This dinner is the brainchild of Monk's Kettle beer savants Sayre Piotrkowski and Ryan Corbett. They were dining one night at The Fly Trap, and simply ordered every beer on the list to test out various pairings, as is a beer geek's wont. "I was fascinated with the fessenjoon sauce," Piotrkowski said of the classic Persian sauce made from pomegranates and walnuts. "Once we tasted this, I knew I wanted to try a Black IPA."
Therein lies the foundation for the five-course tasting meal, with each course squaring off against a beer chosen by Piotrkowski and Corbett, as well as a wine selected by the Fly Trap's wine director and general manager, Mario Nocifera. He's pondering adding a score sheet to the back of the menu so diners can vote for the beverage that fares best. "These are flavors, spices, and ingredients that have basically no history of being paired with beer," says Piotrkowski. "We could really start at square one and figure it out for ourselves."While the cuisine is traditional tweaked with accents by chef Hoss Zare, the pairings generally are not, save for the first course: Dungeness crab salad on a bed of sumac couscous, for which Nocifera is pumped about his selection of Yarden Brut from Galilee. In the beer corner, not having access to a town of Jesus's birth, will be Victory Prima Pils from Downington, Penn., home of The Blob.
Other than Hitachino XH (a pale ale aged in sake casks) from Japan, the other four beers are American craft ales with a globetrotting spirit. The dry pilsner is German style, fruity Goose Island's Pere Jacques from Chicago is Belgian style, and the Dogfish Head Midas Touch from Delaware is said to be a historically accurate re-creation of a sweet, rich beverage found in King Midas's Turkish tomb (fitting, since the faloodeh it's paired with is one of the oldest desserts known). As for the bitter and roasty Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA that triggered this whole thing? Well that's distinctly American.
Below is the full menu with beer and wine pairings:
• First course: Sumac couscous salad with Dungeness crab: Victory Prima pilsner and Yarden Brut
• Second course: Caspian seafood stew with mussels, cod, sturgeon, and black garlic aioli: Hitachino XH and Domaine Leccia (Rolle, Corsica).
• Third course: Chicken wings "fessenjoon": Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous and Primaterra, Primitivo (Puglia, Italy).
• Fourth course: Persian chili "ghormeh sabzi" with spicy lamb sausage: Goose Island Pere Jacques and Ferreirinha Vinha Grande (Douro, Portugal).
• Fifth course: "Faloodeh" lime sorbet with rice noodles and pistachios: Dogfish Head Midas Touch
Event details (seating is limited):
Persian Pub Grub
When: Thurs.-Sat., June 3-5
Where: Zare at Fly Trap, 606 Folsom (at Second St.)
Cost: $75; includes beer and wine pairings