ONE20 Public House – Consider Me Impressed

About a month ago I was invited to ONE20 Public House for a brewmaster’s dinner featuring Steel and Oak Brewing. Having never been to ONE20 I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found was one of the best beer pairing dinners I’ve ever been to. Fantastic dishes, good pairings, great pacing, and top shelf service. I knew Steel and Oak was a fantastic brewery but the level of the food presented by ONE20 was above every other beer dinner I’ve been to except one. I would put this dinner on par with the now defunct Ensemble Tap and the Beerthirst dinner they put on a few years ago.

BEER!
BEER!

But here’s the thing. Beer pairing dinners aren’t usually a good indication of what the bar/restaurant does on a nightly basis. It’s a showcase for the chef and quite often the food is way above what is on the regular menu. So in the interest of accuracy I went back to ONE20 on my own time with my own money to see if reality matched a fantastic one night stand.

Albacore Tuna Tartare with house made BBQ chips
Albacore Tuna Tartare with house made BBQ chips

I started with Albacore Tuna Tartare with house made BBQ chips. The tuna was fresh, light, and properly seasoned. The BBQ chips were great. House made BBQ chips… That’s an easy way to make something simple become something people want to come back for.

Braised shortrib with horseradish mash, grilled scallions, and red wine demi-glace
Braised Shortrib with horseradish mash, grilled scallions, and red wine demi-glace

For my main I had Braised Shortrib with horseradish mash, grilled scallions, and red wine demi-glace. The portion is BIG. The beef was tender, juicy, flavourful, everything you can get out of a relatively low grade cut of meat. Shortrib done properly is magic and this was just right. The mash and scallions paired up well with the beef and the demi-glace tied everything together. This dish wouldn’t be out of place in Yaletown or Coal Harbour for 50% more money and you can get it at a pub on Scott Road in Delta!

The beer list is very good, 15 craft taps, and it’s overseen by Cicerone Ben Treen. Their wine list is extensive and their cocktail menu is equally deep. Executive Chef Ryan Praskey, who arrived at ONE20 in 2014 after stints at Momofuku, Terra, and Ferrovia, has brought a farm to table approach to the menu embracing local producers and fresh ingredients.

One20 Public House is a pretty special place in a sea of suburban mediocrity. You should go check it out for yourself.

I’ve posted a few pictures from the Steel and Oak dinner at the bottom of this post.

Twitter – @120publichouse

Instagram – one20publichouse

Facebook – One20Pub

Interwebz – one20pub.com

Scott.

Beer dinner - Chicken and smoked hefeweizen consumme, mushroom, chorizo, chicken dumpling, parmesan tuile, herb oil
Beer dinner – Chicken and smoked hefeweizen consumme, mushroom, chorizo, chicken dumpling, parmesan tuile, herb oil
Beer dinner - Red pilsner beer battered Halibut, sauce gribiche,  haystack potatoes
Beer dinner – Red pilsner beer battered Halibut, sauce gribiche, haystack potatoes
Beer dinner - Plated oyster
Beer dinner – Plated oyster
Beer dinner - Fried queso and crispy sausage
Beer dinner – Fried queso and crispy sausage
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Townhall Langley Beer Dinner with Parallel 49 Brewing

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a beer dinner so when my Beer Club Bro Don called and invited me to one, I couldn’t say no! The last Joseph Richard Group beer dinner I went to was fantastic, check it out here, so when I heard this one was at Townhall Langley I was giddy like a tiny antelope.  This was a 5 course affair paired with Parallel 49 brews. Let’s begin.

Tortilla Soup
Tortilla Soup

Course 1, Tortilla Soup paired with Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale. The soup was a little spicy which paired very well with the hoppy nature of Gypsy Tears. I believe the soup was a roasted red pepper base but to be honest I forgot to take notes for the first course. Worst blogger ever. Either way it was quite good.

Glass Noodle Salad
Glass Noodle Salad

The 2nd course was a Glass Noddle Salad with prawns (prawn) and an Asian inspired slaw paired with Happarazzi IPL. The veggies were almost like bibimbap but not quite as tangy. I could’ve used more than one prawn but beggars can’t be choosers. The pairing begged for more spice but still worked.

Beef Tenderloin
Beef Tenderloin

The 3rd course was Beef Tenderloin with mushroom reduction, broccolini and horseradish. It was paired with Old Boy Classic Ale. One word, perfect. The tenderloin was perfectly mid-rare, the mushroom reduction was perfectly rich and seasoned, the horseradish cream was punch you in the sinuses fantastic. So good. The pairing was a no brainer, nailed it.

