The only beer I remember having that tasted any good was at the Bluebird Bar on South Carolina Avenue in Atlantic City circa 1968.
Not a far walk off the beach to the bar with a friend who treated me to a beer, it was cold, it was wet and it had been a sizzling 100 degrees out in the sun.
Circa 2016 and an invite by MillerCoors to their Tasting Room, a multi course beer and food pairing at the highly touted Fleet Street Kitchen arrived. Normally I don’t do beer or coffee – I have too many bitter receptors. A friend and mentor, Antoinette Bruno of StarChefs.com had recently encouraged me to taste EVERYTHING when we were at a local coffee shop, even if it isn’t in my culinary roundhouse.
The BUT in the title is I enjoyed a number of the beers, kicking off with Coors Banquet – it was a refreshing brew. It wasn’t the only offering that surprised me. The Blue Moon Cinnamon Horchata Ale paired with the amuse bouche first course Venison Terrine with Apple Butter had just the right amount of carbonation to match the rich mouth feel of the venison.
And before I forget, kudos to Chef Correll at Fleet Street Kitchen for an amazing menu, the reason I considered going in the first place. Fleet Street Kitchen will be changing as of the first of the year from Bagby Restaurants to the Atlas Restaurant Group, but Chef Michael Correll will remain so I’ve been told. I believe the restaurant will take on an Italian themed direction. When you check out the slideshow, look at his culinary choices to pair with what beers. Absolutely amazing and one of the best meals I had in 2016.
The second course, Nantucket Bay Scallop Crudo with ponzu, poached cranberry, parsnip and uni was paired with a Leinenkugel Cranberry Ginger Shandy. This one blew my mind and my taste buds, nothing shady about this shandy. Ideal for the holidays: light, crisp, refreshing – put on your “to buy” list, take a six pack of that instead of a bottle of wine to friends and family – I highly recommend it.
Here is the rest of the menu and pairing for your edification:
Farro risotto with Matsutake mushroom, smoked bacon, green apple and spruce or Grilled baby octopus with local honey, smoked paprika, confit potato, fennel puree and citrus ~ Blue Moon White IPA
Pan Seared Halibut with Kumquat-truffle Jam, Cauliflower Puree, Frisee and Roasted Tri-colored Cauliflower ~ Blue Moon Belgian White
Roasted Magret Duck Breast with Charred Onion Soubise, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Arbequina Olive, Artichoke and Nasturtium ~ Leinenkugel’s Bavarian Dunkel
Praline Kit Kat with Crunchy Praline Feuilletine, Chocolate Financier, Malted Whipped Cream, Coffee Sorbet ~ Blue Moon Cappuccino Stout
Again, forget the bottle of wine and choose anyone of these specialty beers from the MillerCoors family to be served with your holiday or any day meal.
For Dara Bunjon if it is food, Dara Does It, in fact, that is the name of her company which offers creative solutions for the food industry the likes of public relations, marketing, social media, cookbook compilations, food styling, culinary events, networking and freelance writing. You will now find Dara applying her broad range of culinary skills as a food stylist for television chefs/cookbook authors the likes of Steven Raichlen, Sara Moulton, Nick Malgieri, and Nathalie Dupree. Dara Bunjon lives, eats, dreams and writes about food and isn’t hesitant to share her views and experiences about restaurants, culinary trends, recipes, cookbooks or even her childhood food memories. She has been on the food scene for too many years to mention. Known both in Baltimore and nationally, Dara Bunjon is a former member of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs’ national public relations committee.
In the past, she has written for Style Magazine, Foodservice Monthly, Mid-Atlantic Restaurant Digest, Urbanite and other sundry publications. Since 2004 she has maintained an award-winning food-related blog called Dining Dish. She co-authored her first cookbook Yum! Tasty Recipes from Culinary Greats in association with Studio Spear. And has written Baltimore restaurant reviews for Gayot.com
Dara believes food is subjective; everyone’s taste is different and she enjoys bringing you to her table to commiserate and enjoy lively discourse.
Considered one of Baltimore’s food influencers, you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @daracooks.