Tapini Night & Beer Tasting at Bodega

Beers at Bodega
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This is the first in a series of posts coming off the back of the 2012 Waterford Harvest Festival which takes in the bloggers tour (slow food tour) on the Thursday and Friday of the festival along with two days spent at the GIY Gathering 2012 at Theatre Royal, Waterford.

THERE AREN’T enough words to describe the food sampled on the Thursday night of the 2012 Waterford Harvest Festival. Cormac and the team at Bodéga on John Street in Waterford certainly made sure nobody in the building went hungry or thirsty for the night as the Tapini night as part of this year’s Harvest Festival. €29.50 a ticket was the asking price, with an optional beer pairing available for each of the nine courses on offer at €2.50 a beer. Add some wine into the mix and with the conversation flowing heavily (including some cracking 80s tunes by @navigatourist and @valskitchen), the night – for us anyway – was a total success. That, of course, and the fact that the place was jammed, the atmosphere buzzing and not a beat missed in the near five hours we were there.

Here’s a look at what was presented on the night, along with beer tasting notes to match.

Charcuterie with Gubbeen salami and cheese

Charcuterie with Gubbeen salami & cheese, Bodega pate and onion relish. Paired with Porterhouse Hersbrucker Pilsner – Malt character balanaced with a generous hop aroma.

Glazed and cured Dunmore East mackerel with Kilmore Quay periwinkles

Next up was glazed and cured Dunmore East mackerel with Kilmore Quay periwinkles, Grantstown tomato and herb salsa. Let it be known that before Thursday night I hadn’t eaten either mackerel or periwinkles – no word of a lie. Paired with Helvick Gold from Dungarvan, a refreshing blonde ale hopped to give bitterness and aroma that packs a punch.

Chicken, Duck, Pigeon

Three birds for round three with crisp spiced Regan’s free range chicken with homemade chorizo, Silver Hill confit duck croquette with Flahavan’s oats, smoked Andy Torrie’s pigeon. Dungarvan stayed on the table as their Copper Coast, a smooth, fruity red ale with caramel character was the beer of choice.

Skewered Potatoes

A vegetarian-friendly dish for number four with skerwed potatoes, Ballybeg micro salad straight from the community allotments, scallions, Grantstown tomato salsa and Knockalara Sheep’s cheese. Galway Hooker was the beer of choice for this with its balanced burst of tangy bitterness, biscuity flavours, floral aromas and citrusy, dry finish.

Castletownbere Crab

Castletownbere crab with celeriac, gazpacho, bail and rapeseed oil, nero crumb, served with a Howling Gale ale (Eight Degrees) – a refreshing pale ale with American chinook, amarillo and centennial hops with a grapefruite and citrus aroma.

Mini Welly Belly

Crowe Farm mini belly welly with broad bean and spinach made for course number six, served with a Stonewell Cider (one of the nicest ciders I’ve had in quite a while). It has a strong apple aroma with a slight hint of floral and cut grass notes. One of the highlight dishes of the night.

Elda Wild Venison

Elda Wild Venison Tartare with Ballybeg micro herbs, Tom Cleary’s beetroom, fanci funghy aranchini, served with a Porterhouse Hersbrucker Pilsner. More on this venison later.

On to dessert…

Foraged blackberry and elderflower sorbet

Foraged and Halley’s blackberries with unknown sourced Poitin (say nothing) and Bodéga elderflower sorbet, green apple jelly. This one was paired with a Porterhouse Red – a balmy heavy cream head with a fruit-filled character mouth.

Dessert at Bodega

Finally, an M&D blaa pudding, Bilberry wild goats milk panna cotta with white chocolate and Ballybeg mint fudge (yes sir!), accompanied by one of my favourites, a Black Rock stout from Dungarvan Brewing Company, a full-flavoured, smooth, dry stout.

And here’s some of the beers that were sampled on the night.

Beers at Bodega

Needless to say, I rolled out the door absolutely stuffed. There’s a lot to be said for presenting dishes on a small slate (something that was repeated at the Viking Banquet on Saturday night) but there’s even more to be said for the way the local ingredients have been put to use in the dishes above, a great testament to things happening at grass roots level in food in Waterford. Tickets for the tapini night were provided as a courtesy to the eight of us dining at the table for the night as part of the Slow Food Tour but I would consider the cost of things on the night for the food experience a steal when you take the whole lot in.

If this happens again at next year’s festival, don’t miss out.

Written by Ken McGuire

Writes and talks a lot about food, spending way too much time in the kitchen or behind the lens taking photos. Digital Media Specialist by day, broadcaster by night, living in Kilkenny with Mrs. Any Given Food and two crazy rescue hounds.