I feel a bit like I cheated on EIM or something because I was planning to go the whole month without eating out. I wanted to show that it was possible to have date nights and celebrations without eating out. The downside is that I used my pass and ate at a restaurant last night. The upside is that hubby's birthday is later this month, so I still get to show you guys how to celebrate in! ;) (here's an example, too). Ultimately, I decided we should cash in on our cheat pass since 1. it was for a birthday 2. it would be spent with great friends 4. the dinner sounded equally fun + delicious and 3. Kath + Matt are moving this year!
On to the celebrations...
We met our friends at The Liberty - a new local restaurant. Hubby and I almost went here for New Year's Eve...I really wanted to go but we decided to do something more affordable.
In addition to neat dinners (beer and wine dinners, etc) this place also has cooking classes! I am def signing hubby and myself up for classes in the next couple months.
So just for tonight, The Liberty put on a Beer Dinner with NC-based brewery - Big Boss. I love supporting local businesses! (Hubby and I even figured out there are a couple other restaurants in town serving this brew...yay!)
The beer dinner took place in the downstairs room of the restaurant, presumably used for private parties. It was quite cozy down there!
We were greeted with plates of Fresh Angel Biscuits with Benten's Country Ham & Sweet Grass Pimento Cheese being passed around
We got our beer pairing at the bar - Amber Rye. This was one of my faves of the night.
We grabbed some seats and finished our starter course.
The tables were decorated with beer brewing ingredients and Big Boss goodies.
The menu (which was fantastic!)
Kate + Nate
Kath + Matt
Me + Hubby (Thanks photographer Kate!)
After a friendly intro by The Liberty and Big Boss brewery, we got started on the dinner!
(We also got some informative introductions to each beer for each course - I loved learning more about the brews and hearing some of their stories.)
First Round: Roasted Maine Sea Scallops Winter Artichokes, Over-Night Tomatoes & Fregola.
These were amazing! Perfectly cooked! I am picky with my scallop texture and this was just right for me. I loved the side dish, too - very tender.
Beer pairing - Angry Angel.
Nice and light. I enjoyed this brew. I liked it almost as much as I liked the Amber Rye.
Second Course: Coca-Cola Braised Black Berkshire Pork Shoulder Smoked Ham Hock Turnip Greens & Maple-Glazed Apples.
Though it's tough to choose from all the excellent food we had, this was definitely my favorite course! The meat was so tender and all the flavors went perfectly together - from the tender meat, to the turnip greens, to the sweet beets - all with a fabulous beer...
...Bad Penny Brown.
I don't normally like dark beers, but this one was quite tasty - nice and smooth. I would even order it again! Bad Penny ended up being one of my other faves of the night.
I'm not a big drinker, so I started gathering beers pretty quickly. I never did quite manage to finish one round before the next came out, but I had a good time trying.
Third Course: 48hr Roasted Montana Ranch Bison Short Ribs Celery Root Puree, Truffle Jus & Candied Shallots.
The meat here was equally tender as the previous course and had a great flavor. The truffle jus was very strong-smelling but tasted light. I liked the celery root puree, but I loved it more and more as I continued to eat it. Nommmmm...
Beer Pairing - a yeasty Hells Belle. It was a little yeasty for me, but I did enjoy it.
Happy eater...and drinker!
The Big Boss team worked the room and made for some great conversation. It was fun talking to them. They even got interactive and brought over some hops for hubby (future home brewer) to look at. I can't remember exactly, but I believe these are organically grown! Nice!
Aren't these tiny dessert spoons they gave us adorable?
Desserts being served. I love the motion blur in this photo!
(Did you know you can see bigger versions of the photos by clicking on them? You can! Check this ice cream one out - I think it's my favorite photo of the post!)
Fourth course: Decadent Chocolate Sundae Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream, Honey Peanuts, Valhrona Ganache & Mashmallow Fluff.
I normally don't love ice cream sundaes but I loved this one! It's not that I don't like ice cream, I'm just more of a cake/pie/cookie/baked-things kinda gal. Anywho, this one had a medley of flavors that melded together so nicely! I was mostly surprised at how much I liked the combo of the sweet ice cream, ganache, and cream with the salty peanuts. I normally do not like sweet and salty combos but I was in heaven enjoying this one. Kath suggested I try salty peanuts on my oatmeal so look for that on a bowl of oats soon! Kate told me they have great salty peanuts at TJ's so I'll be looking for those fo sho!
Even the dessert had a beer pairing: Big Operator, Belgian Black Raspberry. This beer was veeery dark. I liked how the flavor of the raspberry was noticeable but not overpowering.
Wow, hubby and I had an amazing time at The Liberty's first ever Beer Dinner with Big Boss Brewery! The food was wonderful and the beer pairings were quite tasty. All around awesome! Hubby and I are even considering going to The Liberty's next beer dinner in February! We'll definitely be looking for Big Boss brews at other restaurants in the region, too!
Happy birthday, Matt!