The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 132

Sausage Egg and Cheese Croissant from Breakfastime Anytime

In Episode #132 proudly recorded in The Less Desirables Studios at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • The special luncheon, Mission to Serve is for The Peacekeepers/WSPD and FCSO and Special Olympics Forsyth County happening at Carrabba’s on November 7. Make your reservation HERE.
  • Street Team Member Steven McDowall sponsors burgers at Breakfastime Anytime as did Tim & Stephanie.
  • West End Poke starts renovations.
  • Becky Zollicoffer has opened a version of Let It Grow Produce in Organix Juice Bar on Hawthorne.
  • Viva Chicken opens.
  • Chef David Swing to be the executive chef for Adam Andrews’ new restaurant on Fourth in old Hutch & Harris.
  • Food holidays and history.

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 130

“Dessert Rosa” from Carrabba’s to be served during the “Partner’s Table” on Sunday, October 27.

In Episode #130 proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Daniel Butner is in to talk about Carrabba’s THREE wine dinners this week and a special luncheon happening on November 7. That special luncheon is for The Peacekeepers/WSPD and FCSO and Special Olympics Forsyth County. Make your reservation HERE.
  • Carrabba’s is teaming up with iGoPink/Breast Cancer Charities of America. Listen for more details.
  • Street Team Member Steven McDowall sponsors a burger from Hops Burger Bar.
  • Breakfastime Anytime opens in old Billy Bob’s Silver Diner location.
  • Food holidays and history.

 

Carrabba’s Italian Grill to Have Benefit for Mission to Serve

(the link doesn’t work in this picture, click the link to the left)

Carrabba’s of Winston-Salem is teaming up with The Peacekeepers for a Mission to Serve Luncheon, a community partnership event along with Academy Sports + Outdoors to support Special Olympics Forsyth County. The Peacekeepers is a fundraising partnership between the Forsyth County Sherrif’s Department and the Winston-Salem Police Department.

The event is for Thursday, November 7 from 11a-2p. You must make an RSVP for your particular time slot by November 3rd. Only 200 spots are available. 

The menu is Chicken Marsala, Penne Pomodoro and Caesar Salad. There is a minimum $10 donation but you can always give more and you are encouraged to do so.

In addition, Carrabba’s will be giving a $10 dining card to every attendee. Do the math! It’s a win-win.

Make your RSVP here.

Proceeds will benefit the Special Olympics Forsyth County to Shop with a Cop at Academy Sports + Outdoors.

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 129

Mixed green salad topped with roasted red pepper, eggplant, hazelnut crusted goat cheese medallion.

In Episode #129 proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Tim got to be a tester for a wine dinner pairing happening at Carrabba’s later this month. Listen for more details.
  • King’s Classic Bakery is coming to Trade Street.
  • Five Loaves Catering opens an actual retail location on Coliseum.
  • Carrabba’s is teaming up with iGoPink/Breast Cancer Charities of America. Listen for more details.
  • Food holidays and history.

Carrabba’s Lunar Effects Wine Dinner

Last night, Stephanie and I had the pleasure of getting to attend a wine dinner with our dear friends, The Lowders, at Carrabba’s in Winston-Salem. It was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch. Of course, the moon landing was the goal of that mission and it was successful.

The best part was afterward when several of the diners including Stephanie and me, went out with the Astronomy Club and Proprietario of Carrabba’s WS, my friend Daniel Butner, to see extraplanetary and celestial wonders like Saturn, Jupiter (and several of its moons), and our Moon through some cool telescopes. And the kicker? The International Space Station passed by around 9:37 pm or so.

Calabrian Wings

Daniel, a repeat guest on our podcast, is a huge space buff and the fact that the whole of Carrabba’s (nationwide) was doing these dinners across the country was like a dream come true for him. “You mean I get to participate in two of my passions (the restaurant and space) at once?” he asked. Sign him up!

But, this is a food blog, so let’s talk about the dinner, shall we?

