Scotch & Smoke: A Perfect Match

Mondays are not usually my choice to go out and party but I was fortunate to be invited to the Scotch & Smoke dinner at Union Public House last Monday (thanks 520Eats) I had to say yes.
To be honest, it’s been decades since I last got into Scotch but I knew Matt Russell and a whole host of other media buddies were going to be there, I said sure.
Chef Patrick Malarchik really went all out in creating this meal. He makes killer food, most of which is mad in house and that includes BACON!
Matt’s guest was his long-time friend Thom, who has intimate knowledge of scotch and he kept us entertained with stories of his travels in Scotland and teaching us how good Scotch is made. He explained all the nuances of this potent potable in detail. So not only did we have a great meal, we learned something and had fun. His running commentary was better than anything any Scotch rep could’ve done because he’d been to all of the distilleries. One couldn’t ask for more.
First course was most artfully plated and was really a smoley dish. Malarchik had smoked oysters, topped them with caviar, horseradish and preserved lemon and then placed a single oyster under a cocktail glass. Clever enough, but he’d lit straw under the glass so the oyster was still being smoked at the table. You lifted the glass and all that smoky goodness tickled your nose. An arugula salad with a smoked tomato and a smoked vinaigrette accompanied the oyster. It was all served on a wooden plank. The flavors and textures were stunningly good. A few more oysters served this way and I would’ve been a happy girl. The pairing: Balvenie 12

photo:Matt Russell

photo:Matt Russell

But then came the soup, which was again artfully presented. A whole acorn squash acted as the bowl. As you dug down into the squash you discovered bits of bacon and more smoked tomato. Pork belly crostini was the garnish. Fantastic. The pairing: Oban 14

photo: Matt Russell

photo: Matt Russell

The entrée consisted of smoked paprika rubbed quail cleverly perched a slice of sirloin that had been smoked for six hours. The plate was rounded out with whole roasted garlic, corn bread pudding, a charred husk cream and the house BBQ sauce. The pairing: Laphroig 10

photo: Matt Russell

photo: Matt Russell

Dessert was a cannoli “cigar” filled with smoked chocolate with graham cracker “ash”. The pairing: Talisker Distiller’s Edition (my fave.) photo Matt Russell
A fab evening indeed!
Thank you, Chef Malarchik!