After our recent questionable “summer” weather, Mother Nature reminded us last night that it is still July. The rain in the morning cleared off to a humid, but clearer afternoon and I was hopeful that we would indeed be able to utilize the patio at Ngon for the Localvore Lift Bridge dinner. Alas, the threatening skies and pre-dinner hail kept us inside but didn’t put a damper on the excellent beer and food.
Most of the Lift Bridge crew was able to attend, mingle and enjoy the great dishes Hai created. The five course menu was paired with two Lift Bridge staples: their flagship Farm Girl Saison and Biscotti, their summer seasonal: Minnesota Tan, and two cask treats: Kimono Girl and Double Hopped Crosscut. I’ll own up to the fact that I’ve been harping on Brad for more Kimono Girl since I first had it earlier this year at Firkin Fest, so that was the beer I was anticipating the most.
The first course was great, the second better and so on through to the grand finale dessert. If you’re interested in more details about each course and perusing my less than professional photos, keep scrolling down. If not, just know that the next time Ngon and Lift Bridge team up you really should be there. Or, stop by Ngon just about anytime as they’ve been great supporters of Lift Bridge and generally have one of their beers available.
1st Course: House cured Wild Acres duck prosciutto with swiss chard, snap pea and Minnesota Tan Vinaigrette paired with Farm Girl Saison.
2nd Course: Fischer Farms bacon & daikon cake, sliced radish & anise cured salmon with cilantro sauce paired with Minnesota Tan. Although this course provided two of Mag's arch enemies in the food world, cilantro and anise, even he agreed that it was good eatin'.
3rd Course: Wild rice crusted Star Prairie Trout with grilled asparagus and rhubarb mango chutney paired with cask Kimono Girl. I've never had rhubarb prepared this al dente but combined with the sweetness of the mango, the combination worked very well. And although the trout was amazing, the grilled asparagus really made an impression. It wasn't just grilled, somehow Hai wrangled it into taking on a fully smoked flavor - mmmm.
4th Course: Thousand Hills short ribs braised in Ngon's pho spices with wasabi potatoes and five spice sauce paired with cask Double Hopped Crosscut. The meat was perfection, needing only a gentle push from the fork edge to spread out and meld with the potatoes.
5th Course: House made Lift Bridge Biscotti ice cream with currant cookie paired with Biscotti. This picture doesn't nearly do justice to this amazing ice cream! It was even better than I had remembered and I hope they'll continue to offer it from time to time.