First Course: Calabrian Roasted Wings paired with Blue Moon Wheat.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Wings? Beer? At Carrabba’s? Well, that question isn’t too far-fetched. I believe Daniel questioned it, too, but he, like everyone else, totally understood as soon as we tasted the wings. Baked and seasoned and then seasoned with spicy Italian Calabrian peppers. Served with a lovely gorgonzola sauce. I even ate the Calabrian pepper. It was hot but it was tolerable. Great starter. And, we got to keep the commemorative Apollo 11 50th-anniversary pilsner glasses from Blue Moon.

Mezzaluna Carrabba

Second Course: Mezzaluna Carrabba paired with Rocca Delle Macie Moonlite (white blend). 
Mezzaluna translates to “middle-moon” or “half-moon.” These were half-moon shaped ravioli stuffed with chicken, spinach, Ricotta and Romano cheeses and tossed in Alfredo sauce. It was then topped with wood-grilled chicken, stuffed mushrooms and peas. I loved the mezzaluna ravioli.

Pollo Sorrento

Third Course: Pollo Sorrento paired with Alta Lina Pinot Noir.
Wood-grilled chicken stuffed with crispy eggplant, mozzarella and tomatoes then topped with their housemade Lombardo Marsala sauce. I wasn’t big on the Pinot Noir by itself but this dish made the wine POP! Daniel had sent me a picture of the prep of this dish with the eggplant and mozzarella getting ready to become the warming food blanket that it was. That sauce, that Lombardo Marsala sauce kicked this dish up about three notches. It was my favorite dish of the night.

Cinnamon Apple Crostata

Fourth Course: Cinnamon Apple Crostata paired with Saint M Riesling from Chateau Ste. Michelle.
Crispy cinnamon apple tart with a thin layer of hazelnut filling topped with caramel sauce and mint. A nice, mildly-sweet Riesling to go with the sweetness of the Crostata was a great end to a delicious wine dinner. At least as far as the food goes.

In addition to the stargazing and food, we were presented with a history of the US Space Program into the 70s and a brief talk on the recent Solar Eclipse that happened in 2017 and one that happened two weeks ago. One of the presenters from the Astronomy Club viewed the latest one from Brazil while on “business.” He shared a timelapse video of it. I have always been moderately interested in space stuff but this really made me think a lot about it. I was fascinated all night long.

They’re doing all this again next Tuesday, July 23. There are spaces available. You will not be disappointed. You can sign up by visiting HERE.

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 113

Chef Antwan Hairston

In Episode #113 proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Spirits of Summer Festival
  • Tim does a chain, Carrabba’s Italian Restaurant
  • Tim does a food journalist tasting at Mac N Nelli’s
  • Tim talks Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse
  • Tim starts the “Summer of Burgers” with Food Freaks, Mac N Nelli’s and Willows.
  • Food holidays and history.

No poll this week!

Don’t forget our sponsors:

DiLisio’s Italian Family Restaurant Italian food like you’re sitting, eating in Naples. Wonderful Italian dishes from traditional spaghetti and lasagna to contemporary delights. Rich, flavorful sauces, a variety of pasta options, seafood, meat and more. Just south of Downtown and Business 40 (SOB40).

Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

The Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

The Man Who Ate the Town is part of The Less Desirables Network. Give it a listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and TuneIn, basically anywhere you can listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here (at the bottom of the post).

Bon Appetit!

Willows Bistro and Wise Man Brewing Making Wonderful Tastes Together

On Sunday, February 25, Willows Bistro‘s Chef Travis Myers and his fantastic crew and staff provided guests an opportunity to pair their culinary delights with the liquid gold that is Wise Man Brewing‘s beer.

Amuse-Bouche

Chef Travis wanted to showcase the quality of beer that is made here in Winston-Salem and what better way to do that than with one of the top chefs in the area? And, he delivered. He delivered big. What diners were treated with was a ten-course (which turned into around 12 courses) pairing with five Wise Man brews.

There was no one who left out of there not satisfied. I know of no one complaining they didn’t get enough food.

Let’s talk about the courses.

