Beer is something of a lifeblood at Wicked Awesome Snackbar. In addition to serving a selection of micro and craft brews at the new restaurant in west Boca Raton, co-owner/chef Paul Berger said he and his crew tend to use the beverage in the kitchen on a regular basis (to cook with, not to consume while cooking).
"We think beer is really easy to cook with because of the wide palate available," Berger said. "It's fun to use 'cause there are so many different beers."
This affection for barley and hops is what led to the Blue Point Brewing Company beer dinner pairing planned for Saturday, July 14, at the restaurant. Working with Brown Distributing Co., Wicked Awesome Snackbar will offer five courses, each of which will be paired with a quaff from Blue Point's catalog.
Among the combos are a deconstructed Reuben "sandwich" meatball matched with Blue Point's Rastafa Rye, which Berger cited as a natural match, given that there's rye in the bread and the beer. Another pairing brings together a spicy chicken samosa with mango-beer chutney and the Hoptical Illusion IPA. Many of the dishes that will be served that night incorporate the beer itself into the recipe, like a mac 'n' cheese made with Toasted Lager and served with the same brew alongside.
Planning the meal in advance was something of a challenge for Berger. While the restaurant operates with a standing menu, he tends to let nature dictate a significant percentage of what's being served, based on what's in season and what his suppliers say is good that day or week. Because he's planning so far ahead for the July 14 dinner, he had to make certain concessions.
"Fish dishes are out, since we don't know what we can get in two weeks," Berger said, adding that nothing is set in stone. "If we get something great that day, we'll swap the menu."
The meal will be served family style in a laid-back environment. The capacity for the event is about 35 people and if necessary, he will add a second seating. Berger hopes to make the beer dinners a monthly occurrence. Tickets are $30 per person. Call 561-883-3200 to reserve a spot.