To kind of quote a post I wrote about six months ago: Just call me Christopher Nolan, because I’m Memento-ing it up in this bish, presenting what happened backwards. It’s a bold, artistic blogging concept I call “lazy incompetence.”
When I first heard about the Evolution dinner at Galway Bay, I was pumped about it, but I wasn’t 100 percent sure what I was going to be walking into. The menu they advertised was looked tasty, but it was understated and embraced brevity. It also featured beers from the Salisbury, Md., brewery — like Prelude Red and Gold — I wasn’t terribly familiar with. In addition, there was no insight given into how seating would be arranged.
To be clear, these weren’t strikes against Galway or Evolution. There was simply an air of ~*~*~*~mystery~~*~*~*~ surrounding the dinner. Plus, seating arrangements are rarely disclosed prior to an event of this nature. I was mostly shocked there was a full restaurant that could accommodate such an event, because I had never ventured beyond the bar.
How’d it turn out? Well, according to the folks at Galway Bay, this was their first beer dinner in seven years. I’m shocked, because the Evolution dinner was full of great food and beer — and the pairings were spot on. It also retained the authentic, casual and approachable atmosphere people associate with Galway Bay. It sounds hokey, but you could see the effort and the heart that went into the dinner. It didn’t feel contrived.
So onto the food, because food is awesome. This was the full, expanded menu for the evening:
Tropical fruit seafood ceviche with bay scallops and calamari in mango, pineapple, tomato, peppers, and cilantro marmalade.
Paired with Sprung
Braised house-cured Irish rashers (bacon) on sweet potato pancakes, topped with dried fruits and Prelude Red demi-glace.
Paired with Prelude Red
Savory buffalo sliders on mini brioche rolls with Irish mustard and devilish coleslaw.
Paired with Lot 3
Soda bread pudding with fresh berries and Irish egg nog creme irlandaise.
Paired with Prelude Gold
As I said in my Goose Island dinner recap, I’m not a huge fan of long, drawn-out wordscapes that describe food to a nauseating degree. It’s not only boring, it makes me hungry for food I can’t have again.
What I will say is the dessert course was an absolute rockstar, and I can’t stop talking about it. Not only was the Prelude Gold the perfect companion — I need MOAR of it — I was surprised how tasty it was! Usually the soda bread I’ve given is dry and dull. This was far from it.
Oh, the ceviche was a standout, too. I could have had bowls and bowls of that.
Now, since some have pointed out I’m all sunshine and rainbows, refusing to acknowledge when I don’t like something or if I’m unhappy (wrong, wrong, wrong), I will say I thought the room was a bit on the warm side, and the buns for the sliders course were a bit too bready for me.
(I hope the ridiculous nit-picky nature of those two things demonstrate the fact that there was genuinely very little to be displeased about at this dinner. And ultimately, I’m a firm believer in not sweating the small stuff.)
I sincerely hope Galway Bay does another beer dinner soon. It was more than beer and food that kept me happy; there was so much personality infused into everything they did. Even though I didn’t get to chat with anyone from Galway Bay while I was there, I walked away feeling like I still got to know them anyway. That’s a neat feeling.
P.S. I completely forgot to share the seating arrangements, which I loved. It was like a combination of what they do with Ram’s Head and how the Goose Island dinner was set up. It was a private room with a series of longer, communal tables with assigned seating, which enabled socializing and making new friends. I dug it.
P.P.S. Seating Patrick and myself with Nathan and his wife, Casey, is a terrible idea. We make awful jokes and look at inappropriate websites. We’re horrible people.