Mountain Calling Beer Cheese

Amuse-Bouche
Starting off the shindig was the pork rinds from Harmony Ridge Farms. Willows do them in-house but the skins come from the hog that they butcher. It’s deep-fried and spiced with scallion ash and micro shungiku from Fair Share Farms. When you bite into it, it’s crispy but then it melts in your mouth – and I mean melts. Delicious.

NC Coconut Shrimp and Beer Battered Onion Rings

Mountain Calling ‘Beer Cheese’ Chowder
Beautiful pancetta, monkfish from Low Country Shellfish, fingerling potatoes, micro ruby streaks and scallion ash from Fair Share Farms and this was paired with the Wise Man Dance in the Sun Kölsch and the Mountain Calling West Coast IPA. The idea was to have both beers and see which one you thought paired better with the dish. The beer cheese chowder was creamy and delicious. The monkfish, which Chef Travis calls the “poor man’s lobster,” was tender and perfectly cooked, it also nicely complemented the salty pancetta. And, since it has been a while since I have written a pairing review, let me state, right off the bat that I love any micro-green that comes from Fair Share Farms. Eliot and Em create tiny green miracles in their greenhouses. I am not the world’s biggest IPA fan so the Dance in the Sun Kölsch wins that contest.

Coconut Fried NC Shrimp & Mountain Calling Beer Battered Onion Rings
Coconut Fried NC Shrimp & Mountain Calling Beer Battered Onion Rings, Dance in the Sun-wasabi aïoli, Plum Granny Farm‘s ginger glaze, NC shrimp powder mad in-house by the Willows folk from all the leftover shells that don’t get used for stocks and other cooking needs (I think that’s clever), topped with orange zest. This too was paired with both the Dance in the Sun and Mountain Calling IPA. Again, the Kölsh wins that battle. I love when chefs take beer and incorporate it into other things like batter for the onion rings (and possibly the shrimp) and creating a wasabi aïoli. I especially like it when it’s done with the beer that you’re tasting. That’s keeping the theme. The shrimp wasn’t overcooked. Chef Travis told the secret to great shrimp during his introductions. He knows what he’s doing.

Crispy Duck

Pork Belly Croquette

Harmony Ridge Farms Crispy Duck
Crispy Duck from Isaac at Harmony Ridge Farms with Alt Acquaintance fermented mustard seeds, Fair Share Farms’ ruby streaks, fermented green tomato from Gnomestead Hollow – pickled and jus vinaigrette, pickled seed powder. This was paired w/ Alt Acquaintance – Altbier from Wise Man. I could have eaten a whole plate of the duck. That was delicious. Duck sometimes can be gamey but these ducks are exercised and allowed to roam the property at Harmony Ridge, it was tender and not at all gamey with a nice crispy shell, done to the perfect temperature. This matched perfectly with the malty Alt Acquaintance. More on that beer later. One of my favorite dishes of the evening.

Harmony Ridge Farms Pork Belly Croquette 
Ever since Stephanie and I spent time in Europe and fell in love with croquettes, we have wanted to try to make our own and we try to eat them anywhere we can find them. This pork belly and smoked risotto version of it was amazing. The risotto was creamy and the pork belly rich in flavor. The pickled mustard seed, confit pearl onion, pot likker, as well as the nasturtium & micro chard from Fair Share Farms were an ideal accompaniment. It was creamy and savory and the onions were very tender, too. This was once again paired w/ Mountain Calling IPA and that made for a fine dish. Another of my faves.

Pickled Okra

Plum Granny Farm Cajun Jewel Pickled Okra
The Cajun Jewel from the great folks at Plum Granny Farms pickled in brine, with extra virgin olive oil from Olinda Olives with micro shungiku from Fair Share Farms. I don’t like okra and I ate every bit of it. So that is telling you something, right?

Roasted Carrots

Roasted Local Carrot Variations
As the name implies, this is a group of roasted local carrot variations. I saw them peeling and prepping them earlier in the day. Take those carrots, roast them and top them with Fair Share Farms’ micro carrot tops, Bertie County Peanuts, red curry, seed oil and Sea Love Sea Salt‘s garlic salt, then shave a bit of Goat Lady Dairy‘s Providence cheese and you have some flavor bursts here.  If you’ve not had Goat Lady Dairy’s Providence, it’s earthy, nutty, creamy and a little bit umami. I can eat that on its own. This course was paired with the Alt Acquaintance and the malty altbier mixed fabulously with that Providence cheese.

