Photos: Love Lane Kitchen’s Thursday night beer dinner series

Photo by Cyndi Murray

Photo by Cyndi Murray

When beer and food are paired well together, it brings out the best flavor in both the meal and the brew, according to Greenport Harbor Brewery Company co-owner John Liegey.

That was certainly the case Thursday night at Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck. For the month of January the restaurant is teaming up with a different local brewer each Thursday night for a carefully crafted four-course dinner and beer pairing.

First up was Greenport Harbor Brewery last night Jan. 9.

To design the menu, Love Lane Kitchen general manger Carolyn Iannone and chef Gina Savino took on the tough task of sampling brews alongside Mr. Liegey and fellow Greenport Harbor Brewing Company owner Rich Vandenburgh.

“It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it,” Ms. Iannone said. “Everyone complains that there is nothing to do in the winter and we thought this was a fun way to change that.”

And it’s not just about eating and drinking; by the time you leave you’ll have upped your knowledge of food and beer as well. Throughout the night the brewers and the restaurant staff explain the reasons behind the pairings before you.

Photo by Cyndi Murray

Photo by Cyndi Murray

First Course

Endive & watercress salad – fresh endive and watercress, slicked green apples, almonds, and citrusy herb shallot dressing.

Paired with Harbor Ale

“It is a nice way to start off it because it won’t weigh you down. It’s like a palate teaser,” Ms. Iannone said. “It is paired with the Harbor Ale because, like the salad, it refreshing. Some of the IPAs are a little bit more citrusy, which I originally thought would be nice with the apple, but after rethinking it we thought it was better to start light. The Harbor Ale really goes with so many things.”

Photo by Cyndi Murray

Photo by Cyndi Murray

Second Course

Sliders three ways – three mini burgers: Brie & caramelized onions/Gorgonzola stuffed/melted Gruyere.

Paired with Other Side IPA

“The thing that is nice about beer dinner is that the food doesn’t have to be fancy,” Ms. Iannone said. “You can just have something that is familiar and delicious. For the sliders, the citrus [in the IPA] balances out the sharpness of the cheese. The Gorgonzola with the IPA is my favorite.”

Photo by Cyndi Murray

Photo by Cyndi Murray

Third Course

Coffee-rubbed steak – Long Island Coffee Roasters coffee rubbed steak, mashed sweet potatoes and sautéed spinach.

Paired with Black Duck Porter

Black Ale puts the flavor of the malt front and center. The Black Duck Porter has mild hop character that balances strong notes of cocoa and hints of coffee — making it the perfect match for coffee-rubbed steak. The Black Duck Porter also pairs well with fresh shellfish, BBQ and chocolate, according to the brewers.

Photo by Cyndi Murray

Photo by Cyndi Murray

Fourth Course

Donut hole trio – chocolate/espresso/maple-glazed donut holes

Paired with Anti-Freeze IPA

Perfect for staying warm on cold winter nights, Anti-Freeze IPA is rich, like its pairing partner, the donut hole trio.  The beer, inspired by the brewer’s favorite English Olde Ales, is flavored with malt and balanced hops —a perfect end to a perfect night.

On Thursday, Jan. 16. Love Lane Kitchen’s beer and dinner series will feature Long Ireland Beer Company.

Swing by at Love Lane Kitchen, located at 240 Love Ln, Mattituck at 7 p.m. Reservations are recommended. Call 631-298-8989 today to book your spot.