|Yes, that's Casey Hughes...|
First course: three different country hams, cut thin (proper), with rolls. Rolls maybe could have been softer to be traditional, but they were good. The hams were well-differentiated: rich, smokey, and delicate. The bourbon I paired (1792) as a "Kentucky tea," about 2 parts bourbon and three parts spring water over ice in a tall glass. It's an old distiller's favorite: you still taste the bourbon (which is why I chose the flavorful 1792), but with enough volume from the water and ice that you can easily drink it with your meal...and it's perfect for the salty ham.
Fourth course was the big one: smoked whole quail, stuffed with cornbread and house-smoked sausage, on a bed of brussels sprouts with a side of beets. This was extremely popular at our table full of brewers, for a good reason: it was fabulous. It was semi-boned, with only the wings and legs left intact; you know, the parts you want to gnaw off the bone! I decided to let the bar show off their stuff this round, and we did a Rittenhouse Rye Manhattan, perfect in the city of Rittenhouse. (We will have rye whiskey made in PA again; soon. Trust me.)
Things wound up with something Erin called "Cracker Jack," which was grits (cooked in milk, I think), with caramel, nuts, and a raisin puree made with whiskey. It was way more yummy than something made with grits and raisins ever deserved to be. I paired it with Rowan's Creek, which may have been my one duff move of the evening; Rowan's is pretty sweet stuff (at least, this batch was), and the dessert really over-accentuated that. We live, we learn.
A great time, and a very impressive first special dinner for Percy Street. Things came out hot (when appropriate!), service was steady and friendly, and the drinks were dead on the money. Be happy to work with these folks again.
Still, like I said...this was the start of my week. Another post to come on the rest of it: a trip to NERAX, another lunch with Thomas at Deep Ellum, Will Meyers's barrel room marvels, arguing session beer with BeerAdvocate's Alström Brothers (now posted at the SBP blog), a great dinner at Hungry Mother, and I touch down at Zeppelin Hall. Stay tuned...