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At 50 Ocean's Backward Bites And Brews Dinner With Cigar City Brewery, Your Meal Starts With Dessert

You don’t have to be a kid to want dessert before dinner. In fact, the upcoming Backward Bites and Brews dinner at 50 Ocean in Delray Beach is for adults only.

Prepared by 50 Ocean chef Blake Malatesta in collaboration with Cigar City Brewery, the beer pairing meal will be the third installment in the restaurant’s 2015 Chef’s Summer Tasting Series.

The five-course dinner—which lets guests start with dessert and work backward through a meat, fish and pasta course until they reach the final appetizer—takes place Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person.

50 Ocean general manager Mark DeAtley explained that these multi-course dinners always involve some sort of “sleight of hand” so that not everything is as it seems. In this case, the trick was a play on ingredients to make the meal work in reverse.

“When you look at what the ingredients are, you don’t necessarily think it’s dessert,” he said. “That’ll be in the presentation—twisting sweet to taste savory and likewise at the end of the meal.”

DeAtley said he and chef Blake came up with the idea for the Backward Bites and Brews dinner while closing up the restaurant one night.

“It was one of our very late-night conversations at the end of service,” DeAtley said. “We said, ‘Why don’t we just do it backward?’”

Once Cigar City selected its brews for the dinner—from a seasonal pumpkin ale called Good Gourd, to the Marshal Zhukov beer with notes of espresso and chocolate—DeAtley and Malatesta planned the meal around them.

“We pair to the beers,” DeAtley said. “In the talk of chicken and the egg, the beer comes first.”

50 Ocean has already worked with Funky Buddha and Saltwater breweries this summer. What DeAtley loves most about these dinners is the execution of a great pairing.

“It’s just really cool to really see how food can pair, and that you can pair to beer and not just other spirits,” he said.

In October, the restaurant will be bypassing the brews and pairing to Jim Beam bourbon instead. That dinner will be a throwback to the 1920s, with cocktails and food from the era, according to DeAtley.

The five-course menu and beer pairings for the backward dinner are as follows:


Cherry bleu vein panna cotta, brown butter shortbread, mocha caviar

Pairing: Marshal Zhukov imperial stout


Slow-simmered Akaushi, potato-pumpkin whip, crispy onion

Pairing: Good Gourd imperial pumpkin ale


“Scalloped” flounder, herb and garlic potatoes, beer butter

Pairing: Invasion pale ale


Cedar Key clams, lemongrass, candied jalapeño

Pairing: Key lime pie ale


Toasted oat streusel, raisin compote, foie gras mousse

Pairing: Oatmeal raisin cookie ale

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