sweet tomato sauce. The peppery saison was another good summer beer, easy to drink and a fantastic compliment to the food. 

It's hard to believe, but there's tomato in the dessert! A marshmallow ice cream sandwich sounds decadent by itself, but when it's paired with a Deschutes Obsidian Stout Diesel (a "beer cocktail," stout mixed with root beer. If you ever see Beer KC's Beer Director Randyl out and about, buy her a diesel. They're her favorite!) it goes up to the next level. A great end to a great meal. I'm already looking forward to the next visit from Kurlbaum!

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