This guest review of Monday’s dinner at Elysian Tangletown, featuring Elysian’s Dick Cantwell and Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione, comes to you from Gibson Holub. You should also check out Gibson’s website, Bottle Battle, where he pits two beers against each other and writes up a review. His most recent post compares the Hale’s Seattle Beer Week 2010 Double IPA with the Pike Seattle Beer Week 2009 Double IPA.
Elysian Tangletown Beer Dinner Review
If you’re anything like me, picking a beer dinner to attend on Monday night was a tough task. Every one of them sounded absolutely amazing, but since I could only make it to one (Note to SBW organizers and host restaurants: Spread them out next year so we can go to more than one!) I made the decision to try out the Elysian & Dogfish Head dinner at Elysian Tangletown. It was the best decision I’ve made in quite awhile. My senses are still recovering from the hedonistic assault of aroma, taste and texture that the head chef of Elysian, John Knowles, conjured up for all of us lucky beer lovers in attendance.
Each course was paired with two beers (one from each brewery) and the beer lineup was stellar. Sam Calagione raided his personal stash and brought a bunch of 2008 Dogfish Head beer in bottles and Dick Cantwell dug out some gems from the cellar to up the ante even more. All of the beers were excellent on their own and are well worth seeking out to stock your fridge or beer cellar. But beer dinners are all about food pairings, so the following is a rundown of each course and which beer my wife and I thought was a better match with the food. If you love beer, food or both, you may commence drooling now.
Curried cauliflower and potato croquettes with two dipping sauces
paired with OAKED IDÉFIX / ’08 CHICORY STOUT
Winner: Oaked Idefix (FYI: The Oaked Idefix is a sour beer brewed with ripe persimmons and curry leaves that Elysian made with New Belgium last year. Great beer to have with exotic spiced food. If you see it on draft, get it!)
Cedar planked Black Cod in kasu with an asian cabbage salad
paired with BARREL-AGED MAIBOCK / ’08 RED & WHITE
Winner: 08 Red & White (FYI: Red & White is a big Belgian Wit fermented with a bit of Pinot Noir juice and partially aged in oak. Almost wine-like in its complexity. Great beer to offer to your wine loving friends.)
Braised American Wagyu short ribs with a savory herbed bread pudding
paired with CYCLOPS BARLEY WINE / ’08 BURTON BATON
Winner: Cyclops Barley Wine (A hoppy barley wine with beef? YES! Also, put a bottle of Burton Baton in your cellar and open it in two years. You won’t be disappointed.)
Duck Confit Salad
paired with AVATAR JASMINE IPA / ’08 BLACK & BLUE
Winner: Black & Blue (FYI: Black & Blue is a Belgian golden ale fermented with blackberries and blueberries. The salad also had blackberries and blueberries. It was a perfect match.)
Mixed chocolate truffles and stout caramel sauce
paired with DRAGONSTOOTH STOUT / ’08 WORLD WIDE STOUT
Winner: Both. (FYI: The 08 World Wide Stout is 18% alcohol. Consider yourself warned.)
And finally, if you didn’t make it to any of the beer dinners and you are a regular reader of this blog, shame on you. The hefty price tags are often a deal if you consider the amount of food that you actually end up consuming at these things. Plus, it’s a great chance to get to meet some of the brewers, as well as like-minded beer lovers at the tables around you. Hope to see you at a beer dinner soon!