Sunday, March 3, 2013

Wild Game and Beer Dinner

Earlier in the week I went to the C.H. Evans Albany Pump Station's 
Wild Game and Beer Dinner.
Luckily for me it was the day before my birthday,
so I decided to plan the festivities around this lovely dinner
by inviting my darling twin and her boyfriend up to join Matt and I.

The beer dinner provided generous amounts of food and was served family style. 
 The feast included:
-A welcome reception full of snacks
(set up to keep everyone occupied until the other guests arrived)
-Three 'main' courses
- A dessert course
-And five of the Pump Station's most popular beers
 (obviously to keep us fully hydrated throughout the evening, duh!)
The dinner was reasonably priced at $70 per person
(with tax and gratuity included). 

The welcome reception started as each person  was handed a Vienna Lager by the assistant brewer, Sam.  Out of all the snacks, I went  straight for the smoked wild boar baby back ribs.  I've never had wild boar ribs before and they very interesting... in a good way, of course! The meat was tender with a unique flavor  that complemented the sauce perfectly. There were two platters overflowing with fruits, cheese, duck galantine with pistachios and truffles, a game pâté, and a variety of crackers to pair with it all.  I enjoyed both very much; duck galantine and game pâté aren't something you snack on on a regular basis, so I made sure I had my fair share before we sat down for dinner.  There was also some out-of-this-world game sausage with a side of  coarse grain spicy mustard.  It was SO good!  Everyone mingled, chatted, and nibbled on the goodies until it was time to sit at your table and prepare for the dinner ahead! Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to snap any photos of the food at the welcome reception because  my hands were too full with so many goodies...  Hopefully next time they'll have some extra tables out!

While we waited for the first course to arrive at our table Cait and I decided to snap some photos. 

Caitlyn and I

Cait and Nolan


Please excuse the poor quality of some of these photos, as the boys were not approving of our camera flash. 
The first course began with an amazing salad,  which was hands down my favorite part of the entire meal. It had blackened venison medallions, huge chunks of meaty, wild mushrooms (not sure what kind), pine nuts, parmesan cheese, tomoatos, and was topped with a yummy walnut vinaigrette.

Along with the salad was the breast of pheasant francaise, topped with duck prosciutto, and smothered with sauce. 

This dish was definitely my second favorite of the evening. The crispy bits of duck prosciutto  was a fantastic addition to the dish.   There was a chipolte bison and wild rice dish  that came out with the first two dishes, but I decided to skip it since I was already heading in the direction of a serious food coma.
The Capitol Light was the beer of choice for the second course which was accompanied by the Rabbit Cacciatore with roasted mushroom and fresh tomatoes.

The flavor of this dish was nice, however I've personally never been a fan of cacciatore because of the texture.
Next up, pasta carbonara with pancetta picante, asparagus and roasted red peppers!

I loved this dish and thought the sweetness of the peppers were a nice complement to the richness of the sauce. (Please excuse the messy presentation of this plate... another blogger at our table clearly didn't get my memo of not touching a dish before a photo is taken...whoops!)
The third course beer was the Cherry Dubbel, which was served with a rack of wild boar with a sun dried cherry demi-glace , tri-colored roasted fingerling potatoes, and a warm root vegetable salad.

Last up, the Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (which is the Poor Soldier Porter aged in
the Albany Distilling Company's bourbon barrels). Yum!
For dessert they served a chocolate dipped goat milk profiterole with a strawberry shortcake ice cream and wild berries.

The dessert was very yummy (I was a HUGE fan of the ice cream) which made a nice ending to the dinner.

Overall, I had a wonderful time. The food was amazingly delicious (thanks to Gerry & Christi),  the service was fantastic (thanks to Caitlin, Kevin, and Liv!),  and the company I shared it all with was fabulous!

Thanks Gerry!!
For all of you who were unable to attend this past beer dinner, don't worry!  They will be hosting another one in a few months. Don't forget to keep up with The Pump Station's daily specials by liking them on Facebook

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