Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Spinnakers Chefs Table Dinner
While we were visiting Spinnakers my wife and myself took time to savour the excellent dining their kitchen offers. When you dine at Spinnakers one of your options is their Chefs Table Dinner. It is a 5 course meal and each course offers the chef Ali’s suggested beer or wine pairing. The evening was great, the spacing between the plates was perfect and our server was very helpful. I’m still learning about beer and food pairing, so this evening was illuminating for me. I always thought that maybe the beer would bring out some different flavours in the food or vice versa. However it was more that they two flavours would play off each other on my palate. I chose the beer pairing and my wife chose the wine pairing. I didn’t take notes on the individual plates because I didn’t want to interfere with the mood of the evening. I did my best to take it all in as we ate. The plates were all fantastic. Nothing was excessively large or disturbingly small, but it all had perfect proportions and the timing between courses was impeccable.
First course was a Hertel bacon wrapped smoked oyster with Spinnakers Scottish Ale infused grainy mustard & a house made english flat bread cracker paired with Scottish Ale for beer or Hester Creek Cabernet/Merlot for wine.
Second course, the appetizer, was spanakopita of Saanich grown kale, Moonstruck’s organic feta, caramelized onion & Monsoon Coast’s spices wrapped in crisp phyllo pastry with roasted Sunwing Farm’s cherry tomatoes finished with Spinnakers craft brewed malt vinegar gastric paired with India Session Ale for beer and Hillside Estate Riesling for wine.
Third course was a pan seared Pacific Halibut fillet with Saanich grown new potatoes roasted in lovage served with Two River’s prosciutto wrapped Sunwing Farm’s green beans finished with Spinnakers grainy mustard infused beure blanc paired with Kolsch Style Ale for beer or Hester Creek Pinot Blanc for wine.
Fourth course; grilled BC raised heritage Angus beef strip loin with Saanich organic’s roasted red pepper polenta & butter braised kale finished with Dragonfly Farm’s cayenne pepper & West Wind Farm’s parsley chimichurri sauce. Paired with Cascadia Dark Ale for beer and Hillside Estates Syrah for wine.
Final course; Desert. 3 house made truffles; ‘aphrodisiac’ dark chocolate with lavender & peppercorns ‘hopscotch’ dark chocolate infused with Chivas & toffee, ‘just a little stout’ dark chocolate infused with stout & barley. Paired with Tsarist Stout for beer and Salt Spring Island Blackberry Port for wine.
All told it was a wonderful evening. The meal was quite handily one of the best meals I’ve had in my life. As you can see from the final picture that the wine’s started to stack up on my wife, but she was intentionally pacing herself through the night. My personal favorite was the Halibut paired with the Kolsch Style Ale. The Kolsch is such a refreshing beer and its light character played so well with the fish. Add to that the use of Scarlett Runner beans, one of my personal favorite vegetables, and this plate was tops in my opinion. Another cool tidbit, the cracker used in the first course was sold in their store. My wife picked them up before we left and we consumed nearly the whole package on the way home. Spinnakers really goes out of their way to produce as much of what they serve in house or purchase from local producers or farms. It is a refreshing change to the typical ‘big box’ approach many restaurants have.
Again I want to thank Spinnakers for their hospitality and excellent food. And as always, Thank you for reading.