Guess what?! My favorite restaurant in Anchorage is turning 40!
And to kick off 40 the right way, Simon's is celebrating 40 days of festivities, events, promotions, and surprises! (Taking notes for my 30th.. You'll catch me hosting celebrations the entire month of December 2023.)
I was so thrilled when my sister and I were asked to participate in the kickoff, the Harvest of Alaska Dinner on October 1st, but quickly turned pale at clicking the Facebook event link and viewing the beautiful five course meal that'd be presented to us. I don't think anyone I know is unaware that I've been a vegetarian for a decade this year, and I panicked. (yes, I am the meme of the obnoxious veg who must tell everyone every 8 minutes.)
I called the staff, who took notes and reassured me that there would be an entirely separate five course for myself and another guest who had Celiac's disease. Because, it's Simon's, and taking care of you is what they do best.
The Harvest of Alaska Dinner took place in Room 49, the private dining room, and we were graced with the presence of around 10 staff members directly catering to the event. Chef Nathan Bentley presented a few of the dishes himself with eloquent background and explanation of the dish's contents.
If you followed my stories on Instagram Monday, you probably saw and drooled over every last course presented.
First, the Kodiak Weathervane Scallop with turnip cream, bacon jam, turnip threads, and parsley oil for the carnivores and a beautiful garden salad with pickled onions and fresh red peppers for me, served with the perfect wine pairing (there was also a beer pairing for those inclined) - a Mirabelle by Schramsberg Rose.
Second was the Squash Veloute. A sentimental soup created by Chef Nathan for his mother who recently passed, which captured sweet and savory combinations so beautifully, our entire table decided they'd all be happy with just that for the next three courses. We were served a Honig Sauvignon Blanc to compliment.
The main course for the table was the Alaskan Pork Belly, 36 hours sous viede with a carrot puree, cider jus, and hazelnut crumble. However, my dish was completely different, and completely delicious. I lost all manners right about here, when I dug into my Ginger Crusted Portobello, with orange zest on the top, and a balsamic dressing drizzled across the mushroom, white rice, and steamed asparagus. My favorite thing about this was that it was no simple substitution, and was perfectly paired with Erath Resplendent Pinot Noir.
My fourth course was a pleasant surprise, the Warm Brie with Macadamia Nut Crust, which is one of my go-to appetizers from the dinner menu, served with raspberry puree and green apple slices. The rest of the room received Alaskan Short Ribs with Chimichurri fingerling potatoes and horseradish foam, and the choice between Conn Creek Anthology Cabernet Sauvignon or Midnight Sun's Arctic Devil Barley Wine Ale.
Finally, the Blueberry Tart with an almond granola crust and vanilla bean ice cream. Paired so perfectly with Midnight Sun's Blackberry Noir Black Sour, I kind of became a beer drinker in that moment.
We left with the gift of a 40th Anniversary collection wine glass and memorabilia, and I also snagged a key lime pie (my biggest Simon's recommendation) from the main dining room to bring home to the fam.
The Harvest of Alaska Dinner was an absolutely lovely experience, but not surprisingly so. We always expect the best from Simon's! If you want to participate in any of the upcoming festivities, check out the list below!
The next formal dinner event is the Spirit of Simon's Dinner, on October 18th at 6:30. This is a private, ticketed event, with the same five course style as the Harvest dinner. Click here to get more info and book your tickets now!
As for today's brunching, you'll catch me at the Mimosa Bar with a Blueberry Ginger in hand while discussing the change to Simon & Seafort & Culver's.
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