Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Restaurant Week and Allies Win the War!

I went to the semi-annual restaurant week in the Miami Valley tonight. As always, The Meadowlark was fantastic!

The meal began with a nice and flavorful pea soup with a rye toast covered in melted cheddar. The soup was quite good with a rich flavor but I think the toast could have used a sharper cheddar, it was a little flat tasting and slightly greasy. This course also came with a small (4oz or so) French country ale. This was not quite a saison but did have a nice clean taste with a slight spicyness.

I had the roasted winter squash salad with jalepeno, lime, yogurt, and cilantro. A surprising bite accompanied perfectly roasted squash. The sweetness of the squash mixed with the spice and the slight bite of the yogurt sauce.

The main course was a grilled pork chop with cornbread pudding. Another spicy dish that was quite good overall. The green onion gravy was not overdone and provided a nice contrast to the creamy moistness of the corn bread. The pork was a little overdone for my taste but it wasn't dry by any measure.

Finally, a soft and creamy maple créme brulee finished off the meal. The amount of food was just right and at $25.12 it was a steal.

The highlight of the evening was my Allies Win the War! beer, a collaborative between 21st Amendment and Nikasim this beer could be best described as an American strong ale. The malt was very typical of an English strong with sweet caramels, a little roast, and some dark fruits. Balanced bitterness makes this beer a perfect pairing for any of the meals that were offered for restaurant week. The nose was caramel, dried fruits (especially the California dates this beer was aged on) and the slight citrus and spice of the northwest US hops used in this brew. A medium body and a bit of carbonation lighten the beer so the malt doesn't take over. While not the best beer I've ever had, this was a solid brew and quite representative (exactly what I expected it to be) and I'd definitely buy it again.