As March 17th approached I found myself wondering, who is St. Patrick.
Naturally I turned to Google to find the answers I was longing for. Google led me to USA TODAY where I was delighted to learn a little more about St. Patrick. For instance, St. Patrick was not actually Irish. He was a nobleman born in about 400 A.D. in Britain and kidnapped by Irish pirates at the age of 16.
Can you believe it? Just a kid, kidnapped by Irish pirates. In my version the pirates must have felt bad for kidnapping St. Patrick, in an effort to ease the guilt they introduced him to Irish stout. I bet the first time he tasted the stout he shouted, "Goooodness", which over time, as pirate stories often do, evolved into Guinness.
Speaking of Guinness, Americans drink about 600,000 pints of the Dublin-based beer daily. On St. Patrick's Day, about 3 million pints of Guinness are downed, according to that USA TODAY story I mentioned earlier.
Now you are probably thinking, get on with it, tell us about your night of pub crawls drinking green Guinness. Well, that wasn't exactly what went down. We opted for a fancy St. Patrick's Day Celebration at Michael Smith Restaurant enjoying a 5 Course Meal paired with The Rieger specialty cocktails, bagpipes, and incredible bread and butter. The bread was delicious. We arrived at Extra Virgin with plenty of time to grab a cocktail in the bar before the festivities began.
As we were escorted to our table we were welcomed with a Red Right Hand Cocktail paired with Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey Glazed Oyster. Why not start things off with one of the most delicious offerings of the evening? The oyster was so good. Kristi even ate it, it was her first oyster! The cocktail was prepared with Rieger's Midwestern Dry Gin, lemon, beet shrub, and apricot. It was sweet yet satisfying.
The Red Right Hand cocktail was also paired with the Local Beet Salad. The salad was unique, and unlike any salad I have tasted before. The salad featured smoked trout, pickled mustard seed and dill. Leslie isn't into smoked fish so unfortunately she wasn't a super fan of the trout. Hey you can't win them all! Local Beet Salad pictured below.
Once everyone had a happy plate the salad plates were removed. Next on the menu, Dublin Lawyer On Rice. A contemporary twist to traditional Irish fare, this dish featured Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey, rock shrimp, and jasmine rice. I really enjoyed this course and it paired well with The Garrison; Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey, Luxardo Sangue Morlacca, Peychaud's Orange Bitters, and Bubbles.
Yay bubbles! Yay shrimp!
While everything was wonderful leading up to the main course, what happened next was nothing short of a Leprechaun finding their pot of gold. Imagine our delight as we were served the Braised Irish Lamb. Just look at it. The meat was so tender. It literally fell off the bone. We could have eaten the lamb with a spoon but that would have been weird. The lamb was served with cabbage and yorkshire pudding. Right? Is your mouth watering yet? This was Steph's favorite course, if I remember correctly it was everyone's favorite course. The lamb was paired with The Shelby Company Limited Cocktail. Imagine Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey, Spanish Sweet Vermouth, Ango, and absinthe. Yes, absinthe. This cocktail was dangerous. I don't recommend drinking more than one of these. Like I always say, drinking absinthe in large quantities is just asking to wake up in a bathtub missing vital organs. (I have never actually said that).
Now for the grand finale. Of course we had to have some Guinness, in honor of St. Patrick and all. Bring on the Chocolate Guinness Cake served with Rieger's KC Whiskey Ice Cream. The only complaint was there wasn't more ice cream. Now for the best cocktail of the night. The Irish Egg Cream which featured Rieger's Premium Wheat Vodka, Caffe Amaro, Guinness, and chocolate. Yes. Yes. And Yes.
If you have never attended one of Chef Michael Smith's event dinners we highly recommend you make a reservation today. You really can't go wrong!
What a fantastic evening! We had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day. We even manage to keep up with NCAA March Madness scores, how else could we confirm all of our brackets were busted!
Sunday morning we all headed to Kemper Arena where everyone was volunteering at the Great Plains 10K. Some of us had duties at the finish line, others were assigned intersections along the course, and Leslie volunteered to run! Do you see all of the cars we had to hold off? This was such a stressful post! It was our responsibility to make sure none of these cars accidentally drove onto the course. Mission accomplished.
After the race we headed to a new restaurant, EJ's Urban Eatery, to score their Southern influenced brunch. This West Bottoms gem is a must try if you love yourself at all. The Bloody Mary's, margaritas and mimosas were on special with brunch. The concept is a Meat and Three which apparently is very common in the South, but it was new to me. What is the Meat and Three? Think affordable and customizable meals that are delicious. Sign me up!
I went all in and ordered the Breakfast Ribs, fried green tomatoes and spicy creamed corn. I couldn't have been happier with my selections. Everyone loved their food, the service was friendly and the family style seating was inviting. We will absolutely be back to EJ's!
I'm sure St. Patrick is smiling down on us sipping on his Guinness.