This is the second Bacon Elegance dinner at Cafe di Scala. The first one was last year, Heather of Bacon Unwrapped wrote a great post about it with pictures. I plan to do that same for this years event. I will update this posts with photos and our (Beth and I) thoughts after the dinner tonight.
This post is now updated with photos and our notes.
Bacon Inspired Dinner: Taste of Bacon Elegance
Cafe di Scala : February 24, 2010
644 18th Street | Des Moines, IA 50314-1043 | (515) 244-1353
- Course I
bacon, egg and cheese napolean with a sweet garlic sausage bechaemle
Drink: Coors Banquet Beer
Notes: This is what we would call the perfect breakfast. It reminded me of biscuits and gravy. Beth thought a biscuit would have been delicious with the dish, but that the pastry was a nice way to keep it light as the first course of the meal. I thought that the pastry added a bit of elegance to the dish. I need to make bacon gravy sometime in the near future.
- Course II
korean styled pork belly with kim chi
Drink: Pearl Vodka Martini
Notes: Beth enjoyed the food and drink pairing with this one. The Pearl Vodka Martini was able to stand up well to the strong flavors of the kim chi and the succulent pork belly. It did add something to the dish. A pork belly has three layers, a meaty part which was perfectly seasoned and tasted amazing, a fatty part which was buttery, and the skin which was a bit tough/crispy.
- Course III
cream of potato soup with a chive creme fraiche & bacon bits
Drink: Blue Moon
Notes: They made this soup last year and it was amazing. This year was no different. I wish I could eat this soup everyday of my life. Beth really enjoyed the velvety texture of the soup. This soup is the perfect wintery comfort food. The beer pairing with this dish was Blue Moon, a beer that we envision as a summery drink, with orange notes and light wheat flavor. It went surprisingly well with the soup. I guess in this case it’s true what they say: opposites attract!
- Course IV
gorgonzola stuffed Iowa Farm Families pork loin wrapped in bacon
served over a soft polenta with Niman Ranch pancetta and demi sauce
Drink: Pinot Noir
Notes: This dish had mixed reviews. It was very rich and had a lot of flavor. Sadly, not all of it was good. The bacon on the outside of the loin was fatty. A crispier bacon would have worked well with this dish. The loin itself was amazing and saved the plate. The polenta had a great flavor and texture and the pancetta was a nice touch, but some of it tasted burnt or over smoked. I thought I would have enjoyed this dish more if it came as an early course or if the rest of the meal was not as rich and heavy. The pairing with this dish, a Pinot Noir (Volpi, Barbera d’Asti – 2005), was an excellent match with the smokey flavors of the pork.
- Course V
applewood smoked bacon bread pudding with a
Templeton Rye caramel sauce and Picket Fence vanilla ice cream
Drink: Templeton Rye Butterscotch shot
Notes: Amazing! I love bread pudding, ice cream and bacon so this was an instant hit with me. Beth was never a big fan of bread pudding, but she loved this one, especially the Templeton Rye caramel sauce. The candied bacon made the dish, as always. The Templeton Rye Butterscotch shot was smooth and tasty, a welcome addition to the final course.
Last years dinner was great, but the dishes were safe choices to make. This year they took more risks and some of them payed off and others did not. I enjoyed the dinner and I am glad they took risks this year. It was an impressive showing of skill and guts. They took bacon to new levels last night. Can’t wait to see where they take bacon next!