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.

The next course is a salad:
Arugula, beets smoked on oak chips, apples, avocado, cilantro, daikon, clementine vinaigrette.
Paired with Smog City Saison
The beer, which is a Farmhouse Ale style made with French hops, tempers the bitterness of the arugula

Smoked Clam Chowder, made with caramelized miso, kombu, dashi, and pureed bacon.

This was one of my favorite courses. It was a little spicy but very creamy and flavorful. Miso in chowder was a brilliant idea! And pureed bacon? Yes, please. The soup was paired with Groundwork Coffee Porter
The chowder takes away the Porter's bitterness, while the beer makes the soup taste creamier

Smoked Ducketta, mustard gnocchi, vegetable. Paired with California Love, a collaboration with Smog City and San Francisco's 21st Amendment
Yes, it's a play on porchetta. It's hard to see from the photo but the tender ducketta contained duck sausage in the middle. The California Love is an Imperial Red brewed using pinot noir grapes and citrus peel, with smoked oak chips. This may be my favorite beer of the night and gives nice herbal notes to the duck.

Smoked Lamb Curry Gosht, basmati rice, mint chutney, yogurt foam
Paired with Make Out Session Pale Ale
First I thought it was weird to see an Indian curry on the menu, but the executive chef is actually Indian (Punjabi) and he stayed true to his roots with this dish. He attests that you cannot have an Indian dish without red onion, hence the one you see there! The pale ale is light but still has body.

The dessert was a Housemade Candy Bar with smoked nuts
This was an elevated Snickers. I really liked the nuttiness but the dessert is quite sweet, you definitely need the beer to pair with this. It was paired with The Nothing, a double stout aged with two different cacao nibs, which brings out the salted caramel flavor.

It was a nice meal with generous portions and pours at an excellent price.
I'm a bit bummed that I won't be in town for the next beer dinner, which is Ommegang! The Ommegang dinner is on Thursday, March 6 and again it will be just $30 for 5 courses and beers. They've lined up Sam Adams for April and The Bruery for May. You can email to reserve your spots.


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