American Kitchen & Orlando Brewing Beer Dinner Series 1
We have been following the career of Chef Venoy Rogers lll for few years now, from his acclaimed restaurant in the Palms on Miami Beach to his current position as Executive Chef at the American Kitchen Bar & Grill situated in the beautiful B Resort & Spa. See our original review at: http://www.orlandofoodcritic.com/review/american-kitchen-bar-grill-lake-buena-vista/
So, when he told us he was teaming up with the outstanding guys at Orlando Brewing for a Beer Dinner Series, we were “all in”.
Chef Rogers is known for his mantra “To make good food you need good ingredients “ so the same goes for beer and as they say at Orlando Brewing they make “Darn Good Beer “ and have been brewing Organic Handcrafted beers since 2006 with over 35 fresh beers on tap. John & Gene provide the vison and expertise but have their business truly rooted in the local community and are passionate about quality and authenticity, sourcing raw materials from all over the world. Only the best will do.
In collaboration Chef Rogers described the food elements with John & Gene, and together they selected and fused taste sensations, not only from the beers paired with the dishes but also used some beers in the cooking process.
After a delightful Amuse Bouche, round two of the six course dinner presented us with a Scallop, with white Asparagus, Clam Espuma, Golden Raisins, Spring Peas, Chive Flowers and Pistachio. The white Asparagus was more like the delicate Sprue from the first of the season and was tender and flavorful, the scallop was perfectly seared, and the raisins cooked in the La Guera Lager had just that hint of sweet/ bitterness that set up the dish perfectly. The paring beer was La Guera Blonde Lager, not your usual bland lager this one had some bite.
Round three was the Megene Salad, this salad uses Uruiah’s Farms Baby Greens and was almost a portrait on the plate. Chef Rogers used spent brewer’s grains to develop croutons for the salad that were so good, we hope these will be in stores soon! Maytag Bleu cheese as always shone through. The pairing beer was John from Orlando Brewing’s favorite Olde Pelican and was a complex beer with strong bitter tones but well balanced and with a clean finish.
Round four was Beer Can Chicken – Lollipop Chicken wings cooked in a roasted shallot gravy and topped with sorrel, frisee and spring radish. O-Town Brown was the beer used in cooking the chicken and also the pairing beer. The O-Town was a lighter beer than the rest we tried but still packed with flavor and our favorite of the nights tastings.
Round five – Creekstone Farms Prime Short Rib – Ribs braised in Blackwater Porter served with smoked parsnips and citrus gremolata. The meat from Creekstone cannot be faulted as they have Black Angus & Duroc genetics, the Smokey intense Blackwater Porter enhanced the ever so tender rib meat making this the star of the evening for us.
Appropriately named “Last Call” was Caramelized White Chocolate Bomb – comprising of Key West Sea Salt Caramel, Dark Chocolate Mousse and Caramel popcorn. Deceptively simple dessert packed full of flavor, the white chocolate being sous vide for hours to cater the unique caramelized flavor. The paring beer was Homers Flying Circus named after an Orlando Brewing helicopter flying friend and customer, this beer packs a punch and a perfect foil for the sweet dessert.
Personally, we can’t wait to see what Chef Rogers and Orlando Brewing have for the next in the series but if its half as good as last night’s event you will need to get your tickets early.
American Kitchen is definitely a restaurant within a hotel rather than a hotel restaurant and could easily stand on its own in a different location. The regular menu at American Kitchen takes influences from all over the world and gives them a unique American twist, but always fresh and innovative. American Kitchen has its own Smokehouse, so BBQ and smoked food are readily available providing an excellent, unpretentious restaurant experience with amazing food and great service. Please, watch out for the next in the Beer Dinner Series, you will see it advertised here so watch closely Orlando locals, do yourselves a favor and visit American Kitchen and Bar, you will find them located in the superb B Resort & Spa.1905 Hotel Plaza Boulevard Lake Buena Vista. Orlando Brewing is located at 1301 Atlanta Avenue Orlando.