Cedar Planked Salmon
Cedar Planked Salmon

Course number 4 was Cedar Planked  Salmon with sweet potato purée and roasted cauliflower paired with Craft Lager. The salmon was good, I’m not sure that “cedar planking” really does anything for me though… The purée was sweet and rich and roasted cauliflower is always a winner. The pairing was sweet paired with sweet, not really a big risk but good none the less.

Ice Cream Sandwich Trio
Ice Cream Sandwich Trio

The 5th course was absolutely brilliant, tiny ice cream sandwiches paired with Ugly Sweater Milk Stout. 3 ice cream sandwiches made with chocolate chip cookies. One with mint chocolate chip ice cream, one with coffee chocolate chip ice cream, and one with some kind of peanut brittle (maybe honey roasted peanuts) ice cream. Wow, just…wow. The Milk Stout was just right with this dessert.

Thanks to JRG and Townhall Langley for having Don and I as guests! Our dinners were on the house but we left a fat tip.

Check out Joseph Richard Group and their many establishments for the next delicious beer dinner and follow South Fraser Beer Club ( Twitter – @SF_BC, Facebook – SouthFraserBeerClub) for all of your craft beer needs.

Twitter – @WEAREJRG

Facebook – WEAREJRG

Interwebzzz – jrgvancouver.ca

Scott.

Our "Welcome beer" Parallel 49 Craft Lager.
Our “Welcome beer” Parallel 49 Craft Lager.
Don and I got to try the new Robo Ruby. Very nice indeed.
Don and I got to try the new Robo Ruby. Very nice indeed.

 

Four Winds Brewing dinner at Sharkey’s Seafood Bar and Grille

Delta’s Four Winds Brewing is quickly making a name for itself around town as a major player in the local craft beer scene. Every new release is seemingly better than the last and I haven’t found a Four Winds beer that wasn’t outstanding. My latest beer dinner adventure took place at Sharkey’s in Ladner where Chef Brent Fahl put together a 4 course dinner, each course paired with one of Four Wind’s delightful beers.

Four Winds ESB
Four Winds ESB

The first course was a punchy bold move by Chef Fahl. A Pear and Blue Cheese Salad, grilled romaine hearts, poached BC pears, lots of crumbled blue cheese, red onions, and a sundried tomato vinaigrette. If you’re not a blue cheese fan, but really why wouldn’t you be, this salad probably would’ve haunted your dreams for weeks. I, however, love blue cheese in all of its forms and this salad had the right punch and balance to make the copious amounts of cheese work. It was paired with Four Winds Wet Hopped ESB. This beer is incredible, the fresh hops are on full display here and the ESB’s malty nature gives them a counterpoint which a lot of “fresh hopped” beers seem to lack. The pairing worked very well too matching the strong flavours of the salad with heavy handed hops and malt, but not in a bad way.

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad
Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Course 2 was Chipotle Braised Pork Belly. Beer brined oven braised pork belly, chipotle BBQ sauce, garlic beer fries and roasted butternut squash. The pork belly was tender and juicy with a great crust around the edge. The BBQ sauce was smoky with minimal heat. The fries were great, garlic and salt is something that is hard to mess up. The squash was also tasty but 2 starches was a heavy choice. This dish could’ve used something lighter like coleslaw or pickle slices. It was paired with Four Winds IPA. IPA’s are a perfect pairing for anything smoky or spicy and Four Winds makes a great IPA.

Chipotle Braised Pork Belly
Chipotle Braised Pork Belly

The 3rd course was Crab Cakes. Crispy fried panko breading with a cucumber and wasabi sauce, basmati rice and fresh pea shoots. The crab cakes were a nice size and texture,. They had the right balance of savoury seasoning to accent the sweetness of the crab meat. The cucumber and wasabi sauce could’ve used a little more wasabi and the rice needed a little seasoning but the crab cakes themselves were very good. The Four Winds Saison paired well here. I wish it had been the recently released Saison Brett but the standard saison is equally as amazing.

Crab cakes
Crab cakes

The 4th and final course was a rich Molasses Sponge Cake with vanilla ice cream and candied lemon zest. The cake was great, it had a gingerbread like taste from the molasses and it was super fresh and moist. The candied lemon zest was outstanding, I wish there was more! This rich dessert was paired with Four Winds Malted Oat Porter. This was my first time trying their porter and it’s fairly full bodied for a dark beer that tips the scales at 5.5% abv. The chocolate notes pair well with the molasses. 4 courses, 4 great pairings. Nicely done Sharkey’s!

