Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Comfort and Terrapin Brewery Dinner

Comfort and Terrapin brewery joined forces to host a “Suds & Sows” fest.

Bartender hooking everyone up with some great beer during the reception.

Calm before the storm in the kitchen.

The Chef Jason, great host, shakes hands and says hi to everyone.

The Terrapin dude, Ranger, very friendly.

Reception starts with house made pork rinds and lard fried spicy peanuts paired with Terrapin’s rye pale ale.  Pork rind has a balance of salty and sweet that dries your throat, which pairs well with a nice cold glass of pale ale.

The Terrapin rye pale ale has a nice amber color, not too hoppy, not too sweet, it’s a very friendly beer.

Lard fried spicy peanuts are not heavy with a nice spice and some herb in the background.

First course, chilled pork tenderloin, peaches, crispy shallots, fish sauce.  The tenderloin is very tender.  The peach/fish sauce adds a fresh yet savory flavor to the pork. Crispy shallots add crunch, however I do wish there were more shallots. 

The Terrapin Sunray wheat is a nice summer beer, light in color with nice haze.  It has a nice fruitiness that pairs well with the pork tenderloin dish.

Second course, crispy hog jowls, watercress, soft boiled egg, champagne vinaigrette.  The egg is poached well with the yoke still oozing.  The greens have a sweet/tart dressing which goes well with the porkiness of the hog jowls.  The salad is a bit over dressed but the fatty hog jowl brings it back in check on the palate.

Everything is serve family style.

The grapefruit in the salad is what made this paring work well with the cascade hoppiness of the beer.

Third course, smoked St. Louis cut ribs, “boilermaker” glaze, bread and butter pickles, vidalia onions.  The rib falls off the bone but not dry.   The glaze is sweet and bourbony.  The pickles add some sweetness to counter the spicy raw onion rings.  I appreciate the chef serving two different preparations of the onion. 

The beer has a nice dark caramelized flavor which pairs well with the flavor of the ribs.  At this point I start to forget about taking photos of the beer.

Forth course, suckling pig “whole hog” tacos, avocado puree, tomatillo salsa.  Served street style with some wax paper and an aluminum tray.  The taco filling was very tender.  The salsa was very flavorful but somewhat overpowering.  I wish the pig parts were larger in pieces with less salsa so you can really taste all the different pieces and parts of the hog. 

The beer was a nice Belgian style triple, at this point of the dinner my palate has gotten drunk and can no longer think about the pairing lol.

Fifth and final course, peanut whoopee pies, ginger/bacon fat cake, peanut cream.  The whoopee pie is made by someone at the dinner.  Sorry I don’t remember her name but it was delicious.  The pie was very peanut buttery and the creaminess from the bacon fat really coats your mouth. 

The Terrapin gamma ray pairs perfectly with this desert.  Strong, sweet, intense yet neither overpowers the other. 

I love family style where you get to meet new people at your table.  We had cool people at our table lol.

Our servers were great.

Overall, a great experience.  I do wish there was an actual suckling pig for pig picking like last year’s hog dinner.

200 Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220

Rating: ●●●●○

Friday, June 24, 2011

White Anchovies

Located at the corner of a little strip mall. From the outside doesn’t look like much but the inside has a casual fan restaurant atmosphere.
Cucumber rosemary gin and tonic very fragrant and refreshing. Reminds me of those cucumber water you get at a spa except it will get you drunk.

Flat bread is served with good olive oil. The bread is seasoned well, however somewhat hard and not in a light and crispy way.

White anchovies appetizer, not salty with a nice citrus flavor. It has a nice firm texture unlike most canned anchovies you find on your delivery pizzas. The olive oil and diced tomatoes round off the flavor of the tart anchovies nicely.

Shrimp ceviche over polenta cake. The presentation is quite nice. The shrimp has a nice firm texture but for me a bit too tart. Polenta cake is nicely fried and seasoned.

Duck and fig pizza, it’s just mediocre. There is nothing special about the pizza dough, both the duck meat and the figs are a bit dry.

Roasted branzini with spicy sauce. The fish is fresh, cooked and seasoned perfectly. The branzini is stuffed with fresh oregano to add some aromatic. The sauce is spicy but refreshing at the same time. The sauce kind of reminds me of freshly grated horseradish.

Skirt steak with mashed eggplant potato. This is the most tender and well-cooked skirt steak I’ve ever had. It started to bleed as soon as you cut into it. The mashed eggplant potato on the other hand is quite ordinary. I didn’t really taste any eggplant, it’s more like a regular mashed potato.

Overall a great experience, but it is a bit pricey. For the price point, I was expecting a little bit more portion wise.

3061 Lauderdale Drive,
Richmond, VA 23233

Rating: ●●●○○