As much as I like my dining and eating out, it’s always a bit more special when paired with a good adult bevvy like beer. Midtown Grille out in N. Hills in Raleigh has been on my short list for a while. New chef John Childers had come over to the restaurant at the beginning of the year from Herons so I was really curious as to what he was doing in their kitchen. Luckily friend and food photographer, Felicia Perry came knocking on my door with an offer to check out Midtown Grille for an upcoming beer dinner with Brueprint Brewing. Ahh, looks like it’s time to find out what up and what’s going down at Midtown Grille…
If you haven’t been to Midtown Grille before, I would classify it as upscale-contemporary Southern and American. A well-appointed dining room with a heavy emphasis on wine, it has the feel of a more mature and affluent audience. I was greeted by GM Max Trujillo and brought to the back room where the beer dinner was to take place.
In the glassed off private room, a happy group of 20+ diners were relaxing with the owner and brewmaster for Brueprint: Eric and Brad. They’re excited to kick off the beer dinner series at Midtown Grille and are ready to answer all questions. Brueprint brews quite a few different types and what they’re shooting for is accessible, easy to drink beers that tickles your taste buds. We’ve got five on tap for today’s dinner across a wide variety of styles.
We start of the meal with some bacon salad profiteroles, think bacon jam cream puff. It’s a shot of salted meat, savory and some heat from what tastes like horse-radish, excellent! Paired with a fruity, aromatic fig & honey saison from Brueprint gets the dinner off to a good start.
Next up is a sweet potato with fried pork belly and farmer’s cheese. It’s a good looking dish sitting atop some white rock salt which you’re not supposed to eat (but I did, sorry Chef John!) The sweet potato is tender and meltingly sweet with some nice contrast off the pork belly. Slivers of chive and cilantro pop off with some green to the dish. The kitchen paired up this dish with a light Zambrueni lager.
The second official course is chicken confit and I was a bit surprised at the plate brought out. It was a beautifully seared roll of chicken with an apricot glaze and paired with some wilted and seared broccoli. This dish was my fave for the evening, the chicken was full of flavor and fork tender. Paired with a light amber ale that had a hit of hoppiness to it, made for a happy mouth.
Our last savory course is beef short rib with sweet onion bread pudding. It’s an interesting looking dish with the beef and pudding plated separately. The short rib was nicely braised with a bit of soft, beef fat for tenderness. Loved the onion pudding with a soft, bleu cheese cream and taken all together, a strong plate. To me it’s more of a fall-autumn dish but hey, what the heck! A smooth Midnight Brue stout makes for a good complementary beverage here.
And we complete the beer dinner with a root beer cake, yum! Served up with malted marshmallow and cracked pretzel bits, I was impressed. The root beer wasn’t over-powering at all and the square of marshmallow is pillowy soft. There’s a lot of textures and tastes here but it tantalizes the taste buds without going over the top, thumbs up here. We finished off with a Bruepoint Scotch Ale which went nicely with the root beer flava of dessert!
Over the course of the meal, Chef John Childers comes out several times to let us know some of the thoughts behind each dish. I was pretty impressed with the plates and presentation here, very solid. The dishes remind me a bit of Chef Jason Cunningham over at the Washington Duke Inn, American seasonal with a gourmet twist. And service throughout the Bruepoint beer dinner at Midtown Grille was excellent which is what I would expect at the price points here. So thanks so much Chef John and Max at Midtown Grille along with Eric and Brad over at Bruepoint for having me as a guest last week!
with Bruepoint Brewing Co
4421 Six Forks Rd #115
Raleigh, NC 27609