CW’s Chops ‘n Catch: NewCastle Beer Dinner
Jeff, Evan, and I have been quite the busy foodies lately. A few weeks before our oyster and white wine adventures at Max Fish, we hit up CW’s Chops ‘n Catch, a Corey Wry restaurant Jeff and I already loved, for their NewCastle Ale Beer Dinner. Don’t worry, fellow winos – there was a wine option for the beer-averse patrons like me! The price was right at just $40/person, and with a Corey Wry meal always guaranteed to be amazing, I pounced and made a reservation the second I found out about this dinner.
Yes, I know I’m super late recapping this. Would you expect anything less from a girl who still has some highlights of my December Florida trip to share? Someday…
Most of the beers being served at this dinner were part of the brand new seasonal line of New Castle and had never been tried in the state before. Good news for Jeff and Evan!
I was quite pleased with the fact that my name was written on our table’s place card (I made the reservation). It may or may not be hanging in my cubicle right now.
We started with passed appetizers: chimichurri beef skewers, which were served on an awesome cutting board with a map of Manchester (the restaurant’s location) carved into it! The beef was cooked very well and not too chewy.
We were also served Cabot Cheddar/New Castle Summer Soup Shooters, which were AMAZING and rich.
Jeff and Evan were absolutely in love with these, but I think I liked the beef just a little bit more.
Our first course was a salad of steamed Cherrystone clams, arugula, lemon gremalata, EVOO, and shaved red onion. Unfortunately while eating this I got a chunk of arugula stuck in my throat that would NOT go down, so that kinda ruined my experience with this course. The arugula made a disappearance by the time it was over though.
The greens were delicious, when they weren’t getting stuck in my throat, and the clams were perfect. I LOVED that crunchy bread that came on the side – Jeff was kind enough to trade pieces with me since his bread was way more toasty than mine.
I was (finally – it had been a long day ;-)) served my vino pairing, a Pinot Grigio. Evan smugly guessed from one sip (before we knew what kind of white it was) that it was a Pinot. He was pretty proud of himself.
But the boys were more partial to the beer pairing, the same New Castle Summer IPA that was used as an ingredient in the soup shooters. The New Castle rep present at the dinner explained that this IPA had a citrus bite (I tried a sip and could taste it, but it was WAY too hoppy for me) and wasn’t quite as hoppy as other IPAs (could have fooled me but I have a SUPER low hop tolerance). It was paired with the salad because of the lemon and parsley ingredients, which did actually compliment the citrus in the beer well, I’ve gotta admit!
The wine was a bit oddly spaced out during this meal. I arrived and they didn’t give us any drinks until after the salad came. Then, before the second course even came around, I was given my second glass of wine. This resulted in a double fisting situation.
I dealt with it.
The second course was served with Twisted Cabernet (a “good brand” of cheap wine that my parents know well) for wine and New Castle Brown Ale for beer.
This round of food was great! Buffalo style hot wings served with pickled cucumbers. Did somebody say pickles?!
Corey is a pickle god in my eyes – his Catsup and Mustard half-sours are excellent. These were no different.
The wings were perfect – not very spicy at all (a bit of a bummer for Jeff and Evan, who enjoy spicy food) and the bleu cheese sauce was some of the best I’ve ever had. Can you tell?
I actually really liked how the brown ale’s cool caramel undertones paired with the savory taste of the wings. I <3 contrast pairings.
In between this course and the entree, which was taking longer to prepare than the others since each person did not choose what he or she wanted until arrival, we were served CW’s signature garlic knots with garlic butter. OH WOW. This was amazing. The garlic freak in me was very, very pleased.
For the entree, all three of us passed up the Beef Tenderloin Tip Stew for the Housemade Sausage Mixed Grill with crushed Yukon potatoes, jalapeno jelly, and Cipollini onions. It’s safe to say we made the right choice. The jalapeno jelly was so, so amazing and natural tasting. The potatoes were awesome and every sausage was great, especially the chorizo. I loved how the knockwurst tasted with that mustard – I LOVE MUSTARD. Can’t have a Corey Wry dinner without catsup or mustard present right?
The beer served with the entree was New Castle’s newest, the Winter IPA, with a strong citrus taste that included notes of grapefruit. I was poured the Vina San Esteban Malbec, which was my least favorite wine of the evening. It was just very not-memorable? The sausage stood out and totally overshadowed it – not much of a pairing.
Last but not least…dessert! This one knocked my socks off: Chocolate Espresso Creme Brulee with Biscotti.
The biscotti was only OK – I definitely don’t prefer chocolate varieties – but the homemade whipped cream that topped them was to die for. I did not want the creme brulee to end. Eating the top was like eating a perfectly roasted, espresso-dusted, chocolate coated marshmallow.
I was served a sparkling wine with dessert, but the carbonation hater in me ended up sending it back for another glass of the Twisted Cab. That wine was just TOO sparkling! The boys had a beer called New Castle Werewolf Red Ale, and I really liked how it paired with the dessert. This brew had notes of berries, blood orange, and spice. I had been curious as to how beer would taste with creme brulee, and since it was the most interesting pairing, I think that’s why I liked it. It was designed to cleanse the palate and the spice notes were a nice counter to the sweet dessert. The fruity notes gave the beer a flavor that also made it well suited as a dessert course choice.
Luck was on our side that evening – each attendee got a raffle ticket with entry, and Evan won a New Castle shirt!
I smugly (and wastefully) won the biggest prize of the evening – a Krups BeerTender!
I was pretty psyched. That thing was bigger than me – I could barely hold it! I was more psyched to have won than about the actual prize…a beer device is wasted on me.
So it turned into Evan’s REALLY lucky day…take good care of the BeerTender, Evan!
We also received traditional New Castle Ale glasses with the check.
The event was wonderful and I hope that Corey does another one soon! The food and drinks were well worth the price and I had an amazing time. It was another special way to spend a Monday indeed.
The three of us have now established a tradition (OK we’ve only done it twice, but still) of taking a foodie pic after each event. Yay!
Which of the dishes I sampled would you want to try most? Would you have gone with beer or wine?