Dining in Style at Iron Hill West Chester.

I was one of several invited guests last night, together with Steve (The Former Other One) Rubeo, whom I brought along as my guest, at the Chef’s Table, a “common table” dinner held two or three Wednesdays each month at Iron Hill West Chester. Thanks to PR maven Jennie Hatton and fine American brewer Chris LaPierre for the invite and hospitality and Steve for the ride.

Executive Chef Dan Bethard, who has been with IH since the company started in 1996 and at West Chester since it opened in 1998, prepares a four-course dinner with each course matched with either an Iron Hill beer or, for the misguided, a glass of wine. At $40, it’s a heck of a bargain if all the meals were like last evening’s. All the guests are seated at a single long table (or two) to encourage mixing, mingling and conversation.

We had Lappy’s Yakima Red Ale, a hopped-up version of Irish Red served on the handpump, as a pre-dinner libation and lots of Dubbel and Tripel, the two designated beers, with dinner, which began with a (not on the menu) small mussel with a matching sauce, then was followed by a Green Asparagus Soup made garlicky olive oil and parmigiano-reggiano cheese which was absolutely fantastic (and I am someone who dislikes asparagus a whole lot).

Next up was the highlight of the meal, Pan Seared Halibut with morels, sweet green peas and a Chardonnay cream sauce which was, as they say, “to die for.” The entrée was Garlic Roasted Leg of Lamb, also wonderfully presented with a black pepper demiglace and pomegranate syrup. Dessert, with which Lappy brought us out small samples of his Canniballistic, the sweet and hoppy “big brother” to his award-winning Cannibal Golden Ale, was Strawberry Trifle made with sponge cake, lemon curd and chantilly cream. We finished the evening with a small Vienna Lager (love that beer).

David Anderson, Director of Culinary for Iron Hill, was there last night as well. He and Chef Dan both came to my PBW dinner at The Whip Tavern a few weeks back and he and I spent a couple of minutes after dinner had finished last night exchanging amazed observations about how that establishment’s chef Jason Ziglar and crew could turn out a seven-course meal for nearly 60 people right on time and without missing a beat.

Among the guests at our corner of the table was world-famed author Don “Joe Sixpack” Russell, so the papperazzi flashbulbs were flashing and groupies screaming throughout dinner, something he handled with aplomb. I’ve seen Bryson crumble under similar conditions, so that was impressive.

There are two more Chef’s Tables at Iron Hill West Chester this month, on the 16th and the 30th. I doubt you’d be disappointed if you chose to give one a try.

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