Executive chef and oystermind David Bracha has teamed up with the Brignonis of Wynwood Brewing Company for a special dinner tomorrow night that will be served family style at Oak Tavern's communal table.
The dinner is a follow up to a beer dinner the restaurant and beer columnist Evan Benn hosted in October, Oaktoberfest, where beers were paired from all over the world with different courses. Now, David Bracha is doing the same but on a local scale. We talked to the chef about his favorite WBC beer and what he'll never pair with brews.
Priced at $50 per person, the dinner includes five beers, four courses, and some pass-around starters. For starters, guests can indulge in roasted oysters with bacon, cheddar, rosemary, honey and pickled fresnos; smoked ricotta toast with Oak Tavern's cured duck prosciutto and truffle honey, and salt cod croquettes with spicy aioli (a happy hour favorite) paired with WBC's famous La Rubia blonde beer.
Moving on to the wheat American pale ale calls for something a little heavier, so Bracha's cooking up an onion soup with tarentaise. Who cares that it's summer? Main course includes a caja china; pastrami-seasoned lamb leg; roasted goat with pimiento, and barbecue heritage pork shoulder served with braised island peas, gold rice, and creamed corn as sides. Because all this food calls for two rounds of drinks, WBC's Magic City pale ale and Wynwood IPA will be poured. And to end the night, a La Oscura stout will complement sea salt and pretzel crusted dark chocolate truffles.
New Times: Why did you decided to team up with Wynwood Brewing Company?
David Bracha: They are our neighbors and I think they put out a really high quality product.
How did you come up with each one of the pairings? Is it collaboration between you and WBC?
Curtis (chef de cuisine) and I did a beer tasting with the WBC guys. Then the two of us sat down and wrote the menu.
What do you look for in a beer when complementing it with food, and a dish when pairing it with beer?
It's always about a flavor profile that works with a dish without overwhelming it and vice versa -- just like with wine.
What's your favorite thing to eat when drinking beer?
Spicy or rich foods are the best. For me, I like roasted pig.
Wynwood Brewing Company beer of choice?
La Rubia. We have it on tap at the Oak!
Is there any one item or dish that absolutely does not go with beer?
Personally, I wouldn't drink beer with pasta, but there may be some Italians that disagree.
Have the Brignonis had a chance to taste the meal prior to tomorrow or will it be a surprise to them? If so, what do you hope their reaction will be?
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It will be a surprise. Of course, I hope that they are going to like what we've selected and I have a feeling they will definitely understand the thought process behind it.
Oak Tavern and Wynwood Brewing Company beer pairing dinner is taking place tomorrow, June 18, at 7 p.m. Seating is limited and costs $50 per person (excluding tax and gratuity).
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha