Having food blogger as one of my side hustles comes exclusively with perks. You get invited to tastings upon tastings whether they be for caviar, oysters, macarons or champagne. Every once in a while there’s also the opportunity to attend a dinner or a festival- those are the ones that you might want to raincheck your pedicure or girl’s nights for.
Last Sunday I had the honour of attending a media preview dinner with several notable beer bloggers and LeiLani and Irene of Watershed Communications for an event that will happen this Sunday, December 7th at Raven and Rose. If you’re a beer or delicious food connoisseur, then this is the event for you.
The menu for the evening included an array of seasonal side dishes and entrees served family style along with six Goose Island Beer pairings from Raven & Rose’s single barrel program spearheaded my notable Portland bartender extraordinaire, Dave Shenaut. We were all provided with an IPA to start off accompanying a heaping plate of Ken’s Artisan Breads and butter. One of the facets that made this pairing dinner unique is that we were then served a flight of four beers where we were encouraged to create and test out our own pairings using the salad, four side dishes and two entrees.
The beers in the flight were The Class of ’88, Matilda, Madame Rose and Bourbon County Stout. As the majority of the other attendees were beer bloggers, I’d advise checking out their blogs for more refined reviews of each of the brews. You can see Kris of Beer Musings from Portland’s recap here!
I didn’t want to be blasphemous and admit this at the dinner, but being more of a wine connoisseur than a beer one, it was no surprise that my two favourites in the flight were the Class of ’88 and the Madame Rose. The Class of ’88 is a Belgian style beer that is aged with Michigan Riesling grape juice and Oregon Pinot Noir grape must and thus giving it a slightly sweet and winey tinge. The Madame Rose on the other hand is a brown ale aged in French oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels and thus also giving it that delicious bit of wine essence.
Now, let’s get onto the food…and little did I know what a feast we were all about to be in for.
Would you look at that! My sentiment is that Raven and Rose does not get half the accolades it deserves; with every time I have eaten there I have been thoroughly impressed at the wood-fired oven fare whether it be their flatbreads at brunch or the delectable assortment of meats and seasonal vegetables at their weekly Sunday Roast. This time was no different, the salmon and prime rib were both absolutely succulent and cooked to perfection whereas the twice baked potato and turkey pot pie played the swoon-worthy comfort food role given how it was below freezing just outside. Everything was absolutely splendid, and I’m extremely grateful that Dave Shenaut provided us all with take home boxes so that I didn’t have to say goodbye to an extra salmon filet or the remaining half of my baked potato.
Oh…yeah…right, there was also a dessert course.
The dessert was also splendid- a brownie-like textured block of gingerbread cake topped with a refreshing quince sorbet; certainly a melange of textures between cakey, creamy, chewy and crunchy.
And since I had that filet of salmon as a leftover…I decided to take Dave Shenaut’s advice and turn it into a hash for brunch the next day:
As someone with very few culinary skills, I’ve been trying to sharpen my repertoire of signature dishes past quesadillas and Middle Eastern style eggs. Here, I created a hash out of sweet potatoes, zucchini, red onion, chanterelles, rosemary, whole grain dijon mustard and king salmon all topped with a fried egg. It was delicious and it actually looks kind of pretty in my opinion.
A huge thank you to Watershed Communications, Goose Island, and the Raven & Rose crew for putting together such a delightful media preview dinner. There may be tickets still available for the open to the public dinner this sunday! Check out the Event Website for more info!