Oktoberfest Beer & Cider Dinner at Pheasant Run Resort and Spa

Early in the summer Kevin and I got a chance to enjoy a 3 Course Private Label Wine Paring dinner at Harvest Restaurant at Pheasant Run Resort. Much to Kevin's delight last night we got to experience their Oktoberfest Beer & Cider dinner.  Of the two of us he definitely enjoys beer much more than I do but I was excited to try the cider. You'll find Kevin's opinion to the dinner in green!

This meal started off with a seared crispy pork belly dipped in dark chocolate with chopped pistachios paired with Revolution Eugene Porter. For me the beer was not my favorite since as a non-beer drinker it was definitely on the heavier side. On the other hand I could eat that crispy pork belly every day! When Chef Tiffany came out to chat I mentioned experiences I had with pork belly being too fatty in the past and she said her preparation of the belly was specifically to avoid that. 

The porter’s bitter and strong after taste mellowed out and the beer became smoother with the food.  It was still a decent porter to begin with, but even better with the food.  Pork belly was crispy and both of us wanted more of it. 

Second came the Killarney Beer Cheese Soup paired with Harp Irish Lager. After hearing a couple in the booth next to us exclaiming how delicious it was we were both ready to try it. I enjoyed how the flavors of the beer and the soup played off each other. The soup was extremely thick and flavorful. I probably could have done that with just the pork belly and skipped the rest of the meal it was so filling!

The hoppy fruit taste of the Irish Lager  disappeared nearly 90% with the food.  I liked the beer before and during the food portion.  Betsy liked it more at the beginning but it went well with the food though.  The soup was heavy, but really good.

The main course came out with Chef Tiffany's statement that the grilled seasoned skirt steak with chimichurri was her favorite cut and steak dish. Needless to say the greatness we expected was delivered. It was accompanied by perfectly fried chips and sauteed veggies. I don't usually go for red meat with dinner but when I do I love that it's at places like Harvest where it's phenomenal. Since I was pretty full by that point I took home half of my steak and just finished it for dinner tonight. Paired with a Ranger IPA that I think we both felt complimented each other. 

The beer complimented the steak perfectly.  It tasted the same at the beginning and while eating.  No taste change detected on my end.  Steak was tender, great seasoning and we both loved it.  Veggies were good, but after being so full from the soup and the steak being so good, we could only eat so much.  The chips were good too, but we could have done without them.  Felt they were an extra item on this plate, but I would gladly eat those chips any day! 

Lastly was  Door County Granny Smith apple crisp featuring granny smith apples baked in crispy phyllo with Anglaise sauce paired with Crispin Honeycrisp Cider. I really appreciated the chef's understanding my issues with apples and cinnamon then making me a special creme brulee dessert. The creme brulee was creamy and sweet, a perfect end to a fantastic meal. Usually I'm not a big cider fan but I loved this one. It was sweet and tasted more like a champagne at times. Will definitely be checking to see where I can get that. 

Cider was very sweet and towards the champagne category when drank before the dessert.  While eating the dessert, the overly sweet nature mellowed out and I really enjoyed drinking it with the apple dessert.  I actually finished it. Chef Tiffany Tooker and I talked about the cider and both agreed we could probably drink a 12oz bottle of it, but no way could we do two bottles.  We both thought it matched the dessert really well.  

There is one more Thursday in the Oktoberfest pairing series.so be sure to call now, 800-4-PHEASANT (474-3272), and make your reservation! If you're unable to make this last one keep an eye out, it sounds like there are more pairing dinners in the works for the near future!

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