Don't complain about the dry, miserable July heat to chef Michael Peterson. His two young sons are both playing Little League baseball this summer in temperatures far more intense than any hot kitchen where the veteran chef has been employed. But the unrelenting heat wave inspired Peterson, the executive chef for McCoy's Public House and the Beer Kitchen, to create a particularly refreshing menu — featuring Kurlbaum heirloom tomatoes in the dishes — for this month's installment of the monthly beer dinners presented at the Beer Kitchen (435 Westport Road, 816-389-4180). The upcoming dinner will be held this Monday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m.
"We have about a dozen reservations still open," Peterson says, "and I want to fill up the dining room. It's a great dinner with excellent beer pairings."
Peterson will kick off Monday's meal with a pairing of Belgian Tripel Karmeliet with a bowl of agnolotti pasta stuffed with fresh mozzarella in a crunchy broth with warm lump crab and chilled house-made smoked trout ricotta. The second course is a deconstructed "sandwich" — a variation on the BLT theme, without bread — combining iceberg lettuce, Kurlbaum Gold Medal tomatoes, gingered pork belly, served with a short stack of pancakes and pancetta and paired with Nebraska Brewing Co.'s Apricot au Poivre saison.
Cherokee purple tomatoes, charred and chilled, form the base for a cold creamy soup topped with a hot day boat scallop and a dollop of lobster cream, paired with Odell Double Pilsner. The fourth course features hot braised beef on crostini with smoked marrow emulsion and Brandywine tomatoes with a wedge of iceberg lettuce and Maytag blue cheese. This will be paired with New Belgium Belgo.
The dessert course? A hot cobbler made with chocolate striped heirloom tomatoes: "They're very, very, very sweet," Peterson says. "Possibly the sweetest tomato I've ever tasted." The cobbler will be topped with a scoop of tomato ice cream prepared with Hillbilly Potato Leaf tomatoes. "A very pretty varietal, yellow with red stripes." This final course is paired with Belgian-style, New York-brewed Ommegang Witte.
The dinner is priced at $60 per person, including tax and gratuity. For reservations or additional information, call 816-389-4180.