Molasses Sponge Cake
Molasses Sponge Cake

Follow Sahrkey’s on Twitter @sharkeyladner or on Facebook at Sharkeys-Seafood-Bar-Grille and Four Winds is @FourWindsBrewCo and FourWindsBrewingCo.

Sharkey’s and Four Winds are both South Fraser Beer Club approved!

Scott.

Beer Pairing Dinner at Edith and Arthur featuring Central City Brewers and Distillers

I get invited to a lot of beer pairing/brewmasters dinners, probably 2-3 a month. Someone recently told me that my blog wasn’t “Craft Beer Focused” and I can’t say I agree. Pubs/Restaurants/Breweries seem to value my opinion so when duty calls I do my best to tell the world about great beer and food. My latest beer pairing dinner adventure came courtesy of Edith and Arthur, a Joseph Richard Group pub located in Surrey’s Fleetwood neighbourhood roughly 4 blocks from my house. People living downtown might think that’s normal but in the Fraser Valley it is fairly uncommon to be able to walk somewhere without using a car to get close enough to do so. They teamed up with Surrey’s Award winning Central City Brewers and Distillers to create a 5 course tasting menu, each dish paired with a Red Racer beer meant to compliment its flavours. Spoiler alert, it was very good.

First things first, when you go to a 5 course beer pairing dinner you expect to try 5 beers. We tried 6 as we were welcomed with Red Racer’s delightfully sessionable Pilsner.

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Pilsnerific

Course number 1 was Crab and Roast Pepper Bisque paired with Red Racer ESB. The bisque was rich and packed full of roast pepper flavour. The crab was almost like a de-constructed crab cake. It was delicate and sweet/savoury and was a perfect companion to the bisque. Red Racer ESB is one of my all time favourite BC craft beers and its caramel malts and medium bitterness accented the richness of this dish very nicely.

Crab and Roast Pepper Bisque.
Crab and Roast Pepper Bisque.

Course 2 was Grilled Pair Bruschetta with Chili Poached Prawns. The buschetta was simple and elegant with greens, tomatoes and goats cheese all accenting the slightly grilled pear slices on some toasted bread. The chili prawns had some heat but they weren’t overpowering. The heat was a nice addition to an otherwise light and fresh dish. It was paired with Red Racer Pale Ale, a classic and well executed American style pale ale with a malty backbone and a more subtle hop profile that an IPA or an ESB. Normally I’d prefer an IPA with something spicy like the prawns but this beer was a good compromise between the two sides of this dish. Pairing a beer with a dish that has 2 distinct and different flavours is tough and they nailed it.

Grilled Pear Bruschetta with Chili Poached Prawns
Grilled Pear Bruschetta with Chili Poached Prawns

Course number 3 worried me a little, actually a lot. My disdain for pumpkin “flavoured” things is well documented . There are a few exceptions but usually pumpkin and I aren’t friends. House made Pumpkin Squash Ravioli with brown butter and pomegranate seeds. The fresh pasta was amazing, the pumpkin filling was rich and only slightly “pumpkiny”, it was more like a butternut squash ravioli with hints of cinnamon/all spice/nutmeg that are usually overpowering. There was a generous curl of Parmigiano-Reggiano laid on top that added some salty goodness. It was accompanied by Red Racer Pumpkin Ale which is equally as subtle in the pumpkin department. An obvious pairing executed perfectly and present beautifully.

Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter.
Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter.

The 4th course was craft beer twist on Coq Au Vin. Traditionally made with wine (Coq Au Vin translates to Rooster with Wine) this one was made using Red Racer Red Ale, which I’m fairly certain is the Rad Racer/Flying Monkey’s collaboration Imperial Red Ale, in place of wine. The broth was seasoned well and the red ale flavour was evident but not intrusive. The chicken was tender and juicy and everything took on the flavour of being cooked in the Red Ale sauce. It was paired with…you guessed it…the Imperial Red Ale! You can’t really go wrong making a dish with the same beer you’re pairing it with and this one worked well. The Imperial Red Ale is a 9.5 abv monster which is better sipped than chugged.

Coq Au Vin
Coq Au Vin

The 5th and final course was dessert, an Imperial Brownie with Chocolate Mousse. Think of a one bite brownie, the kind you buy in those little paper bags, topped with a dollop of rich chocolate mousse. It’s impossible for that to be bad. The pairing is what worried me here. You may have noticed that we haven’t had any award winning Red Racer IPA yet, believe me I noticed that too. An IPA with a rich chocolate dessert? Yep, it’s crazy and I like crazy. It’s actually not that crazy, chocolate is naturally quite bitter and the sweetness added to it transforms the hoppy, bitter IPA into something completely different when paired this way. A ballsy move to be certain but you know what they say, not guts no glory.

