Lugano Restaurant hosts the 10th annual Uinta beer dinner.
by Richard Markosian
Anyone who cooks well uses wine, but apparently anyone who cooks incredibly well uses beer. Fine beers are being used and accepted more in cooking today than ever before. And fine beer and food parings are also one of the fastest growing trends in top culinary circles. This makes Greg Neville something of a pioneer. As Owner and head chef of Lugano Restaurant, Neville has been working with Uinta beers pairing the beer with his outstanding Italian food for 10 years now.
With the launch of Uinta’s new Crooked line, Lugano now has an even greater selection of beers to use for ingredients for his dishes.
Starting off with prosciutto wrapped bread sticks made from the same grains Uinta uses in their beers, the snack is paired with Uinta’s Wyld beer from their 4+ line. From there on out every one of the next six courses features a primary ingredient made from Uinta’s Crooked line of beer. In addition to using beer as an ingredient, each course is served with a different variety from Uinta’s new Crooked line! What a great way to sample the new selection.: from a pork loin soaked in brine then marinated in Uinta’s Crooked Labyrinth Black Ale with rosemary and other various spices, to a lamb shank also marinated in beer and served with a flan made from local Beehive Cheese. This course is served with Detour, which is Uinta’s 12.5% Double IPA also from their new Crooked line.
While enjoying our meal, we spoke to the Paxons, a very friendly couple who have attended the beer dinner for the past several years. Rita Paxon says she now regularly cooks her lentil soup with Uinta’s Punk’n beer, and that everyone she makes it for loves her soup. Before the dessert was served, Greg Neville spoke for a few minutes to explain with Uinta’s Steve Kuftinec how they developed the menu and how the event came about. It was clear, a great deal of work and preparation were required in developing the unique menu. The final dessert was what I was the most curious about before it finally arrived: the beer gelato. It consisted of a torched fig with Gorgonzola and ginger cookie with Labyrinth gelato paired with Labyrinth Black Ale. It exceeded my expectations and now I wish my I could find beer gelato at the store. To anyone who loves great beer and has a fine taste for great food—I would highly recommend next year’s annual beer dinner and Lugano’s fine Italian restaurant. §
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