Hen Roulade

Joyce Farms Hen Roulade
Hen from Joyce Farms with a Shiitake soubise from Myers Mushroom with Harmony Ridge Farms celery root and Fair Share Farms pea shoots all in a broth made from Miso Master miso and Plum Granny Farms’ ginger. This is paired with Noble Alchemy, Farmhouse/Saison. Rolled and filled hen was earthy and meaty. Doused in the miso-ginger broth, the savory saltiness lends a good dichotomy to the earthiness of the mushrooms and micro greens.

Bone Marrow

Bone Marrow
Southern Food’s bone marrow (in-bone) with Myers Mushrooms’ shiitake mushrooms fried in pork fat from Yellow Wolf Farm, creole-miso aïoli from Miso Master, ponzu, zest, Fair Share Farm’s micro cilantro and Sea Love’s citrus salt. This, too, was paired with Noble Alchemy Farmhouse/Saison. Perhaps the scariest plate of the night. Really, it was just imposing. It was a half bone with the marrow right in there. Chef Travis had us scoop it out with a spoon. This was a bit pasty but that was just how you wanted it. Chef Travis loves charred bread and he highly recommended that you put the marrow on the bread. When you spread it and tasted it, it was kind of like butter. Earthy, umami-like which was very nice with the shiitake. I heard some people around me moaning; that’s how well it was liked. I preferred it without the bread because I don’t like hard bread. It tears up the roof of my mouth. The high malt/low hop profile of the Noble Alchemy was good with the buttery umami of the marrow. I also know that several folks took the bones home to their dogs.

Porchetta

Yellow Wolf Farms Porchetta
Kune Kune Porchetta from Yellow Wolf Farms with Moss Farms‘ Mutsu apple mostarda, Lusty Munk Mustard‘s Original Sin, Mountain Foods‘ butternut squash, golden beet from Harmony Ridge Farms, Fair Share Farms’ micro beet, seed & pancetta powder, apple cider and 3-day pork demi. This was paired with Dancing Problems English Brown from Wise Man. Absolutely my favorite dish of the night. I love porchetta. I love the top cut with the belly rolled up into a delicious bundle just waiting for me to bite into it. And, what goes better with pork but apples and mustard, right? Man, this was the pièce de résistance. The English Brown and its chocolatey maltiness also lent to this dish being so fantastic. That porchetta, though…

Beer Float

Satisfy My Soul Beer Float
Wise Man’s Satisfy My Soul Stout with salted caramel, vanilla ice cream, nuts turtle style! Scott from Wise Man said, “just stir it all up and drink it!” The salted caramel with the salty nuts and this chocolatey stout, well, that’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship. You needed a spoon and then you just chugged it, nuts and all. Rich and creamy but delicious.

Macaroon

The Humblebee German Chocolate Macaroon
The Man Who Ate the Town official sponsor, The Humblebee Shoppe, and our dear friend Brittany McGee, created a magical cookie sandwich with a ganache that makes you say “oh my gosh.” Yeah, that’s cheesy, but it’s true. I can’t tell you or describe in words how good this was. This is paired w/ Alt Acquaintance – Altbier and Satisfy My Soul Stout. Macaroons aren’t easy to make and Brittany is a macaroon maven. I loved both the altbier and the stout but the stout won the contest.

Apple Tart

Apple Tart
In probably the absolute most perfect beer pairing of the night, in my opinion, this apple tart, made with custard, spiced crumb, a variety of apples from Moss Farms and cheddar cheese-laced crust, was paired with the Mountain Calling – West Coast IPA. I know I talk that I don’t really care for IPAs but, wow. In this case, however, the spices and the cheddar cheese were made to marry the flavors in this IPA. I was darn-near stuffed when I had this put in front of me. I am not a fan of apples, either, but the flavors in this dessert popped and popped hard. The porchetta was my favorite dish but this was my favorite pairing. 

