Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Schlafly beer dinner at Louisville's L & N was mighty fine.

Tuesday evening’s Schlafly beer dinner at the L&N Wine Bar and Bistro in Louisville was well worth the trip across the Ohio on an incredibly warm November evening.

My wife Diana enjoyed a menu individually crafted to suit her vegetarian and lactose intolerant needs, and she remarked that it was brilliant. Memorably, her main course was a gigantic squash stuffed with rice and other goodies. I lost sight of her seated behind it.

Meanwhile, her cousin Jennie and I savored the marquee choices for omnivores.

The appetizer of scallop ceviche (with mushroom, avocado, ginger and fire roasted cherry tomato salad) had a pleasing sushi-like quality, and while this usually sends me scrambling for the hops, this time the citrus limeade flavor of the dish paired perfectly with Schlafly Hefeweizen’s "straight," clean wheat character.

I could have had a whole plate of the scallops … but I say that every time, don’t I?

Seafood bisque was paired with Schlafly’s English-accented Pale Ale, and it was a mellow call, though hardly daring.

The delicious main course was a thick, juicy coriander and cumin encrusted pork chop in a lager & mustard cream sauce, accompanied by braised granny smith apples and red cabbage. Succulent indeed, and the Germanic thrust of it proved a knockout with Schlafly Number 15, the brewery’s Dunkel Weizen. Jennie had fun trying to sort through the aromas of bubble gum and fruit, and Mitch Turner explained that the inspiration was Schneider’s Bavarian classic. Simply a mouthwatering match.

Another pairing choice was offered with the pork: Schlafly Dry Hopped American Pale Ale, which I saved it to cleanse the palate after the pork chop had been dispatched.

Dessert originally was billed as hazelnut ice cream, then became a truffle for the evening menu, and finally materialized as a rich chocolate cake paired with Schlafly Coffee Stout. Yet again, it was an appropriate flavor combo, even if I continue to prefer a beefier stout than that underpinning Schlafly’s version, which nonetheless has a wonderful coffee taste.

All in all, it was textbook stuff, and well worth the time and expense. The pairings were “spot on” although not as offbeat as those offered by the Creative Costume crew on October 29th. It was a great pleasure to chat with the Schlafly road warriors in the intimate confines of the L & N, which has a solid short beer list to go along with numerous wines by the glass, courtesy of the Cruvinet.

You haven’t been there yet?

Why not?

Tell Len and Nancy I sent you.

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