Moonstones Beer and Cheese Dinner
Last night was a fun treat- the usual Cheese Tuesday group gathered in Chelmsford for a Beer and Cheese Dinner at Moonstones.
The first course paired Anchor Steam porter from San Francisco with cauliflower and smoked capri soup. The smoked capri was from Westfield Farms in Hubbardston, Massachusetts, and was the first of many tasty local cheeses. The soup paired very well with the beer because some of the porter was used in making the soup, which was garnished with a grilled cheese crouton and local chives.
Almost as good as that ridiculously amazing soup was the crispy pork belly and Great Hill Blue mac and cheese with delicious bacon onion jam and crispy maitake mushrooms. Great Hill Blue cheese is made at Great Hill Farm in Darion, Massachusetts, and the whole dish was paired with Smuttynose IPA from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Kentucky bourbon barrel ale was up next, paired with bourbon ale braised short ribs, Maggie's Round potato gratin, truffled pea purée, and beer battered onion rings. I got lucky with this awesome dish; at this point in the evening I was getting a little full, so I was able to enjoy it again for lunch today! The short ribs were so tasty after being braised in the ale, which was my favorite beer of the evening. The potato gratin was made with Maggie's Round, a delicious cheese from Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown.
After all of those savory dishes, it was time for something a little sweet; we were treated to Lindeman's Framboise, a lambic beer from Belgium that I've enjoyed many times before. It was served with an impressive lemon Wolf Meadow ricotta tart with raspberry coulis and merengue crumble. It was pretty neat, too, that as we were eating this dish, the cheese maker, Luca Mignogna, was there to talk about his craft. He made this ricotta the day before at Wolf Meadow Farm in Amesbury.