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Firefly chef Danny Bortnick is teaming up with Birch & Barley toques Kyle Bailey and Tiffany MacIsaac on a five-course fundraising dinner, scheduled for July 25, to benefit breast cancer research.

The dramatic element of this charity event: Firefly’s ownership group, Kimpton Hotels, is flying in its master sommelier, Emily Wines (yes, that’s her real name), to face-off against B&B/ChurchKey‘s beverage director, Greg Engert, in a beer-versus-wine food-pairing contest. In the end, participating diners will vote to decide which bevvie pairs best with the various foodstuffs. The legacy of D.C.’s prevailing drink of choice is on the line! Full details after the jump:


Birch & Barley and Firefly Chefs Prepare Five-Course Fundraising Dinner While

Master Sommelier Emily Wines and Beer Master Greg Engert Battle for the Best Pairing


Chef Danny Bortnick of Firefly will partner with Chefs Kyle Bailey and Tiffany MacIsaac of Birch & Barley to prepare a five-course fundraising dinner benefiting the Susan G Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure™, which Bortnick and his wife will participate in this fall.  Chefs Bailey and Bortnick will prepare two courses each featuring their unique takes on American cuisine from their popular neighborhood restaurants. Award-winning pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac will delight with a selection of breads and fare for a sweet ending.

This, however, will not be your ordinary multi-course tasting menu. The spirit of the evening is a friendly competition, where only the best bottle will win. From San Francisco, Kimpton Restaurants’ Master Sommelier, Emily Wines, will select her perfect varietal for each course, while Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s Beer Director Greg Engert will present his favorite beer pairing. In a true test of what pairs best, two of the industry’s most notable beverage experts will go head to head in a “bottle battle” of beer vs. wine. Guests will enjoy a reception of passed canapés and libations, followed by five dually paired courses. A lively discussion of each pairing will be detailed by both competitors. In the end, guests will elect their favorite and votes will be tallied, deeming either wine or beer as the victor.

The evening’s menu will include:

Reception canapés by Danny Bortnick

  • Summer squash and smoked mozzarella gratin
  • King salmon tartare, mustard seed cones
  • Chicken liver toast, pickled ramp
  • Grilled octopus, avocado, olive, potato chip

Bread service by Tiffany MacIsaac

  • Assorted breads

First course by Danny Bortnick

  • Heirloom tomato, bread and basil salad, house-made mozzarella, EVOO

Second course by Kyle Bailey

  • Corn tortellini with Maryland crab, rapini and toasted pine nuts

Third course by Danny Bortnick

  • Pan roasted halibut, green garbanzo bean puree, crispy eggplant, garlic confit, roasted fingerling potato

Fourth course by Kyle Bailey

  • Braised lamb belly with curried fregula sardo, squash blossoms and fresh fava bean salad

Fifth course by Tiffany MacIsaac

  • Almond pound cake, popped blueberries, sweet corn ice cream


Monday, July 25 at 6:00 p.m. Cost for the dinner is $150 per person.  Price includes beer and wine pairings, as well as tax and gratuity.  **Proceeds to benefit the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure™.  To purchase tickets, visit http://bottlebattle-esli.eventbrite.com/


Birch & Barley located at 1337 14th Street, NW Washington D.C., 20005 TEL: 202-567-2576

Photo by Entheta