Saturday, July 2, 2011

First Fridays Posse Raises A Glass To Our Gal

We gathered, as we do, for the latest round of First Friday Dinner Posse. The invitation/reminder on Facebook from Kiko amusingly called it "First Fridays on First Friday-What A Concept" as we have been struggling mightily to get these to happen on the actual first Friday of the month. This month, scheduling conflicts were the least of our concerns. We were planning to go to Van Till Farms in Rayville but switched our locale to Midtown so we that we could be near KU-Med (check out the groovy glass sculptures at KU Med pictured at right). Typically sitting front and center at these get-togethers are Carolyn and Jim, and since that couldn't happen, we wanted to be as close to them as possible. Most of us visited Carolyn before and/or after and every visit brings more tiny beacons of hope. She isn't quite with us yet but her color is much better and she's starting to track with her eyes. We have dubbed one of her physicians Dr. House, as he is continuously working on deducing exactly what Carolyn's affliction is. Jim, a man of considerable brilliance himself, tends to debate Dr. House about Carolyn and apparently, it's quite amusing to watch the cerebral duels that take place. Thankfully, Dr. House hasn't channeled the television character and called Jim an a-hole.

I had suggested through various channels that since we were searching for a new locale for the group, that maybe we try out Beer Kitchen in Westport. My friends whom I was supposed to join for Shakespeare In The Park had dined here last week and unanimously raved about it. We were seated at a large table in the center of the action. My friend Linda had suggested their Pimm's Mug, which she loved. I ordered it and it was indeed quite the refreshing cocktail: Pimm's No. 1, muddled cucumber, Pama liqueur , rosemary-infused lemonade, soda and a sea salt-pepper rim. This drink was liquid joy....just sayin'. Keith had a Sweet Tea-ni with sweet tea vodka and Deb had a Summer Beer with PBR, vodka and lemonade. He and I split Beer Kitchen's take on deviled eggs for an appetizer. These wickedly tasty huevos were made with hops-infused mustard, smoked salmon and a wasabi caviar garnish. We also tasted Kiko's Cheesy Ancho Dip, a mix of ancho pepper and chipotle white cheddar served with blue corn chips and salsa verde. My taste buds were seriously sparked at this point and I ordered a frosty glass of a hoppy Acme IPA to prepare for one of their well-reviewed burgers.

The K-Man heartily enjoyed his burger; a succulent Bravo Burger topped with crispy prosciutto, Maytag bleu, fontina, sun-dried tomato relish and garlic aioli on a Brioche bun. I went with the juicy Brickhouse with applewood smoked bacon, tillamook-aged cheddar, smoked bacon aioli, red onion jam and "stacked" chips. Having reveled in these tasty tributes to all things beef; it is also most gratifying to know that Beer Kitchen is also a welcome mecca for the meatless lovers as well. Our group consists of at least one vegetarian and BK's menu offers much for them as well. Kiko went with the "Cheatloaf" and indeed it was a revelation even for we meat lovers. Made of mashed chickpeas, quinoa, garlic, onion and egg and topped with a chipotle-tomato glaze and shitake-mushroom gravy with crispy jalapeno straws; this dish was a Big Wow. We were swooning over the food at this point but ate only half of our burgers so that we could delve into desserts.

Kiko ordered the decadent S'Mores Pot De Creme and we ordered the airy Drunken Donuts covered in powdered sugar and served with a side of Grand Marnier hot chocolate for dunking. Dessert was delightfully over-the-top overkill in this instance but all in all, the entire group was abuzz over this newly discovered hotspot. I can't recommend Beer Kitchen No. 1 enough. We dug the grub from start to finish...so much so that I can't wait to try everything else on the menu. The beer and cocktail menus are smokin'.....full of seriously inventive choices. The service was informative, friendly and blessedly patient considering we were a party of near twenty with separate checks. I'm a former server and I still have crystal clear memories of what a pristine pain in the ass that is. I'm also told that BK serves a rockin' brunch...my friend Jo tells me she's a BK brunch addict at this point.

Utterly sated by the food, we also realized just how attached to this fine "posse" we've become. These folks are so close that they roam about the table tasting various dishes. As much fun as they are at dinner, we have come to see what amazing people and friends they are during this past week of Carolyn's ordeal. We are thrilled to be accepted among them because this is a powerful crew....folks you would most certainly want on your side in a fight; especially if it's the fight of your life. I have no doubt that Carolyn will come back to us, considering the people she has pulling for her. We raised a glass to Carolyn and Jim at the end of the evening.

Long Live The Posse.

4 comments:

Kitten said...

The Pimm's Mug is my favorite drink there. I love it, devoring the cucumbers at the bottom of the glass. I tried their pear cider this last time as well as their mac-n-cheese... mine I added blue cheese and burnt ends on top of it. OMG... heaven! I'm glad you two got to go.

Confounded Cook said...

Those cukes are the bee's knees! Loved us some Beer Kitchen!

b&b breakfast said...

Superb !

Lisa Mandina said...

Okay, I'm going to have to go try that place just for the delicious sounding desserts!

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