On an evening when the place is typically closed, Love Lane Kitchen opened its doors Thursday night for its first of four beer dinners. Done in collaboration with different breweries on the North and South Forks, I had the pleasure of attending the dinner with Moustache Brewing Company.
The evening started out with a Lawn Lager and an introduction from Carolyn Iannone, owner of Love Lane Kitchen.
“We had a blast tasting all the beers and pairing them all with different things,” she said. “We worked really hard and we went to the brewery and we drank some beers.”
She, along with chef Corey Guastella, and Lauri and Matt Spitz, owners of Moustache, worked together to create a menu that paired well with the beers. In between each course, Iannone and Lauri and Matt Spitz would explain the dish and beer.
“We’re gonna start off with a really hearty delicious soup. I think it’s gonna be really nice with this beer,” Iannone said.
The beer in question was the Lawn Lager, which Matt Spitz described as a beer you can drink while mowing the lawn. The soup was a white bean, bacon, beer and scallion soup. Served in a mug, It was wintery, hearty and smoky. It was about as easy to scarf down as the beer was to drink.
Next up was the caramelized scallops, sweet potato and apple hash, “beer” blanc sauce and toasted pistachios. Paired with it was the Late in the Evening Pub Ale. The dish was surprising. Laying on a swoosh of a basil puree, the hash had hints of ginger making it subtly sweet and vibrant. The scallops were crispy on the outside and buttery on the inside. The beer was perfect; the flavors were warm and caramel-y, akin to a cozy blanket.
The third course, and what I would consider the star of the show, was the slow braised short ribs, cheesy polenta, cipollini and fried parsnips. A forkful of the meat and polenta melted together in my mouth as the earthy flavors of the onion seeped through. The beer, an Everyman Porter, somehow had the umph to stand up to such a rich dish, but still had a lightness to it that made it an easy drinker.
“Our aim for this was to make beer for the everyman,” Matt Spitz said. And that he did. If you liked iced coffee, this one’s for you.
To cap it all off was a light cherry and berry crisp, and thank god, because I was stuffed. It sounds like such a simple dessert, but it was packed with flavors and textures that rolled around in my mouth. The top was crunchy and sweet. The berries were bright and rich. And the whip cream on top made it all the perfect trinity. The accompanying beer was the Champagne Showers Belgian Triple. And its name is right on the nose — it tastes like bubbly. And be careful, this one feels light but it clocks in at a lethal 10 percent. But it’s acidity cuts right through the layered dessert.
After four beers and a full belly, I was ready to be rolled home.
The next Love Lane Kitchen Beer Dinner collab is with North Fork Brewing Company March 5. And look out for Greenport Harbor Brewery on March 12 and Montauk Brewing Company on March 26.