We started off the evening with Firecracker Shrimp with Fiery Almond Pesto and Micro Cilantro. This course was paired with the ContoversiALE (formerly known as the Hangin Frank) and the Freedom of '78. I have not had a Pesto that I really loved until I tried this one. It paired perfectly with each of the beers as well. I don't care for Shrimp at all so lucky for Paul, he got to eat mine too! He also agreed with me that the Pesto was fantastic and he could not stop raving about the Shrimp after every bite he ate!
I could not wait for the second course to come out because I love a good corn chowder. It was a Smoked Corn Chowder with Smoked Pecans, Sweet Potatoes, and Roasted Red Pepper. This course was paired with the Short's flagship beer, Bellaire Brown. The Corn Chowder was awesome, and the sweet, warming quality of the chowder went great with the warming sweetness of the Bellaire Brown.
The third course was a Mediterranean-Style Bulgur Salad paired with the Anniversary Ale. This salad had Teardrop Tomato, Crumbled Goat Cheese, and Red Wine Vinegar. Paul and I weren't sure what to expect with this salad but after the first couple courses we knew that it would taste amazing. We were right! I am not a goat cheese fan but I guess it was because I had never had good goat cheese before. The salad was slightly sweet which paired wonderfully with the fruitiness of the Anniversary Ale.
The Main Course was a Slow Cooked Beer Braised Short Ribs dish served with Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes, Sesame Snow Peas, Hoisin, and Ginger. This hearty course was paired perfectly with the Publican Porter. In my opinion, this course was the best of all. The meat was falling off the bone and had an amazing, sweet flavor and the snow peas were a great vegetable to complement the dish. The food was so tasty that I almost forgot to taste the beer with it because I just wanted to keep eating! I'm glad I paused to taste the beer with the food because it just enhanced the experience.
The final course was a Peanut Butter Cup with Peanut Butter, White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Maple Syrup, and Spicy Pepper. This amazingly rich dessert was paired with the Cornholio and Captain Fantasy. We knew that the Cornholio would be a great pairing for his course but we were curious to see how the Captain Fantasy would work because it is a Saison style beer. A Saison can be sweet but also a little sour so we couldn't wait to see how well they worked together. I must say, I can barely choke down sour beers but paired with the sweetness of the dessert, I almost liked it! The sweetness of the dessert cut the sour right out of the beer which made my taste buds happy.
This is one of the best dinners we have been to. The chef did a fantastic job at making sure the pairings were spot on and the staff of The State Room did a fantastic job keeping the evening flowing and making sure everyone was taken care of. Paul and I were pleasantly surprised by our experience at The State Room and have discusses several times about when we are going to go back. We both highly recommend checking it out. Whether you are looking for a place to go for a beautiful evening or somewhere to meet up with friends for a couple drinks, The State Room is the place to go.