The Beer
Wise Man, since arriving on the scene just over a year ago, has taken this town by storm with their flavors and their mastery of the brew. Sam Victory, the head brewer, is the Wizard of Hops if you ask me.

Mountain Calling West Coast IPA – Dry-hopped with a pound and a half per barrel of Citra, this clean and crisp IPA resonates with strong citrus and floral qualities. It’s hoppy but it’s not offensive to the tongue. It’s pretty easy to drink, especially with its pairings (and extra especially with the apple tart). 

Dance In the Sun Kölsch – The Kolsch is a delicate and elegant, crisp and quaffable brew originating in the city of Cologne. A tantalizing touch of sweet apple on the front leads into a light base of German pilsner malt, with Noble Saaz overtones. I love when I can taste “hay” in the beer. That crispness, especially with the apple notes, that’s just splendid and I preferred it with its pairings over the IPA.

Alt Acquaintance Altbier – A rich and clean malt profile is balanced with wonderful German hop character. Toast, nuttiness, and a hint of cherry mark the palate, while a smooth finish concludes this cup of kindness. The nuttiness and hints of cherry were fantastic and, again, paired perfectly with that crispy duck!

Noble Alchemy Saison / Farmhouse Ale – Dry-hopping adds a blast of orange to a rustic base of fruit, herbs, and spice. The beer transcends its roots, awash with gold and nutmeg spice, and presents a mid-palate pop of bubblegum ester, banana, and a dozen other impressions. Low impact but formidable in flavor, nonetheless. Sam and pals did a good job with this one.

Dancing Problems English Brown Ale – Get on the good foot with this Northern English brown ale. Rich mocha and brown sugar slide in with each sip, while almonds and spice linger to dance on your tongue. Put that with the porchetta and you have a dream in your mouth and in your belly!

Satisfy My Soul Stout – A less-attenuative English ale yeast allows the beer to keep a hint of residual sweetness that expresses bready, chocolatey, and lightly roasted notes from the complex malt bill. I think it was like a roasted marshmallow and was perfect with the ice cream float.

Of course, the food offerings were special but you can find culinary delights at Willows Bistro in form of daily specials or even on their everyday menu. You can find them at 300 S Liberty Street.

Wise Man produces beer year-round and their taproom is open 7 days a week.

I highly recommend you try both of them because it will certainly be worth your time.

Thank you to Chef Travis, Chef Brent, Chef Terrell, the rest of the kitchen staff, Lele, Erica, Jamie and, of course, Ryan for all you always do at Willows and thank you Scott for bring the beer to us and making us happy!

Seats Still Available for 1703 Restaurant’s Second Sunday Dinner

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©Jackie Biggs

This Sunday, September 11, Chef Curtis Hackaday, of 1703 Restaurant, creates another scrumptious “2nd Sunday Supper: Beer vs. Wine Dinner.”  I reported on the occasion last month and this month is going to be a treat for anyone who attends. I highly recommend attending and tasting, for yourself, the awesome creations that Chef Curtis prepares.

This time around the theme is a luau. Chef Curtis has a brand new toy, a Caja China style box cooker and he’s going to be roasting a 40 lb. pig, whole. The first two courses will be served “cocktail” style where there will be stations set up for you to get your food and try it with the libations. The third and fourth courses will be “sit down” and served at your table.

The beer in the contest will be from Port City Brewing out of Alexandria, VA. The various wines will be demonstrated by Mutual Distributing Company‘s Jackie Biggs, who really knows her wines. She’s picked some good ones.

I’m giving you a glimpse of what fun you may be getting yourself into, as far as libations go, here:

First Course:
Reichsrat von Buhl Riesling Sekt Brut vs. Port City Optimal Wit Belgium Style White Ale

Second Course:
Planeta Rose vs. Port City Downright Bohemian Style Pilsner

Third Course:
Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir vs. Port City Oktoberfest Marzen Style Lager

Fourth Course:
Robert Mondavi Moscato D’Oro vs. Port City Robust Porter

That should whet your appetite and palate. There are still seats available and if you’re ready for a culinary experience that you’ll never forget, then you should contact 1703 Restaurant at (336)725-5767 and reserve yours, today!