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Thanks to Jeremy, Jessica, and Corey for inviting me and my South Fraser Beer Club Co-pilot Rob out to this well executed beer pairing dinner, well done!

Scott.

Honest blogger stuff – My dinner, as well as Rob’s, were provided at no charge for review purposes by Edith and Arthur.

Odin Brewing Longtable dinner at The Pumphouse Pub

It’s been a while since I attended a be dinner so when Micah Noble from Kooner Hospitality Group invited me to blog about their upcoming Odin Brewing dinner at The Pumphouse in Richmond I couldn’t resist. Odin was launching their newest beer, Sigrun IPA, at this particular dinner. I vaguely remember a conversation with the owners of Odin about how they weren’t going to do an IPA, I told them that was crazy talk. I’m sure my semi drunken rebuttal had little impact on their decision to jump into the ultra competitive IPA market but I’m glad they did. More about the IPA later, let’s get to the dinner shall we?

 

Asian chopped salad paired with Odin's Freya's Gold Kolsch style ale
Asian chopped salad paired with Odin’s Freya’s Gold Kolsch style ale

Course 1 was a nice Asian inspired chopped salad with crispy won tons and a ginger sesame dressing. It was paired with Odin’s Freya’s Gold Kolsch style ale. Odin’s claim to fame is their focus on brewing beers that pair well with food and this Kolsch is a great example of that. It’s light, mild and really pairs well with just about everything.

Buttermilk fried chicken with garlic mash paired with Odin Viking Gold Extra Pale Ale
Buttermilk fried chicken with garlic mash paired with Odin Viking Gold Extra Pale Ale

Next up was a tasty buttermilk fried chicken leg on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes, comfort food 101. How can you go wrong with fried chicken and garlic mash? The breading was well seasoned, the potatoes were lump free. A very well put together southern classic. This dish was paired with Odin’s Viking Gold Extra Pale Ale, another light, clean and very versatile beer great for pairing with multiple dishes. As expected, this pairing worked quite well.

Beef and blue cheese house made pizza paired with Odin's Gift Nordic Amber Ale
Beef and blue cheese house made pizza paired with Odin’s Gift Nordic Amber Ale

Couse 3 was a rich and tasty beef and blue cheese pizza with a house made crust. Salty, tangy, meaty, awesome. This dish wasn’t a hit with everyone but I liked it a lot. It was paired with Odin’s Nordic Pale Ale (Odin’s Gift) and it was by far the best pairing of the night. Odin’s gift has a great juniper nose but is way more mellow than expected. Still, the pairing was perfect.

Coconut curry seafood baked rice paired with Odin's Sigrun IPA
Coconut curry seafood baked rice paired with Odin’s Sigrun IPA

The 4th course featured a baked coconut curry seafood rice and the afore mentioned Sigrun IPA. The rice dish was good but needed a little more seasoning (salt) and a little less time waiting to be served. The dinner had over 60 participants so it’s not surprising that  a dish or 2 might sit for a little too long. Now, the Sigrun IPA. In keeping with Odin’s other offerings this IPA isn’t the hop bomb that most IPA lovers were hoping for. it is a nice sessionable beer with a pleasant hop profile, maybe a good choice for a hot summer afternoon on a patio? The pairing could’ve used more heat (spice) in the curry.

Salted caramel banana custard tart pair with Odin's Thor's Equinox Strong Ale
Salted caramel banana custard tart pair with Odin’s Thor’s Equinox Strong Ale

The 5th and final course was a salted caramel banana custard tart. The picture isn’t a true representation of how it looked, I tried to remove the tart tin before taking the picture and sort of wrecked it…oops. Man handled looks aside this was a tasty tart, the custard was thick and creamy with nice banana chunks throughout. There was a thin layer of salted caramel at the bottom and a little whipped cream up top. It was pair with Odin’s Thor’s Equinox Strong Ale. Thor’s Equinor is an ass kicker at 9% abv but it is a nice balanced beer that pairs well with sweet food. Odin describes this beer as a “Belgian” style strong ale but there isn’t a whole lot of Belgian-y things going on in this beer, it’s more of an American strong or a thin porter.

Another solid beer dinner under my slowly tightening belt! Thanks to The Kooner Group for the invite, always a great time! Also it was nice to see the Beerthirst crew again, it’s been awhile.

Scott.

Side note… odinbrewing.wordpress.com??? Come on guys, spend the $13 and register a domain name.