Monday, December 23, 2013

Greenbush Beer Dinner at Bread & Wine

I have been to Bread & Wine a few times and I really like it.  They do simple, seasonal American food very well, so when I found out that they would be pairing with Greenbush Brewery for a beer dinner with their seasonal beers, I dived at the opportunity.  They would be serving four courses with four beers.  I have had a few Greenbush Beers (but not the ones that were being served) and I thought they would make a good pairing with Bread & Wine's food.  As I have mentioned before, the restaurant is located in a former laundromat.  The washers and dryers are no longer there and have been replaced with an open kitchen with counter seating, a bar, a small grocery selling a small selection of gourmet foods and wine, and several tables.  When I arrived, I was seated at the bar at a space with my own name which I thought very classy.  I was also offered a Greenbush Closure which was not actually part of the menu, but was offered on the house, so I decided to try it.  It was a good smooth American Pale Ale and it was a good starter.

The beginning of the dinner started with Steak Tartare with an Egg Yolk, Mustard, and Toast Points.  It was served with Greenbush Jadis, which is a Winter White Ale.  The tartare was fairly simple but it was pretty good.  The tartare was roughly chopped, mixed with garlic and onions, and topped with the yolk and pepper.  The mustard was a country dijon and the toast was like a baguette.  I wouldn't have expected a white ale to go with red meat, but the simplicity of the tartare and the mustard helped to tie things together.
For the next course, we were served a White Trumpet and Leek Risotto topped with Frisee and served with Greenbush Ursus Winter Olde Ale.  This was a perfect risotto.  The rice was al dente, the sauce was thick, there were a lot of mushrooms, and the leeks added a good oniony flavor.  The frisee was very fresh and added a good vegetal flavor.  The beer was a darker ale that fell between a pale ale and a porter and had a slight maple flavor to it.  This was actually an interesting pairing.  I would expect the risotto to pair well with a white ale but it the maple flavor actually helped to tie everything together.
For the main course, we were served a Lamb Loin with Sweet Potato Puree and Apples and served with Greenbush Mammoth Weizenbock.  The lamb was very tender and a little sweet which paired with the sweet potato puree.  The apples used were Granny Smiths, which while pretty tart, do have a little sweetness which was brought out by the lamb and the sweet potatoes.  The weizenbock, a wheat bock, is a dark beer with a wheat character.  It is actually pretty sweet so it went well with the food.
Dessert was interesting.  It was called Goat Cheese Churros with Caramel Sauce.  It was served with Apathy Oatmeal Stout.  Churros are generally piped and fried Mexican pastries that are hollow and filled with custard, jam, or caramel.  These pastries did not look like normal churros and instead of having the filling piped in, they were sliced and filled like a sandwich.  While it didn't really look like a churro, the pastry was slightly crisp on the outside and were very airy as churros normally are.  The goat cheese filling was sweet with a light tartness and a bit of a goaty flavor.  The oatmeal stout had a bold flavor with flavors of chocolate, coffee, and caramel which paired well with the caramel on the churros.

This was a very good dinner.  The food was simple but very good, the beers were very good, and the pairings were interesting.  The service was very good and I really liked the fact that I had a personalized place setting.  In addition to all of this, the owner and head brewer of Greenbush Brewery was there to talk about his beers, which he did with every diner.  Bread & Wine does some good food which I have stated already, Greenbush is very inventive, and if I have an opportunity to try either again, I will defininitely take the opportunity.

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