Hey all you crazy dreamers out there….
So, I’m sure a few of you out there like to enjoy that wonderful social network of the Twitterverse. And if you haven’t, you’re missing out on a lot (namely: following me!!) But honestly, Twitter’s given me the chance to go from just an onlooker of food, beer, and wine events in the NC Research Triangle to an active participant. And one of my big goals with this year, as well as this blog, was to become even more active in the awesome world of food and beer in this blossoming culture.
To sum it all up in layman’s terms: I wanna be more of a mover/shaker and less of a parasite sucking off the teet of the shakers and movers out there.
One of my favorite recurring events that goes on is called the #trifoodietweetup. In the past, they’ve been hosted by such fantastic Triangle locations such as Four Square, Six Plates, Fearrington Village, and (most recently) Jujube in Chapel Hill! Andrea Weigl and Johanna Kramer know how to get great venues, and set up some classy evenings. Tonight’s theme: Asian Tapas and Artisan Rum Cocktails. I believed, when I was going, it’d be more like a small sampling of cocktails and tapas all included in the cost (a bit more than $11) but when we showed up, the menu listed the food as included and the drinks were separate. Also, nothing felt all that Asian (except some spring rolls they served later in the night, but that weren’t on the menu).
I couldn’t resist one of the drinks, listed, a Traditional Daquiri with white rum, luxardo maraschino, lime, and cane syrup for $8. I have to agree, this was a delicious cocktail, and I was pretty happy to pay for it, I think it was worth it.
I also saw there was a Dogfish Festina Pesche that I knew would be my last drink of the night. But anyway, onto the foods.
The pink salad on the right was a Watermelon Cucumber salad with piqant mint dressing and Johnston County country ham. This. Was. Brilliant. Seriously, I was so surprised by how well the watermelon paired with the ham. It was almost as if it drew out the natural flavor and maybe some sort of spice in the fruit. The cucumber was nice and crunchy (which actually was a wicked bummer with this tooth infection, but would’ve been enjoyed otherwise). The salad on the left was an Octopus-arugula salad with orange and sorrel. The octopus… was not worth writing home, in my opinion. Loved the orange and arugula mix though, good little wilted quality.
Up next was a fried lobster-shrimp won ton with lemon, miso butter. The first batch of these were great. Alas, when I got another one a little later, it was more won ton and less filling, and was just too much crunch for my liking, like the flavor was fried right out of it. The blend of lobster-shrimp inside was fantastic though, and left me very excited for the next offering.
This is where the party really got started. Clockwise from the upper left: Tempura fried prawn (and okra, eaten already) with a little heirloom tomato conserve; Porcini and tellegio stuffed rice fritters (the tan fried balls of awesome); Shrimp-zucchini fritters with grilled chile aioli (cute pink phone… that’s mine.) The breakdown: the tempura fried prawn was great, mostly because it was so simple. Just a prawn, covered in fried batter. hooty hoo. That being said, the fried okra was no bueno, just too dried out.
The rice fritters: ethereal! The tellegio cheese inside kept the fritters moist and delicious, and though I’m not normally a fan of mushrooms (pretty sure that’s what porcini is, right?) they just blended into the tastiness.
The shrimp-zucchini fritter might have been my very favorite, though. The chili aioli added the perfect amount of spiciness, and made me wanna guzzle down my daquiri (which I did. Classy.)
I’ll admit, I’d been waiting anxiously to try the Dogfish Head Festina Peche. From the brewer:
It is delicately hopped with a pale straw color and served as an aperitif or summertime quencher. To soften the intense sourness, Berliner Weisse is traditionally served with a dash of essence of woodruff or raspberry syrup. In our Festina Peche since the natural peach sugars are eaten by the yeast, the fruit complexity is woven into both the aroma and the taste of the beer so there is no need to doctor it with woodruff or raspberry syrup – open and enjoy!
I’ve said it before: I love summer seasonal ales, especially if they’ve got some fruit in there somewhere. And this was one of the finest I’ve tried. The peach was there and more reminiscent of a peach I had last year from the Durham Farmer’s Market, fresh and even a little earthy. Not all all like I imagined it would be (which would be like when a candy company tries to make a peach flavored treat… overly sweet and chemically). Coming from a bottle, I didn’t have a glass to check the color, but it had a nice medium amount of carbonation and was tart enough to compete with my fried frittery treats. It rounded out this evening perfectly.
Big thanks to Jujube and the fine ladies who threw this event together (even though I didn’t win a cookbook) and it just goes to show you the moral of this story:
Even if you have an aggressive gum infection on your wisdom tooth, you can utilize half of your mouth to enjoy the flip outta some fried Asian tapas and badass cocktails/brews.