Earlier today The Chowfather posted Tiers of Excellence, a list of Miami restaurant rankings; according to none other than The Chowfather. db Bistro Moderne made the list and the explanation The Chowfather gave for db making the list is: “One word-Boulud”.
It’s very easy to be a fan of the top tier restaurants, they do a lot of things right, consistently. And I have to agree with The Chowfather about db Bistro Moderne, that one word definitely does say it all. I am a huge fan of Cafe Boulud in Palm Beach, specifically the brunch. I’ve been to db Bistro Moderne prior to the beer dinner as I’ve written about them in my book Food Lovers’ Guide to Miami and Fort Lauderdale and yes I’m a fan of this sexy city bistro so when the opportunity came up to attend the Cigar City Brewing Dinner last week during American Craft Beer week I was all over it.
db bistro is familiar and comfortable with wine dinners, pairings and tastings but hosting a beer dinner took the team out of their comfort zone so much so Executive Chef Jarrod Verbiak, Pastry Chef Jerome Maure and Sommelier Christopher Lindemann painstakingly planned, worked and prepped to make this inaugural db beer dinner one guests would not soon forget.
As dreadful as sometimes it is to go outside the proverbial box I believe the db team thrived on this new project and actually had fun doing it….and I will say they exceeded all expectations. Of course they did, their foundation is that one word: Boulud.
The dinner was nine courses, rich in flavor, presentation and impeccable service. Verbiak and Lindemann did not hold back on showcasing their talents which WOW’d the group of 40 food and drink enthusiasts. You read and hear over and over by successful chefs, don’t over think it, don’t over do it, simplicity is best. Verbiak did just that with his starter course of simple yet flavorful “flatbreads” Boulud is calling them “Tartes”, either way, potato/po-tato; the Tarte Flambe (Fromage blanc, thyme, bacon and onion) and the Tarte Pissanladiere (A Provencal onion tart with nicoise olives and white anchovies) were spot on. These two palate starters were served with the Ligero, Black Lager; this hunky beer was deep, dark, and brawny you just wanted it to wrap its arms around you and not let go; notes of chocolate, caramel, coffee, and dark cherries woo’d you to the point of swooning. The deep flavor power of the Ligero carried the salty-savory “Tartes” all the way home.
The Tocobaga, Red Ale was up next paired with seafood. An ideal pairing across the board. I liked the Red Ale, it’s a drinking beer, easy and palatable with a luscious nose of citrus and pine with caramel and toffee on the palate. This medium bodied Ale has a lot going on in the glass with it’s flavor profile range so it’s no surprise the three seafood appetizers paired with this Ale was kept moderately subdued with regard to flavor. It was with this course that Verbiak and team played it straightforward by pairing the Ale with a Maine Sea Scallop Ceviche (avocado, lime, roasted corn and smoked tomato) an Oyster Gratinee (Blue Point with a fennel pollen sabayon) and Daniel Boulud’s Smoked Salmon with celery remoulade, capers and rosti potatoes.
Courses six, seven and eight were the heavy hitters all paired with Bone Valley Hopped Brown Ale. This Ale showed all the masculine brawn of caramel, malt, hops, chocolate and nut; an ideal pairing for the carnivore-delight course. The first taste was the Brochettes a la Plancha (skewered beef tenderloin, lamb and chicken with arugula chimichurri and black olive). Second was the Bavarian Weisswurst (with housemade sauerkraut, slow roasted red onions and spicy brown mustard) and the Pièce de résistance, the Original db Burger, Sirloin burger filled with shortribs, foie gras and black truffle served with Pommes Frites. This is probably the smoothest most elegant burger you’ll ever have.
For dessert Jerome Maure closed out the evening with a “Dessert Symphony” that was music to any food lovers palate. Maure played this course very well catering to all flavors and all guests with a Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Napoleon, a Peche Melba Vacherin and a Strawberry Tart. Whatever sweet one seemed to crave after the first eight courses it was undoubtedly found here on the personal tabletop gueridon. The desserts were paired with the Dos Costas Lemon-Wood Aged Ale. For those wondering if there is a dessert beer out there, I’m here to tell you yes and it’s the Dos Costas, no question this Ale is the equivalent to a dessert wine, think digestif. The sweetness may surprise you at first but undoubtedly pairs well with a dessert course.
I have it on good authority that there will be more of these “out of the box” dinners and pairings this summer at db Bistro Moderne so if you missed this one, there’ll be plenty more to indulge in.
db Bistro Moderne Miami at the JW Marriott Marquis 255 Biscayne Boulevard Way Miami, FL 33131 (305) 421-8800