Aloha from Wisconsin. As difficult as it is to imagine a tropical breeze blowing across the frozen tundra that is Wisconsin, the taste of Hawaii has made its way to Appleton. — Osorio's Latin Fusion, one of Appleton's finest restaurants known nationwide for its creative cocktails and monthly wine pairings, is taking a new direction for the February pairing dinner on the 25th of the month. The beers of Kona Brewery Company, based in Oahu, Hawaii, will be the feature of the monthly pairing.
“We've had beer pairings before but never with Hawaiian beer,” commented the Appleton restaurant co-owner, Kim Finnell. “Kona Brewery beers are as unique as the islands themselves and we've discovered that the specific flavors of the island brews go fantastically with Chef Liborio's dishes for each of the four courses.”
Beginning the island feast at the popular Appleton family restaurant, course one will include Hawaiian inspired Black and White Seared Ahi Tuna paired with one of the brewery's most popular beers, Kona's Longboard. A classic pilsner style beer, Longboard was the first Kona Brewery beer to gain the attention of “main-landers” visiting the islands and is the top selling Hawaiian beer in the country.
“I've heard it said that Longboard is the perfect beer to clear the saltwater of the Pacific from your pallet,” said Finnell with a smile to which the many regulars of the festive Appleton restaurant have grown accustomed. “While that may be true, the flavor of that particular island brew blends perfectly with nearly any seafood or, frankly, is a great stand-alone beer.”
With a definite island flair, course two features a coconut shrimp lettuce wrap paired with Kona's Big Wave, a smooth and surprisingly crisp IPA style brew. One of the most popular beers produced by Kona Brewing Company, IPA fans will be thrilled as the flavor filled beer wraps easily around Chef Liborio's dish carefully paired for the perfect complement.
“I think Chef Libo had fun with this particular pairing dinner,” explained the Appleton restaurant owner. “While he always loves to create the ideal dishes for any pairing, he was thrilled to adapt Osorio's family recipes and create island inspired dishes to go with the Kona beers. The main course is a true reflection of his inspiration to blend traditional Hawaiian cuisine with our Latin and International dishes.”
Featuring Kona Brewery Company's true IPA, Kona Castaway IPA, the main course of the evening is a fan favorite with a slight Hawaiian twist. Pineapple BBQ Carnitas, one of Chef Libo's own creations, is a delectable pork dish served inside one half of a grilled Hawaiian pineapple and is paired with the island brew. Similar to traditional island Kalua Pork, the dish is complemented perfectly by the thick hop flavors of the Hawaiian IPA.
“Closing out the evening, the final course will tickle every taste bud in the house,” Finnell stated. “Our Kahlua Bread Pudding is paired perfectly with Kona's Koko Brown and is an amazing taste sensation. You couldn't ask for a better final course.”
While the Kona Brewery Company pairing dinner is the feature of the evening, the family restaurant offers the entire Osorio's Latin Fusion menu for those not participating, in addition to the full bar, children's menu and an extensive gluten free selection.
Reservations are required for the Kona Brewery Company pairing dinner and space is filling quickly at the popular Appleton restaurant for the $45 per person event.
ABOUT OSORIO’S LATIN FUSION:
This Appleton, WI restaurant is located at 1910 N. Casaloma Drive, between the Fox River Mall and Timber Rattler’s Stadium. For reservations, or to arrange for an Osorio's Latin Fusion catered event, or to inquire about banquet rooms, call 920.955.3766 or visit the website: www.osorioslatinfusion.com/
For more information on Kona Brewery Company plan a trip to Oahu and have the time of your life or visit the website: www.konabrewingco.com
**JD Arbuckle is a freelance journalist specializing in consumer education on a variety of topics including Latin American cuisine, Appleton restaurants and beer.
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