1703 Restaurant is located at 1703 Robinhood Rd in Winston-Salem. The “beer vs. wine” dinner starts at 6:30. You won’t be disappointed.

Bon appetit!!!

Beer vs. Wine: the Debate Continues at 1703 Restaurant

On Sunday, August 14, Stephanie and I had the opportunity to sit at the blogger’s table for Chef Curtis Hackaday’s Beer vs wine dinner at 1703 Restaurant in Winston-Salem. Chef Curtis is a superb chef that creates not only delicious dishes, he creates edible works of art. I know that can get thrown around easily but it’s really true here. When the blog post comes out, you can see the pictures. It’s lovely stuff.

The purpose of this dinner, outside of having delightful food, was to answer an age old question: beer or wine? Is it beer that goes with dinner better or is it wine? We’re about to find out. There were several clusters of people in the 2016-08-23 15.20.26restaurant and since it was a small crowd, they separated us to get “groups” opinions. We would vote after each meal and see who came out on top.

Ms. Jackie Biggs of Mutual Distribution Company was our wine sommelier and Mr. Andrew Turner was our beer sommelier (yes, that’s a thing). He is a scientist and co-owner (according to his Facebook page) of Mystery Brewing which was who provided all the beer for this evening.

First Course: Grilled Avocado, Curtido Crab Shrimp Salad, Arugula and Radish Sprouts.

I didn’t know you could grill an avocado. My question to Chef Curtis, the next time I see him, is going to be how the heck did he peel them to grill them? Never mind that he grilled it and it stayed together, I can’t ever peel it without crushing it. Then again, I’m no chef. The avocado was still very tender to have been peeled and grilled, but it was definitely firm. Surprisingly, too, the crab shrimp salad was warm and not cold as everyone at the table expected it to be.  It was quite flavorful, too and the crunchy, peppery arugula was an excellent first layer topping for the salad but then add the bright stalks of the radish sprouts on top? Man… that was some great stuff. The sprouts made it pop. One of my favorite adjectives with food construction, pop. It did here.

The beer was Mystery Brewing’s Gentlemen’s Preference Belgium Blonde and the wine was Hall Sauvignon Blanc. I thought the beer went better with the overall dish. The wine brought bright things out in the food, but I was more 2016-08-23 15.21.48about the depth that the beer brought. I voted for the beer. I was the only one at the table who did so. Wine won that round, en masse.

Second course: Gigante Bean Cassoulet, Tiny Veggies, Chanterelle Focaccia & Shiso Microgreens.

To take from Wikipedia: “Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked casserole originating in the south of France, containing meat, pork skin and white beans. The dish is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the cassole, a deep, round, earthenware pot with slanting sides.” This was good, it had some giant beans (hence the Gigante) and itty-bitty carrots and onions in there. Two things of note here is that Stephanie has an aversion to beans and she ate nearly the whole thing and I have an aversion to onions and I ate all of the wee ones in my dish. The focaccia biscuit was very nice and helped sop up the extra cassoulet juices. And my new favorite word in food: microgreens. A bright accent on top of the hearty bean dish was an added, textural bonus. It made the dish.

The beer was Mystery’s Evangeline Rye Saison and the wine was the Susana Balboa Signature Malbec from Argentina. I believe that Stephanie and I have decided that Malbecs are our new favorite red. We like “jammy” and that’s what you get with Malbec. It’s not necessarily sweet, but it’s not dry either. Just good. This particular one was very good for that. We purchased a bottle to bring home. The Evangeline Rye saison was high in ABV (8.1% – which I love) and deep amber in color but easy to drink. I thought the wine and beer were neck and neck on what went better 2016-08-23 15.23.00with the dish. When a tie happens, it’s always beer for me. Again, I was out voted. Wine won the dish.

Third Course: Porchetta, Watermelon, Shaved Fennel, Baby Vegetable Tops, Peach Mustard Hot Sauce, Pickled Ramps, Okra Straws, Micro Basil and Peaches.

