Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Recap of Gracie’s Place Beer Dinner Featuring Short’s Brewing Company

Written by  Tammie Wahl
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Recap of Gracie’s Place Beer Dinner Featuring Short’s Brewing Company

Last week we attended a beer dinner at Gracie’s Place in Williamston, Mi. This event featured a 5 course meal, each course being paired with a different Short’s beer. Gracie’s Place is a beautiful restaurant in the heart of Williamston’s historic downtown. It has a warm, inviting, and upscale feel as soon as you walk through the door. The walls are decorated with eclectic artwork which looks like it is from local artists. This art just ads to the fantastic atmosphere.
Even though we were there for the dinner with a pre-planned menu, we couldn't help but check out the other patrons' meals. They all looked amazing which makes me want to go back for dinner another day. We took our seat at the smallest of the 3 tables, and the manager stood up, greeted the group, and encouraged us to get to know our neighbors. He then introduced Sean, the Short’s rep that had traveled down to explain the different beers to us as they were served with each course.

Course #1

Course Number 1 Raspberry Red Pepper Taffy

The first course was raspberry red pepper taffy served with fresh raspberries and a goat cheese pudding. This course was paired with Shorts’ ControversiALE which is an American Pale Ale. The sweetness of the taffy paired well with the bitterness of the hops in the Pale Ale.

Course #2

Course Number 2 Lelenau Raclette Artichoke Confit

The second course was a Lelenau raclette, artichoke confit, and flowers topped with a lemon vinagrette with fennel pollen. This was paired with Short's best selling beer, Huma Lupa Licious. The strong hop flavor was brought out by the foliage in this course.

Course #3

Course Number 3 Asparagus Red Ale Soup with Asparagus Tips

The third course was asparagus red ale soup with asparagus tips, a butter soaked egg, and coconut shrimp. This was paired with the Aorta Ale which is a double red ale. Neither Paul nor I had ever had the Aorta Ale before. We both really loved the it and are sad to learn that it was a special release and not a beer that was going to enter the regular rotation any time soon. This sweetness of the beer was complemented by the sweetness of the soup and coconut shrimp.

Course #4

Course Number 4 Veal Served with Gnocchi

The fourth course was Veal served with Gnocchi paired with the Woodmaster. The sauce was very complementary to the veal and gnocchi as well as the beer. The Woodmaster is a hearty winter beer, and it just makes sense to pair it with the main course which was the heartiest of the courses.

Course #5

Course Number 5 Homemade Doughnut and a Chocolate Cup Filled with Chocolate Mousse

The fifth course was by far my favorite. It featured a homemade doughnut and a chocolate cup filled with chocolate mousse. This yummy course was paired with the Cuppa Joe Chocolate Coffee Stout. They really nailed this course. All around us, people were raving about how great it was.

There were a few things that really stood out about the entire experience. The first one was the service. The wait staff was absolutely phenomenal! They were quick about clearing away your plates and glasses when you were finished,and they also made sure to bring you additional silverware if you accidently sent your fork away with one of the empty plates. The other thing that stood out to me was the plating of the courses. They did an absolutely beautiful job at plating each of them. The food was arranged so beautifully you almost didn’t want to mess it up by eating.

Overall, this was a wonderfully organized and executed beer dinner. I can’t wait to visit Gracie’s Place for a regular dinner to sample some more of their amazing food. I certainly won’t hesitate to attend another beer dinner in the future. I look forward to seeing what they offer next time.