Several friends from Brasseurs A La Maison were also attending the dinner so we picked out some seats with them and started on the first few beers. The first appetizer to come out was the Red Beans and Smoked Sausage Spring Roll... now I'll admit I really get put off by the texture of red beans so I passed on this one, but Mandi and the others seemed to really enjoy it.
Appetizer (er, hors do'oeuvres) number two was a fried Louisiana oyster served on a bed of wilted spinach with absinthe butter sauce. Now this was more my speed as I really enjoy fried oysters. The absinthe butter sauce really added a nice kick of flavor to the perfectly fried oyster. Very well done dish, and since Mandi doesn't eat seafood, I enjoyed a pair!
Up next was the soup course, a cream of corn soup topped with crumbled bacon. It was served piping hot along with a nice cool pitcher of Tin Roof Blonde, so once we had passed the beer around the table and all topped off it was time to try the soup. And we were not disappointed, as both Mandi and I both thought it was the best dish yet. Rich, hearty, and I loved the bit of flavor the bacon imparted while still leaving it as a corn soup. Jay even said that he used the Tin Roof Blonde in making the soup... it didn't leave a major beer flavor, but I applaud the effort to get the beer involved in the dishes.
The first dinner course came courtesy of Taco de Paco, their herb roasted quail with an andouille risoto and a drizzle of gumbo sauce. I really enjoyed the quail, and Mandi said that the risoto was quite nice as well. A few people had undercooked quail, but mine was just about right and seasoned perfectly. This course was paired with the Tin Roof Perfect Tin Amber Ale, a hoppier amber ale but it went well with the spices in the quail.
Our second dinner course was also a Taco de Paco creation. For this course we were brought out turtle meat over smothered potatoes and onions, with pickled shallots. I hate being critical at these sort of events, but the turtle was extremely tough and really hard to eat. Some people at the table enjoyed it a lot, but I only ate a few pieces and wasn't sad to see the rest go. I guess not all dishes are a hit, but I do admire the gusto to serve a turtle dish.
We were also treated to a sneak preview of the Tin Roof Voodoo Bengal Pale Ale cans with the turtle dish! These guys should be in stores now, so if you're looking for a solid canned pale ale, drink local.
Finally, the dessert course! And I was excited to try the rum-soaked banana cupcake with a bananas foster icing created by Christina Stevens. This did not disappoint at all, leaving a lasting impression on all the diners. The sauce was really killer, I could have eaten a cup of that along and been satisfied, but the cupcake was phenomenal as well. Really a well done dessert, and a great compliment to the Tin Roof Parade Ground Coffee Porter, their latest seasonal and probably their best brew yet.
All in all it was an enjoyable evening. Not all dishes were hits, but I think the corn soup and cupcake dessert were two of the better food items I've eaten recently. And the beers worked well to compliment the various courses, especially the coffee porter.
Be on the lookout for another one of these events before too long, and don't hesitate to check it out! The best way to stay up to date about the next one is to go to BiteAndBooze.com and sign up for Jay's e-mail list.