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James Beard House

The Beard House

Recently, NYC Correspondent Matt Capucilli was invited to a special Lambs & Clams dinner at The Beard House in Manhattan. He brings us his review below along with the evening’s menu underneath…

After being greeted with a Rye Julep made with Catocin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky , I followed the crowd into a back patio area where a host of appetizers were being served.

Clams with tomato confit and horseradish and oysters with Nori granité were the main attractions. Fortunately, I tasted them before the rain forced everyone inside. After the crowd settled, a crispy lamb neck with preserved lemon Kalamata olives was passed as an hors d’Oeuvre. All the dishes were excellent.

Lamb being plated at  the Beard House kitchen

Lamb being plated at the Beard House kitchen

The clientele was of mixed ages, about thirty people in total, and all seemed fond of discussing nightlife and food. We sat for dinner while the host said a few words about the participating chefs and artisans.

It was an added bonus to know that the parties involved were educated on sustainability and environmental issues.

I was underwhelmed by the first two dinner dishes. The gazpacho was decent and I expected the scallop dish to be much more flavorful.

Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye WhiskyThe two main course dishes were lovely. A merguez sausage and steamed clams dish really hit the spot. The clams were incredibly fresh, clean, and cooked perfectly. The main lamb dish was probably the best lamb I have ever tasted. It was tender, even, and had a unique game flavor that had I never experienced.

The wine pairings during the meal were fair, but the port wasn’t very good. As a port enthusiast I expected a much fuller, richer flavor. It fell flat.

Despite the few minor setbacks, I could tell that Virginia shepherd Craig Rogers and Oysterman Travis Croxton were very talented at their crafts. Their supply was quite enjoyable.

The Beard House was in good order. I will definitely return to experience it’s service and romantic atmosphere.

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