Haven Gastropub had become a favorite in Orange County, and it recently opened a second location in Old Town Pasadena, complete with a (future) brewery. I was recently invited to a media tasting and had a six course paired meal that went beyond the image I had in mind of a "gastropub." Sure, there were beer food, like the beef cheek poutine pictured below, but there were much more.
The brewery part of Haven is encased in glass so you can see the stills. They weren't operating when I was there since they were still gearing up, but hopefully that will happen soon. In the meantime, they have plenty of great beers from other breweries on tap!
When I arrived, I didn't realize I was going to have my whole meal paired, so I ordered a beer to start off with: an Ommegang Aphrodite, which is a fruit beer made with raspberry and beer. It's not a sweet beer but it certainly is fruity.
The first course was something I expected from a gastropub: Mac n' Cheese with black truffles, gruyere, fontina, parmesan. This was paired with Bacchus sour ale.
The sour ale, Bacchus was great. It was not too sour and was pretty light.
There were also a trio of house marinated olives (the black olives were my favorites).
Next is the Pork Rillette - "confiture de cochon" served in a mason jar, house mustard, artisan bread.
These two were paired with Point the Way IPA from the newly opened Golden Road Brewery.
Moving to the lighter side of the menu with Hiramasa Crudo - ruby red grapefruit, fresno chili, pickled shallot, micro peppercress, pink salt, arbequina oil
Paired with St. George Gin Fizz
The next two dishes were paired with La Citruielle Celeste de Citracado pumpkin ale (5% ABV), a collaboration by Stone/The Bruery/Elysian.
One is the Pommes Frites - house-cut french fries, fresh herbs, housemade ketchup
Having the pumpkin ale by itself, I thought it was very much like a Stone beer, with an interesting smell. The fries were a good pairing, though. Together it brings out more of the pumpkin.
The other dish was the Vegetable Melange - roasted seasonal vegetables, pumpkin gnocchi, toasted pumpkin oil, fried sage, smoked sea salt
The next salad was one of my favorite dishes: Radicchio and Frisee - chevre, cherry tomatoes, truffle vinaigrette, twice-smoked bacon lardons, poached cage-free egg. Paired with Trimbach Pinot Blanc.
We returned to the heavier, "pub" food with the Beef Cheek Poutine - red wine braised beef cheek, port salut, pommes frites
Seasonal flat bread - butternut squash puree, zoe's pancetta, goat cheese, mustard greens, walnut oil.
Paired with Malm Cellars Haven's Blend.
Duo of Quail - pan roasted quail, housemade quail sausage, hen of the woods mushrooms, butternut squash puree, black mission fig jam
Paired with N'Ice Chouffe Belgian Strong by Achouffe
Executive Chef Greg Daniels was overseeing our whole meal that night, and we certainly had a wonderful one. I only hope that when he's not around in this location, the kitchen can still maintain the same quality consistently! Especially after they've settled in a bit.
We weren't done, as we still had desserts! The dessert section at the Pasadena Haven is Pastry Chef Santanna Salas, though some of the desserts were Chef Daniels' creations (he does credit Chef Salas for making it look better than before).
We had a trio of dessert samplers, all three were unusual. The first, and perhaps the most unusual was the Foie Gras Cheesecake with hibiscus gel, vanilla crumble
A deconstructed Peanut Butter and Jelly with blackberry sorbet, peanut brittle, crispy sourdough
The housemade blackberry sorbet was incredible. Incredible.
Red Velvet Beet Cake, milk chocolate mousse, candied beet chips, spicy pecans
We had quite an extensive and wonderful tasting at Haven gastropub. I was pleasantly surprised at the food that they actually offer here. Our meal wasn't filled with burgers or fish and chips like one would typically expect from a "pub" (though their lamb burger is supposedly the best in OC). Instead, I can go to old town Pasadena for great beers on tap while enjoying things like hiramasa crudo, housemade pork rillettes, and housemade quail sausage - not to mention finishing off with creative desserts like foie gras cheesecake and beet cake!
42 S. De Lacey Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105