Words and Images from Ed Felker

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The Wine Kitchen Pairs with Goose Island for a Beer Dinner to Remember

I had the privilege of experiencing a wonderful beer dinner at the Wine Kitchen in Frederick, MD. Five courses, paired with five beers from Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Co.

One of the advantages of a beer dinner like this is it makes you explore food and drink that you may not otherwise consider ordering. I’m quite fond of a couple of Goose Island products, but had not sampled any of the five here. And regardless of what food I was ordering, I would probably order the type of beer that’s more in my comfort zone, an IPA perhaps, with no consideration given to which beer would be best paired with which dish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese culinary creations come from gifted Chef Adam Harvey. I don’t know a lot about food and what makes things taste great together, and I thought “pairing” was something you did with wine and food. But I was highly impressed with these beer pairings put together by Chef Adam. A handful of my very favorite meals of all time have come from his kitchen, and I would certainly add this one to the list. So let me take you on a tour of my meal to remember…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst Course: Crispy oysters, with vanilla and apple soubise, toasted hazelnuts, lemon confit. Paired with: Sofie Farmhouse Ale.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis course really got my attention, as immediately the lemon and vanilla flavors, the caviar and the nuts combined with the Sophie Ale just went perfectly together. I knew right away I was in for a fun meal!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASecond Course: Speck wrapped halibut, pumpernickel, pickled radish. Paired with: Matilda Pale Ale.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe flavor of this halibut, and the texture of the crunchy pumpernickel and pickled radish were just fantastic together, and were beautifully complemented by this truly delicious pale ale, one of my two favorite beers of the night.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThird Course: Charred pork belly, romanesco, burnt brussels, dirt roasted beets. Paired with: Pepe Nero Farmhouse Ale.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh my, was this delicious, every single bite. Whatever that orange rectangle of deliciousness was on the plate was a little spicy, again all these flavors worked brilliantly with each other and with the excellent Pepe Nero.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACheese: Noble cheddar, huckleberries, coffee crumble, red ribbon sorrel. Paired with: Pere Jacques Abbey Ale. This was utterly sublime. The flavors of this wonderful cheddar and the huckleberries, with that little crunchiness of the coffee crumbles was the tastiest dish of the night. It was paired perfectly with this malty Abbey Ale, my favorite of the five beers. If the previous courses were all home runs, this was a grand slam.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADessert: Bitter chocolate mousse, yeast crumb, salted toffee. Paired with: Big John Imperial Stout. Wow. What a way to end this meal. The Big John Stout would have sufficed as a dessert on its own, with plenty of chocolate flavor and aroma, but like all the courses before it, this mousse and stout, when paired, become more than the sum of their parts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI hope you enjoyed the tour of this special meal! For my local readers, I simply can not recommend the Wine Kitchen strongly enough. And if you are a brunch fan, their Sunday brunch is a meal that has made my top meals of all time list more than once. Also look for these fine beers from Goose Island. Their seasonals, as well as the more widespread Honker’s Ale are delicious, but if you can get your hands on some of these Ales (the first four of these are all part of what they call their Vintage Ales), you will not be disappointed. Thanks to the Wine Kitchen and Goose Island Beer Co., and as always, my compliments to Chef Adam.

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