Bacon and lobster meat chopped up and rolled in wonton wrappers, served with a sweet chile dipping sauce. Nice and crispy and fun to eat with your hands. This was probably the most restrained use of bacon over the entire meal, and it was just enough to get everyone excited for what was coming up.
Beer pairing: a light and refreshing Sünner Kölsch from Cologne, Germany.
Beer and Bacon Bread
Keeping with the theme, one of the freshly baked breads included beer and one included bacon. The darker bread is not whole wheat—the white flour dough was actually mixed with a dark beer reduction to add color and flavor. Nice and chewy with a great crumb, I preferred it over the dinner rolls with chunks of bacon. Both were tasty with soft dollops of honey butter.
Seared scallop, grilled asparagus, pancetta
...all resting on a sweet corn sauce. Fresh corn kernels were mashed and strained and the resulting juice was slowly reduced until the natural starches thickened it up. This was a major highlight of the evening and something I'm dying to try at home. Perfectly cooked scallop and pancetta just crispy enough on the outside with a chewy center.
Beer pairing: Harpoon Summer Ale from Boston, another crisp and light beer.
Pork Belly with Asian Slaw
This pork belly, slow braised for hours before it was seared and sliced, was served over a bed of Asian-style cabbage and carrot slaw. The meat was tender and the pork fat was succulent.
Beer pairing: It was tremendously improved with sips of the Victory Golden Monkey, a hoppy, bitter beer from Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
My favorite dish of the dinner. The chef took cuts of breast and leg meat, mixed in a little cracked peppercorn, wrapped it in bacon, and then compressed it into a tight roll. It was then roasted until crispy on the outside, allowed to cool, and sliced into rounds. They served it over a bed of creamy butternut squash risotto and plated two sauces: a cherry port reduction and chive oil. On top of the sour cherries they put a tiny curl of crispy fried pork skin. The duck was wonderful and the bacon and peppercorns made it taste like a cured duck sausage.
Beer pairing: Ommegang Three Philosophers from Cooperstown, New York, a dark and strong Belgian-style Quadrupel.
Maple Ice Cream with Roasted Peaches and Bacon
Yes those are bacon roses on the side. The bacon was topped with a little brown sugar and salt, and while tasty, I had reached my bacon limit for the evening and focused more on the other elements.
Beer pairing: Lindemans Pêche Lambic from St Pieters Leeuw-Vlezenbeek, Belgium. A nice dessert beer.