Did you say 6 course dinner with beer pairing on Asheville’s South Slope? Yes, please! Yesterday early in the day I met two awesome ladies from Verbena Cakes + Catering, Emma and Scarlet, at a local business networking meeting. They told me about the event they were hosting with Twin Leaf Brewery last night and I wanted in! I made it happen on short notice and am SO glad that I did! The food and beer were phenomenal, and of course perfectly paired!
When I arrived at Twin Leaf Brewery for dinner, the skies were darkening from thick dark clouds and the outside air had started to cool. Inside, the industrial and rustic feel of Twin Leaf was softly lit and two long tables were set with kraft paper placemats and beautiful flower filled centerpieces. Hand crafted fresh bread, jars of beer cheese, and small glasses of Twin Leaf’s Luminosity Belgian Triple lined the center of the tables, inviting me to sit down. As soon as I said hello to Emma, Scarlet, and my dining neighbors I dug into the bread and beer cheese. Both tasted amazingly fresh and light. The bread was crusty on the outside and soft on the inside while the beer cheese was creamy, light, and had a perfectly spicy zip for my palate. It paired perfectly with the Belgian Triple which was slightly sweet and fruity, but smooth.
After a few words from the chefs at Verbena Cakes + Catering, the starter course was set out for us- fried phyllo cups with goat cheese and blackberry, and beef tartar with chopped herbed salad, paired with Elevensies English Bitter beer. All were delicious and complemented each other perfectly. The goat cheese and blackberry phyllo cup was tart and creamy, while the beef tartar phyllo cup was earthy and rustic. One word, YUM!
As the evening continued we were served avocado toast made from house made bread with heirloom tomato, local greens, and farm egg directly on our kraft paper placement. It was paired with Sweet Heat Saison / Farmhouse Ale and was a perfect palate cleanser. Together the toast was light, fresh, and downright amazing. The beer had a slight orange color to it and a habanero kick at the end. It was very enjoyable!
After a short break of socializing with the rest of the guests, we were served our second course- house made pasta with pork belly, peaches and fennel, paired with Magic Hour Sour Gose. I have to tell you, this dish literally melted in my mouth! The juices from the peaches and pork gave the pasta a light coating of sweet and savory in every bite. I could eat this dish every day for the rest of my life and never crave another bite of food!
Alas, we still had two courses to be served. First was braised steak with smoked potato and roasted jalapeno chimichurri paired with MDXII stout that was equally as delicious as the previous course! The freshness of the jalapeno chimichurri balanced the fats in the perfectly cooked steak and starches of the potatoes. This was another winner in my book! I couldn’t get enough of it!
Our last course was dessert and a perfect wrap to the evening- deconstructed coconut tart with local farm fresh cheese, edible flowers, and grilled lime wedge, paired with Dark Matter Oatmeal Stout. Though I am not much of a sweets eater, and would have typically chosen to eat more of the two previous courses, I couldn’t say no to this light and airy dessert! The coconut cream and whipped cream were perfectly sweet and light, while the crunch of the toppings and tartness of the grilled lime brought in extra levels of flavor. I cleaned my plate like I lived for dessert!
Attending this dinner was the best decision I made all week! I am so happy that I met Emma and Scarlet, and was able to try their incredible food! Verbena Cakes + Catering has been in business for only 5 months here in Asheville, and is already by far my new favorite local caterer! I highly encourage you to call them for your event and personal chef needs! To learn more about their chefs and what they offer, click over to their website!