Monday, June 11, 2012

Blackbird Cafe Belgian Beer Dinner

Beer style brought back from extinction in the 1970's

Our friends Carol and Kevin clued us into the third beer dinner to be done by the Blackbird Cafe in Minneapolis last night.  The two of them and our other friends Chris and Hassan were all able to make it out there and we had a blast!  The six of us met by being frequent fliers at the Happy Gnome beer dinners over the last several years and have started meeting for other beer-centric events since. 

This dinner was Belgian themed and we were greeted with a fantastic charcuterie plate (house cured meats, olives, pates, kimchi, etc.) and a bicep pumpingly huge glass of Hoegaarden Belgian Wit.  Not a bad start to dinner!

The dinner continued with tasty white asparagus and Belgian Endive salad paired with Orval...all three having a similar tart note.  A palate cleanser of blackberry and black pepper soup came in the world's tiniest tea cup with a doll-sized spoon.  Great flavors that I'm going to use in a beer sometime.

Next up was smelt fries (along with normal fries,) paired with Westmalle Dubbel.  Fishy but done perfectly, and a nice pairing.  Wonderful presentation as well.

A palate cleanser soufle was served up in a tiny canning jar and was a high point of the meal.  Not even mentioned on the menu!  Then came the main meat course with a perfectly done venison loin along with an amazing herb salad.  That was paired with Rochefort 10 and was certainly the best pairing of the night.  The cherry and sweet onion jam on the venison really brought out the dark fruit notes in the beer.  Yum!

Desert was a chocolate cake with ice cream, paired with Lindeman's Framboise.  Both were better on their own, but both tasty!  Overall we had a great time and enjoyed this quaint cafe.  We were able to take home our Hoegaarden glasses and also 10$ gift certificates to the cafe!  Oh we will be back...
Blackbird:  where hipsters and antlers meet

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