A few weeks ago, we were invited to a pairing dinner featuring Onyx Moonshine cocktails and several courses created by Sean Martin, the executive chef at The Hidden Still Restaurant and Moonshine Bar in Ellington, CT. And was that ever an amazing meal. First off, we fell in love with The Hidden Still on our first visit, and have been craving their Grilled Mac & Cheese and their Chicken & Waffles ever since (not that we haven't gone back for them, and for many other things, which we certainly have). And secondly, any reader of this blog knows of our affinity for the award-winning Onyx Moonshine. If not, you can read about it here, here, here, here or here.
And you can read about it again, here, today, below, as this pairing dinner was freakin' awesome, and when they have another one (which they MUST), you must get a ticket and go. Seriously. And we'll be sitting at a table near you. Bring your appetite!!!
First Course: Crab cake with arugula salad and house made cranberry Onyx infused aioli. Paired with Onyx on the rocks (the best way to have it!).
Verdict: A luscious lump crab cake with Onyx and rehydrated dried cranberries in it, nicely paired with lightly salted arugula. The drink pairing for the purists in the crowd was just perfect.
Second Course: Sweet Tea and Onyx Apple Honey infused smoked tofu, fried in a tempura batter, with thai chili sauce, chow mein noodles, and cucumber, in a butter lettuce wrap. Paired with Onyx Pineapple Lime Punch - Onyx infused with blueberry and raspberry, mixed with pineapple juice, lime juice and maraschino cherry juice.
Verdict: Amy was nervous about this one (not really a tofu fan) but we both absolutely loved it. The mix of smokiness with the sweet tea and honey with the spicy chili sauce with the cool cucumber and crunchy noodles, all balanced with the sweet and refreshing punch? Plus the tofu was pillowy soft inside and perfectly fried. Oh yeah.
Third Course: Hot Cabbage salad with apples and pears, drizzled with an Onyx Apple & Honey vinaigrette. Paired with Spiced Apple Pie (The Still's house apple pie moonshine drink with a touch of cayenne).
Verdict: A nice wilted cabbage salad with hints of tarragon and a bit of sweetness with the fruits and vinaigrette once again balance so very well with a sweet-n-spicy drink.
Fourth Course: Onyx bourbon braised Pork Belly, served on a bed of arborio rice with rainbow chard, smoked red peppers, and okra. Paired with Blueberry Sweet Tea with Blueberry Onyx (soon to hit The Still's summer cocktail menu!)
Verdict: The hit of the night, this "poor man's filet mignon" was infused with cherry-wood smoked Onyx before being expertly braised and served with all the right Southern-style sides. Having a sweet tea cocktail with it? Genius.
Fifth Course: Strawberry Quick Soup - chilled Cape Cod Cranberry Onyx, blended with Vermont Ice Apple Cream, with Farmers Cow Vanilla Ice Cream, garnished with fresh strawberries and mint. A dessert and drink in one, so no pairing needed.
Verdict: Not sure how they did it, but this stuff tasted just like "Strawberry Quik." Sheldon Cooper would love it and so did we.
THANK YOU, MAX, SEAN, ADAM and PETE!!!