On Thursday October 6th, I set sail toward good eats and of course delicious cider. Every once in a while in the lovely summer months in Minnesota, Biella of Excelsior hosts a dinner cruise on Lake Minnetonka. I was lucky enough to get on board when they paired with Crispin Cider for a five course feast with some great people and plenty to drink.
First Course: Butternut Squash Bisque paired with Crispin Honey Crisp Cider
I happen to love butternut squash soup and have tried many different styles, it's safe to say I'm a bit of a critic when it comes to my favorites. This soup was very good, they toned down the sweetness of the squash and played up some of the more savory flavors, it was quite a successful balancing act. Having the soup paired with the Honey Crisp was spot on, the cider itself is not overly sweet and assisted in bringing out the natural sugars in the squash with its smooth honey finish.
Second Course: Beet & Goat Cheese Bulls Blood Salad paired with Fox Barrel Blackberry Pear Cider
A very lovely and simple salad brought a bit of light refreshment after a richer first course. Paired with the Blackberry Pear Cider; the tartness of the blackberry, accompanied by the sweetness of the pear, worked well at celebrating the beets natural bitterness.
Third Course: Fume Poached Mongchong, "Lemon Snapper," with Fox Barrel Pacific Pear Buerre Blanc. Paired with Fox Barrel Pacific Pear Cider
How Biella's chefs managed to hot hold fish and have it turn out is beyond me, but they did it quite successfully. The Mongchong is a bit of a denser fish, paired with this slightly sweet and creamy sauce, it was delish. Having the nice, light, and beautifully aromatic Pear Cider to drink with the dish really set it off.
Fourth Course: Blood Orange Sorbet, Palate Cleanser
The perfect breaking point in the meal to refresh and get ready for the next course, lamb! I think I even took a couple sips of my water with this course :)
Fifth Course: Lamb Ribeye, Potato Puree with a Cranberry Molasses Demi Glaze, paired with Crispin Lansdowne Cider
This was a great dish, fantastic flavor from the demi glaze and so so so well paired with the Lansdowne. This is a big cider, one of the only that I feel is best drank with food. The Lansdowne is made with an Irish stout ale yeast, the resulting flavor is big and meaty. It was to my great delight that this cider would be poured for me alongside a hearty plate of rich and flavorful lamb. Yum!
Dessert: Pumpkin Charlotte, paired with Crispin The Saint Cider
Nothing better than a bit of sweet to end a meal, and my favorite Artisanal Cider too! I loved the crispy little cookie on top with the soft custard of the Charlotte.
Overall, we had a great time! Dinner was very satisfying and our hosts Biella and Crispin Cider were wonderful. I can't wait until Crispin Cider hosts another Cider Dinner, I'll have to keep myself posted by checking their Facebook page and events page on their website.
Check back for my upcoming Halloween post, we'll be making spooky jello shots! Then after the first week of November, I'll give you a preview and recipe breakdown of my Thanksgiving plans!