Showing posts with label beer pairing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beer pairing. Show all posts

Friday, October 13, 2017

Farm-to-Post Foraged and Wild Dinner at Post 390 (Back Bay, Boston, MA)

Farm to Post is the dinner series at Back Bay's Post 390 that showcases the local farmers and New England producers the restaurant works with. I attended a pork dinner last year featuring Dogpatch Farm and I had another opportunity to attend a special dinner recently. In September, Post 390 held a "Foraged and Wild" dinner featuring (you guessed it) foraged ingredients.

Each Farm to Post dinner always starts with a cocktail reception with passed hors d'oeuvres. This year's most popular appetizer was probably the fried Damariscotta oyster (from Maine) with creamed wild spinach and bacon.
Post 390 Foraging
The first cocktail is a sparkling Cocchi Americano drink with wild peppermint and sweet fern tea
Post 390 Foraging

First course: "Secret spot" mushroom vol-au-vent
Marsh greens, spiced black walnuts, blackberries, wild flower petals, Solomon's plume vinaigrette.
This was paired with Oxbow Brewing Farmhouse Pale Ale from Newcastle, ME.
Post 390 Foraging
The pastry for the vol-au-vent was perfectly flaky. The mushrooms, and other foraged items in the dinner were foraged by Nicholas Deutmeyer. The mushrooms came from his secret spot (hence the name). We had black trumpet mushrooms, lobster mushrooms, and chanterelles. The greens also featured foraged sea beans and sea arugula. Perfect start to a foraging dinner!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Beer Dinner at Kings Row Gastropub With Smog City Brewing Co

King Row Gastropub in Old Town Pasadena has launched a monthly beer dinner series, starting with local Smog City Brewing Co earlier this month. The five course dinner, paired with five beers, was quite a deal at $30 per person! The dinners are limited to 30 people and will take place in a communal setting. We had the owners of Smog City coming out to talk to us about the beers as well.

The theme for the Smog City dinner is Smoke and Beers, in which all the dishes have something smoked in them.

There was an amuse bouche of taro chip topped with salsa crudo of melon, mint, cantalope, and beans - all of which were smoked.

The first course was a Smoked Gouda with Porter honey, fresh beer bread, cornichons.

I really liked the beer bread but thought they too thick in proportion to the cheese. I loved the porter honey, though. This course was paired with Lil Bo Pils.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fun Pairings at Colonial Wine Bar (West Hollywood)

Colonial Wine Bar in West Hollywood is a new restaurant and wine bar co-owned by sommelier David Haskell, whose fun wine pairings I have always enjoyed in the past. The full experience here is not from just the individual food from chef de cuisine Ryan Otey (Patina, Tasting Kitchen) and drinks but having them paired for you.

When we came in for dinner, Haskell brought out three dishes at once with a couple of wine, beer, or sake that would pair well with the three dishes.

The first round included: Deviled eggs, pickled jalapeno, smoked paprika, crispy bacon and greens ($5)
This was my second visit to Colonial and these deviled eggs are becoming a favorite. I liked the deviled eggs paired with Hitachino White best, which is one of their beers on tap. Colonial is apparently one of about ten places in LA that has this beer on tap.

Burrata, heirloom tomatoes, sherry vinaigrette, balsamic gastrique ($12)
The burrata was very creamy and the tomatoes sweet and fresh. The first three dishes were also paired with a wine called Kabaj from Slovenia, which is a pinot grigio but with the skin left on and thus unlike other pinot grigio. With this dish, the tomatoes are meant to lighten the Hitachino while with the wine it's meant to invoke sparkling tomato juice.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stone Beer Pairing Dinner at Sammy's Woodfired Pizza and Grill

It was only a few years ago that I started getting into beer, and I'm still not one for IPAs. Still, I know that Stone beers are supposed to be great. Not long ago, Sammy's Woodfired Pizza and Grill in El Segundo sent out a dinner invitation, paired with Stone beers. I figured I would probably enjoy IPAs much better when it's paired with proper food, especially when the promised food included lobster mac and cheese.

