Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fun Playing With Seasonal Beer and Food Pairings at North End

Last Wednesday, Bob and I enjoyed a delightful evening at one of our favorite places - North End, located in Hudson, Ohio. For a mere $30, we tasted generous pours of six premium beers, each paired with a delightful food creation from Executive Chef Edward Conklin and Chef De Cuisine Jesse Burke.

Display of Beers We'd Be Tasting

Sausage and Cheese Platter "Starter", Served with Hennepin Belgian Ale

Those bright red things in the center are Peppadew peppers - a favorite plaything of Executive Chef Conklin. They rate pretty high on my fun scale, also - a bit of tasty heat, but not too much, with a unique pepper taste. They went well with the sausages and the cheeses, and especially, the Uptown Cheese Spread. The Hennepin was an unexpected treat.

We took our seats and began the more formal meal.

Homemade Pretzel with Bleu Cheese-Cheddar Dipping Sauce and Stoneground Mustard

This tasty course was accompanied by Southern Tier Old Man Winter, which was surprisingly hoppy.

The hop bite was a great counterpoint to the cheese spread.

Shrimp Bisque

I loved this presentation. The bisque was very tasty and went nicely with the Anchor Christmas Ale.

Venison, Beef, Duck Carpaccio

This plate was, for me, the highlight of the evening. I could have eaten a full plate of just these meats, drizzled with a mild horseradishy sauce, accompanied by a gently dressed salad, and been a happy girl.

Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale

The pairing was nice - no overwhelming malt or hop to interfere with the clean gentle flavors of the meat.




The final savory course tried so hard, it gets an "A" for effort. I still liked the Carpaccio better, though.

Pork Medallions with Stuffing and Waldorf Salad

The pork was very tasty, but a little dry. Unfortunately, the glace it rested on was too salty for my palate - though the cherry-infused sauce to the left was perfectly seasoned and delicious. The stuffing was also way too salty for my taste. The Waldorf salad was cool and refreshing.

Troegs Mad Elf

The beer served with the pork course was the best of the night - deeply malty, with a touch of intense hop.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Dessert was a delightful pumpkin flavored pudding topped with crunchy goodness.

Bell's Winter White Ale

I would have preferred the Troegs as a dessert beer - but the Bell's was light and crisp, and complimented the pumpkin flavors nicely.

North End is a wonderful choice for playing with tasty food and fine drink - we are sorry it took us so long to get back to them!

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