Monday, November 16, 2009

Celebration of Beer Week (Part 2 of 2) - Blind Lady Ale House ( BLAH)

Both our second and third (and final) outing during SDBW consisted of visiting the Blind Lady Ale House (BLAH).  On our first evening, we mistakenly arrived too late (about 30 min after they opened) and there was a line outside to get in!  Unbelievable, but we were more than happy to wait our turn since we were so pleased with how well SDBW was working out!  The event this evening was the North Coast Flight Tasting & Keeper-Pint.  Mark started off with a pint of the cask-conditioned Red Seal Ale until we commandeered the perfect barrel with which to rest our flight and a generous bowl of marinated olives.  The flight consisted of six-5oz beers, served side-by-side (right to left):
  • Scrimshaw Pilsner
  • Red Seal Ale
  • Pranqster Belgian Golden Strong Ale
  • Brother Thelonious Belgian Abbey Ale
  • Le Merle Saison
  • Old Rasputin Imperial Stout

That night, we kept our visit short, knowing that we would be back the following day for Chimay Keeper-Goblet, Chimay Cheese & Food Pairing by Chef Aaron Lamonica.  Since we had a heads up about the seating situation, the second evening we arrived about 30 minutes before the BLAH opened.  Mark, Ryan, and I patiently waited in line for what we hoped would be an enjoyable evening of wonderful cuisine and flavorful beer.  We were not disappointed! 

Once inside, Mark waited in the beer line for our first Chimay with our "keeper" Chimay glass.  Ryan and I nestled into our corner table and played a game of Go Fish.  Wanting to include Ryan as much as possible in this beer event, Mark ordered him a root-beer.  With a glass "beer" bottle in hand, Ryan looked like a pro.  Wait...maybe that's not a good thing??!!

Our 3-course Chimay beer pairing dinner began with a substantial piece of grilled swordfish, accompanied by brussels sprouts, bacon, potato parsnip puree, and a salsa verde that was to die for.  Personally, I wouldn't have named it salsa verde since it had so much more going on than the name "salsa verde" denotes.  I wish I knew the ingredients, but what came through to me (and this is simply my best guess) were the flavors of cilantro, parsley, and shallots seasoned with a beautiful vinaigrette.  The fish was served with the Chimay White.

The second dish was a comforting, yet exotic cassoulet made of shell beans, cotechino sausage, short rib, and duck confit, all cooked and paired with Chimay Red.  I wish this dish was served with a wedge of french bread to soak up the wonderful broth.  In case you didn't know, it seems that duck confit can induce a food coma as well...

Still with 1 more course and a cheese plate on it's way, we also decided to order one of BLAH's famous gourmet pizzas.  Just in case we needed more food.  Actually, we only ordered 1 portion of the Chimay food and beer pairing and shared it amongst the three of us.  Of course I had to explain that a bit so it didn't seem like we were total pigs! 

We've tried a few BLAH pizzas already, so we went with a new one - the Bianca al Prosciutto - prosciutto di parma, olive oil, garlic, mozzarella.  Simple, good garlic flavor, but wasn't one of our favorites from their menu.

Our last indulgence for the evening was the dessert course.  Earlier during beer week at the Karl Strauss dinner, I had a phenomenal beer n bananas foster dessert accompanied by their bourbon barrel-aged trippel.  It definitely changed my mind about they ability to pair the correct beer with a dessert, but the feeling wasn't truly confirmed until this experience.  I thought maybe it was a fluke, but now I know if it is done well, it can be harmonious.  

This dessert was Chimay Grand Reserve Pudding paired with Chimay Grand Reserve.  The spiced pudding was topped with cream and gingersnaps.  Upon taking a bite of this pudding and following it with a sip of the Grand Reserve, it tasted like the perfect old-fashioned, soda fountain root-beer float.  I've never tried so hard to convince Ryan to try some beer, but I wanted him to experience this pairing since I knew it would instantly remind him of something he loves!  The kid is adamant that he does not like beer, so I guess it is best to leave it at that for now.  Thank you, BLAH, for some wonderful food, Chimay beer, and for making me a firm believer in dessert and beer pairings.  Perfecto!


1 comment:

  1. I have to say I have never had beer with dessert, but it sounds like if I find the right place, I will give it a try! Beautiful picture of you and Ryan. Gaby