On Friday June 15th I had the opportunity to be a part of the Gin Dinner at Sherwood Forest. While gin is absolutely not my thing, hanging out with friends absolutely is – and my friend Laurel wanted to go. Always open to an experience… I agreed.
We arrived a little early so we had time to enjoy the amazing patio. If you have not checked this out – I highly recommend it. I am a patio snob and this honestly hits my top patios of the area…. in fact (without trying to seem bias) it may be my favorite. Laurel and I each enjoyed a Cucumber Vodka Bloody Mary while catching up with each other.
At about 6 pm, we, along with the other attendees of the Gin Dinner were escorted to our table. And the fun began.
Our experience started with Chef Matt Annand introducing himself and telling us about the different courses we were about to be served. He explained in detail what went into making them and as he went back to the kitchen, we all sat with our mouths watering in anticipation.
As our first course, the Fennel Cured Crux Pizzette was being served, Sam Bramstad served our first gin drink, the Cucumber Gin Spritz and told us about the drink and what was in it. Sam would continue to do this each course with the gin drinks that followed.
The food…. AMAZING. Melt in your mouth sensational taste. The drink… well, it was much BIGGER than I anticipated. The other people at the dinner (a completely fun and engaging group from Little Falls, MN) were amazed that they were full size drinks as well as commented favorably although wondered how we made money on such a dinner with such service, delicious food, and the drinks included. (From a Marketing stand point I was THRILLED.) The beauty of the drinks and the special dinners such as this is that you get to try new things and my glass, after the first taste (remember – not a Gin fan…) – remained full and that was ok I got to try it … where my plate on the other hand was mysteriously clean. ;P
The second course, Home Made “Lamb” Gyro Salad, I believe was my favorite course. I could have probably had two of these… in a word, DELICIOUS. The gin drink this time was the Italian Lemonade, and was tastier (to me) than the first one. The rest of the group enjoyed this and all the drinks very much.
The third and main course, Juniper Roasted Duroc Pork Tenderloin was very good. By this time, I was getting full… but really in such a time as this, you keep going as everything is soooooo good. The meat was tender and seasoned perfectly, the veggies were just right. This was my favorite of the gin drinks, the Silver Berry Fizz , and was the only one I finished. I enjoyed the raspberry flavor and the crisp combination of the gin. It tasted like summer.
Last but not least, the final course was a melt in your mouth Lingonberry Tart with Handmade Unchurned Ice Cream. A perfect completion to the dinner and again… I get a star for the clean plate club. The final pairing of gin was called the French 75, a champagne style of beverage that was beautiful to look at, but only earned a sip from me.
Overall, I really had a great time. I hung out with Laurel and met some really fun people who we sat with for the dinner. We talked about the food and about the EAT! Group (more on that later…) and by the time we left we were all on a first name basis. They, as well as Laurel and I, all agreed we would meet again at a future dinner.
While I have been Marketing Director for 3 Cheers since January, this was my first dinner that I had attended and I have to say – I am so glad I did. Not only did I have a great time, but by seeing first hand how the dinners work in person and experiencing the food… I will be better at promoting them. (It’s WAY BETTER than I had even imagined)
Now if I can just find a way to attend them all.
Thanks all for putting up with this LONG post…. there was much to say and hopefully I will see you at an upcoming dinner at either Sherwood Forest, Iron Range, or at Prairie Bay.
Marketing Director…. Part Time Foodie/ Full Time Adventure Seeker