Wild game dinner in Detroit 17 Dec 2012
VTB and I have discovered a beer and wild game tasting at Loon River -Sterling Heights on 17 Dec 2012. it's not technically a CH get together because the menu is fixed, the price is fixed ($28 +t/t) which includes beer tastings. So, if you are interested in a CH holiday wild game not-get together at Loon River the CH Detroit locals will be the hungry folks at a table waiting to meet new food minded friends.
Enjoyment was had by all at Loon River’s Wild Game Dinner. It was different than I had preconceived, but that only was because I hadn’t bothered to study the menu. I had imagined I’d maybe get a piece of roasted pheasant, a modest chunk of boar braised with some simple wine/aromatics, plus a couple regular sides from the kitchen. Then I would compare the wild game to the domesticated breeds to which I’m accustomed, and decide whether I appreciated the gaminess of the naturally evolved and lived creatures.
The point of the dinner, though, was a bit different. It was a festive event masterminded by the Chef (Mr. Ray Hollingsworth?). There were some long community tables (private tables also), gift giveaways, a talented (Italian?) according player, etc.. A good place, by the way, for a lady (only about two in the crowd) to meet a husky middle aged bachelor who is well-off enough to own a new model $45k truck and second property/cabin up north. Anyway, there were approximately nine dishes of new, gourmet creations by Loon River’s Chef, who ultimately exhaustedly came out to greet everyone and collected countless handshakes and pats on the back.
Food wise, the wild game actually played a minor role in several of the dishes. Despite being good, that aspect defied the point for me, since I’m not inclined to drive clear to the border of Warren for gourmet preparations, and unlike the other I diners, I’m new to and curious specifically about the wild game. Regardless of whether I could zero-in on the game itself, I will give the Chef credit for ensuring that the meats were surprisingly juicy and tender.
If there was one that was good rather than very good, it would have been the salmon---but, that didn’t belong anyway, in my opinion, and should be a candidate for “addition by subtraction” from the next event. Sure, I brought it home and will eat it today with my plethora of leftovers from last night, but I think the work it takes, to excellently and simultaneously create 75 pieces of salmon, overstretches most kitchens. (Not that I’m a professional; I’m just a yahoo office worker who can barely cook for his own family.)
My only other criticism would be that perhaps in order to prevent the variety of sauces/jus from mixing on the big platter, corn starch was employed several times for thickening. I have nothing against corn starch, but when it is employed multiple times in one meal, it seems a little weird to me. But, hey, the dressing on the mushroom salad was excellent and earns make-up bonus points. If it was from a jar, and the joke was on me, I wouldn’t care. Yum. And, while everything was nice, my winners were his walnut and fig stuffed leg of goat, and the boar pozole. Okay, and the spices in the venison goulash were memorable, too.
I’d have preferred a glass or two of wine, rather than the included four 8oz thoughtfully pre-selected beer pairings, but the crowd surely found that to be yet one more fun and conversational feature of the eve. Hey, thanks to Goatgolfer for setting this up, it indeed was enjoyable.
It will be interesting to compare the Loon to the Root with a $30 vs $60 + $20 beer price point. Warren vs. White lake; bear all, boar none....
I am anticipating the "value for money" question to be the deal here as the Root is not cheap but terrific value. The loon is cheap and valuable.
Mark: I'm in. With the drive I will be on San Pelligrino but otherwise I think the price is attractive particularly with VTBs terrific observations about our last go. But, hey I've only got 4 wild game meats in my freezer and none of them are bear or boar (nor boring). Don't know the latest CH party rules but I think you have my email and the G**gle/detroitchow party comm site so you have my support and I will probably be + 1 with a hunting buddy.