Whew, there was a lot going on in this dish. First off, porchetta is a big, fat piece of pork roast. And what a wonderful thing that is, too! The watermelon cubes, baby veggies, peaches, shaved fennel, all culminated in a bombastic finish, especially when you drag it through the peach mustard hot sauce schmear. I am not a fan of okra, but I liked the okra straws. The pickled ramps were good, too. I usually steer clear of those but not tonight. The pork center was very tender and the belly was chewy and delicious. The skin was very crunchy! We all remarked about how loud we each were chewing; it was that loud. Overall, it was my first time having porchetta, I think, and it was by far my favorite course of the evening. Then again, I’m a meat eater and this dish once had a mother.

Mystery’s beer was Lockwood’s Retreat West Coast IPA and the wine was Zaccagnini Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo’s Rose di Montepulciano from Italy. Now, I have mentioned many times that I’m over IPAs and I’m hopped out. This wasn’t that kind of IPA. Sure, there was some hoppiness to it and it was definitely noticeable but it certainly did not attack my tongue. It was a smooth drink and I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the rose and thought the light fruit of it went perfectly with the pork and the watermelon and peaches. So, believe it or not, I went with the wine for the dinner. Again, surprisingly, I was outvoted. Most everyone at the table went beer, even Stephanie. Beer won that dish.

Dessert Course: Matcha Beer Pound Cake, Carrot Ganache, Macerated Cherries, Chocolate Crumble, Peach Honey Sorbet and Lacy Pistachio.

To me, and I believe to everyone at the table this was two completely different desserts. The green tea and beer cake with the cherries on top on one side and the chocolate crumble, peach-honey sorbet and lacy pistachio on the other; both on top of a schmear of carrot ganache. The cake was very moist and the green tea mixed wonderfully with the cherries and those both went quite well with the beer that I’ll mention in a bit. The chocolate crumble was rich 2016-08-23 15.24.05but not too much so. And, the deliciously sweet sorbet with a lacy pistachio “cookie” dipped in it was a mix of warm and cold; deep and tart all at the same time. I thought it paired best with the wine that I’ll mention. I liked the carrot ganache but I think it would have been okay if it wasn’t there. Not bad mouthing it, just didn’t think it was absolutely necessary for the dish to work. Or should I say ‘dishes?’

The beer was Mystery’s Papa Bois Foreign Export Stout and the wine was Gerard Bertrand Banyuls from France. The blackberry and woody taste of the wine made it a great choice for me when it came to the chocolate crumble and sorbet part. And, the deep rich coffee-esque flavor of the stout made the green tea and beer stand out in the Matcha cake and cherries. Because it was, as I said, considered two different desserts on one plate and I thought that the beverage choices were each right for one of the components, I split my vote to a tie.  That happened with several of the diners, but overall for that course, beer won out. That made the overall consensus; 2 courses for wine and 2 courses for beer.

We bought the Banyuls and the Malbec as well as Mystery’s Gentlemen’s Preference Belgium Blonde and the Papa Bois Stout. I think all were fantastic but those were our favorites.

Chef Curtis, I tip my hat to you, brother, you did a fantastic and amazing job with the courses. Your food artistry is amazing. I appreciate you having us there and we will be returning to dine with you more often. It’s added to the ‘rotation,’ if you will.

1703 Restaurant owner, Molly Curran, said that they were going to have these kinds of dinners every second Sunday of the month. If you’re interested in participating in a future pairing or just having some of Chef Curtis’ wares, you can find more on their website. They’re located at 1703 Robinhood Rd in Winston-Salem. I highly recommend you do check them out.

Kudos Chef Curtis and Molly!

Bon appetit!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode #6

In episode #6:

Food and restaurant news including accolades for a local food staple.2016-08-23 15.21.48

Food holidays and history for the week of August 22-28.

I also review our great experience at 1703 Restaurant and their “beer vs. wine” dinner from Chef Curtis Hackaday. There will be a blog post about that on Thursday.

Don’t forget my sponsor, Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

Give it a listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and TuneIn. Or you can listen here (at the bottom of the page).

Bon appetit!