Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The Monk's Christmas Dinner: 16 Years and Kicking!
You know there are a lot of perks to this crazy life I lead, but one of the very best is the Christmas dinner at Monk's Cafe. I've been going since before it was at Monk's: Tom Peters started doing these crazy dinners when he was managing Copa, Too!. There's always great beer, and there's always...the Buche de Noel.
Tonight's was no exception. I was at the bar, hobnobbing with UPenn Museum's Bruce Nichols, Uncle Jack, Carolyn Smagalski, and Don "Joe Sixpack" Russell, as well as Home Sweet Homebrew's George and Nancy, and Philly beer historian Rich Wagner. I could wax enthusiastic, but to be truthful, my waxing is waning right now: I'm exhausted. I'll just list the menu.
Sly Fox Christmas Ale 2007 with mussels and chorizo steamed in more Sly Fox Christmas.
Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza with spinach salad with hearts of palm, strawberries, and toasted pine nuts (this one worked well for me, cutting the sour of the beer).
La Rulles Cuvee Meilleurs Voeux, & St. Germain Page 24 Biere de Noel with a beautiful pan seared scallop, topped with grated beet, sitting atop sauteed beet greens and a beet risotto (it could not be beat).
Abbaye de St. Martin Cuvee de Noel & de Struise Tjeeses with elk loin, brussel sprouts, and a sweet potato stoempf. Tjeeses was good, very good, but the St. Martin really grew on me.
Scaldis Prestige 2007 with three marvelous cheeses: Molierno (sheep milk from Sardinia), Balyey Hazen Bleu (crumbly blue from VT), and Quadrello di Bufala (a hard buffalo milk cheese, packed with flavor).
Particularly poignant, because this was chef Adam Glickman's last night, after steering the kitchen for 9 years. He got a bit choked up, and it's understandable. Great run, Adam. Fantastic food, that did honor to the beer.