5 Napkin Burger, a small Nation-wide chain specializing in the art of the burger, opened it's first location in Boston last March. Since then, it has taken the concept of 'the burger', redressed it, and presented it as something more than your average pub grub.
Part of 5 Napkin's mission, includes creating fun, social events around the burger. One of their more popular dinner series is their Beer Dinner Series. These dinners, priced at $45 a person, are inspired by a specific brewery that works with the chef to create a four course dinner, with each course expertly paired with a beer.
On the 2nd of April, I was invited to experience the Beer Dinner featuring dinners, and any excuse to visit 5 Napkin Burger is fine by me.
The dinner began at 6:30 with a reception and although my rehearsals at Boston Ballet had me running a little late, the team at 5 Napkin were kind enough to bring us a plate of what we had missed out on. Unfortunately, we could not catch up on the socializing part, but I was really happy to see a very large group of beer and burger fans.
Of the appetizers, my favorite were the cheddar tots - like tater tots but with a creamy cheesy goodness on the inside. I also quite enjoyed the tuna wontons that were light and fresh, with a generous portion of avocado, which can never hurt.
The beer paired with the appetizers was a Levitation Ale and was actually my favorite beer of the night. It was a great way to start off: light and refreshing.
The first course was a small taste of Peel-and-eat Shrimp served in a beer boil with butter sauce. Again, it was a nice way to begin the meal, especially when you know a burger is coming! The beer paired with this was the IPA (or Indian Pale Ale, for any non-beer drinkers out there). I was not as much of a fan of this beer, but it did work well with the buttery flavors of the dish.
Th piece de resistance was in the next course... aka, the burger. You could choose between their veggie burger or a Mushroom Blue burger. Although I do love their veggie burger, I was going big or going home and went for the Mushroom and Blue. 5 Napkin really knows burgers and they get a 10 oz. hunk of prime ground beef, always juicy and delicious and the bun they use is a perfect compliment. (So many places have too much bread!) The mushrooms were sauteed, adding a slightly sweet component and the whole lot was cut across with the sharp blue. A strong burger like this was naturally paired with a strong beer, the Arrogant Bastard Ale, which, not surprisingly is known as one of their most aggressive... I admit, I could not drink much of this one.
To finish off an already successful meal, we were given a Smores Pie; a layered symphony of graham cracker, chocolate ganache and marshmallow. I was duly impressed - so many dinner events like these neglect the dessert course, thinking most people will be too full to enjoy much else. Well I beg to differ! The dessert is the last impression! It could easily be the most important part of the meal... at least for me. The sweet ending of 5 Napkin Burger's Beer Dinner Series really put the bow on top, and left me wanting more.
As far as multi-course dinners go, 5 Napkin's is well done and at 45 dollars (all-inclusive) it makes for a fantastic Tuesday evening. The next one is set for the 24th of April... so keep your calendars open!