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Another fabulous Belgian lunch

Joan Kureczka | Apr 9, 200310:31 AM

Toronado each year hosts a 5 course Belgian lunch paired with many many fine, sometimes very rare (at least in US) beers. Last Sunday's version was another winner, with menu by Peg Davis who used to work at the Ritz Carlton and then Cafe Majestic, and now comes down from Mendocino to do the event. Event always sells out immediately, even at $75 per head.

First course was a house-cured gravlax, chopped and molded with a creme fraiche, caper and cucumber garnish, with house made herb and 3 seed crackers. Really lovely stuff that went well with the Bavik Pils.

Second course was a nice classic frisee, endive and bacon salad with a sherry vinagrette and some citrus.

We then had a really fabulous chicken roulade that was stuffed with duck confit and shredded root vegetables, served on sauteed spinach and garnished with white asparagus and brown butter. I still haven't figured out the appeal of white asparagus, and this was no exception. It would have benefited from more peeling, as the interior was tender and sweet. But I loved the chicken, and would like to try making something like this myself.

We then had a malted chocolate parfait with bourbon vanilla syrup. Good particularly with the Urthal Novius.

Finally, a plate of some very fine cheeses including the most aged of Chimay's cheeses and an excellent Tome de Savoie (also a Saint Andre and Coutrier goat cheese).

There were a total of 15 or 16 beers. Standout for me was the Deus, a spicy, absolutely dry, bottle-conditioned beer described as made via Methode Champenoise. Label was an home to Dom Perignon, and it was very champagne in style.

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