Sammy's Woodfired Pizza has many locations in California (and some in Nevada), but the newest El Segundo location is the first one that also has a grill. This makes it the best location, since it has awesome, inexpensive grilled lamb chops! More on that later.

Our dinner started with the Ahi Poki [sic] with Chukka, soy sauce, green onion, sesame oil ($11)

Ahi Poke
It's a pretty nice poke dominated by the flavors of the sesame oil (no complaint). I like the unusually puffy wonton crisp.

Lobster Mac and Cheese with Tillamook® cheddar cheese ($9), made with real lobster chunks, and lobster bisque as a base.
Lobster Mac n Cheese
Real lobster chunks for a hot, cheesy, $9 bowl? Yep, and it's a good sized bowl, too! The added lobster bisque made for a nice flavor base, as well.

Joining us for dinner was Stone's sales rep for the LA region who explained to us the reasoning behind each pairing.
Stone Cali Belgique
The above two dishes were paired with Stone Cali-Belgique IPA, 6.9% ABV. This was a beer made using Stone IPA as a starter and Belgian yeast. It was not too bitter and well balanced. It brings out the spiciness of the poke. For the mac and cheese, the hops and the cheese balance each other nicely and the dry finish cuts the richness. As far as IPAs go, I can easily drink this even without food.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Samuel Adams Beer Pairing Dinner and The World's Strongest Beer

This Boston Beer Company wants people to rethink the role of beer on your dining table, and that's one of the reason Samuel Adams has been going around the country holding beer pairing dinners (Sam Adams-paired, naturally) - pairings beyond bbq ribs and burgers. For Los Angeles, what restaurant could be more perfect than Jon Shook and Vinni Dotolo's Animal?

Let's not forget the second reason though. The reason many of us were there that night: the launch of Utopias, the Guinness Book record holder of The World's Strongest Beer at 27% ABV.

But that comes later. Before that, food. "Cocktail" hour starts with a series of canapes: shell bean bruschetta, goat cheese with fennel marmalade bruschetta, squash arancini which I managed to eat 3-4 of, and chicken liver pate.

The sit-down dinner starts out with the Sam Adams Coastal Wheat. Instead of serving the beer with lime as is usual, the Animal chefs instead decided to pair it with some deep fried hominy with lime.

Even though Animal is known for rich and heavy dishes like the foie gras loco moco or the poutine, it does not mean they're incapable of preparing more delicate dishes. The next course of fluke with grapes, yuzu, and apples is proof of that. Not to miss out on bold flavors, though, they accentuated the dish with some heat from serrano peppers.

Then we're back to rich and heavy dishes with the melted petit basque cheese, chorizo, paired with the Cranberry Lambic.
Melted basque cheese on grilled bread - I can probably eat at least half of this on my own. Warm, rich, and extremely comforting. The light sweetness followed by the crispness of the Cranberry Lambic cuts the richness of the cheese, making this quite a pairing.

Unfortunately, estarla and I already have 8 PM tickets for Cirque du Soleil's KOOZA from Goldstar, so this was as much of the dinner as we go to taste.

Now, let's get back to why we were all there that night. Before we busted out of there, we sneaked in a tasting of the Utopias.

The world's strongest beer. "Beer", that is. 27% ABV.
A collector's item shaped like the brewery's itself, this beer runs approximately $150. Expensive, for sure. Did I mention it was a collector's item?
Sam Adams brewer Bert Boyce shows us the production number under the bottle. It's a very limited production but you should be able to find it in stores like BevMo if you act fast enough.

The Utopias has been decanting for a while at this point - and you should decant it before drinking. Even with their warning to discard any prior notion of "beer" before tasting, I was surprised nonetheless. The aroma was sweet and caramel-y, but unlike a cider, it smelled "thick". The aroma was just like sherry. With no carbonation left, this "beer" sits somewhere between a sherry and brandy in both aroma and taste.

A unique beer, indeed. If you have $150 to spend on a beer lover this holiday, this would probably make a great gift.

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