|Dessert of Glazed Plums, Pine Nut-Prune Chutney, Honey-Cinnamon Sabayon|
paired with Firehouse's Hardly Thomas Barley Wine
Except it didn't. Sure, for some of the courses, I'd have to admit some of the beer and food pairings were not as cohesively integrated as in dinners past. But there was this comfortable spontaneity and "let's just try this" to the whole affair, both in the food and in Donohue's brews, especially his experimental Barley Wine and Sour Ale, that couldn't be duplicated with the weeks of preparation Pettyjohn usually took. I should add the penultimate course of Coffee Crusted Angus Ribeye and Wild Mushroom Risotto paired with the uber coffee roastiness of Firehouse's Brendan’s Irish Stout hit it out of the park with its warm, earthy comforting character. Otherwise, I'm not going to go into a culinary breakdown of the evening, since I'm not good at that stuff, especially since my esteemed beer blogging colleague Peter Estaniel was there that evening, and he is good at that stuff, and I expect he'll post something soon.
Yamanaka may not be a hard core beer geek, but in talking with him he clearly appreciates beer, and the man can clearly cook. With all the announcements of $100 plate beer dinners in out of the way places in San Francisco, Sonoma and Napa Counties, and it's reassuring for rest of us that one at half the cost can be found in Palo Alto and it's future looks at lot stronger than it did a week ago.
Next up, Devil's Canyon Brewing from my home town of Belmont May 31st. By then, Chef Yamanaka will have time to breathe, get his sea legs, and whatever other cliches you want to add by then. It ought to be interesting.