Carrabba's regarding an Amici Club event. The event was a beer and appetizer pairing event for me and a guest. I was pretty excited about it and RSVP'd almost instantly to be able to attend.
Not really knowing what to expect, my friend Shauna and I joined about 12 other diners at the restaurant at 4 pm and were told we were going to receive samples of appetizers paired with beers from Mr. C's bar. (Sidenote: Carrabba's has Happy Hour 7 days a week from open to 7 pm and that includes 2 for 1 beers!)
The appetizers came out as followed with beer pairing: deep fried risotto puff and Peroni, Calamari and Stella Artois, Bruschetta and Blue Moon, Chicken Marsala and Fat Tire, and chocolate mousse cake with LaRossa.
Shauna and I both agree that the pairings were proper and all the food was very tasty. I even got a seafood hater to eat all her calamari (very proud of her). The risotto puff and Bruschetta were great appetizers but what stole the show was the sample of the chicken marsala. Carrabba's marsala is more of a reduction and not a sauce and you can taste so many flavors in it. They use marsala (their signature sauce) on a lot of dishes - steak, pork, pasta, but this gave them the chance to promo their wood burning grill that gives their food the unique flavor. The dish, I believe, was a favorite for everyone.
The dessert and beer pairing was great - I probably would never order that beer just to drink with its 7+% ABV content and it just isn't my type of beer. But with a chocolate cake with chocolate mouse, whipped cream and chocolate shavings, it really accented the dessert well. I got a bit of a coffee taste in the beer and actually really enjoyed it.
Today made me think that more restaurants (especially the independents in downtown Waukesha) should hold days like this for their exclusive clientele. Heck, I would even gladly help the restaurant put it together. I think this is a win-win. The Amici event was free and a tip jar was set on the table at the end of the event to cover the servers and bartenders time waiting on us. The manager was even generous to give us $10 off a dinner if we decided to stay. However with Shauna and I on a budget and already eating an ample amount of food, we decided to pass. But we will definitely return for dinner (chicken marsala) and HAPPY HOUR!!!