A Perfect Pairing

King’s Row, Ommegang, pair up to pair up deliciousness

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 | 10:41 pm

There's beer here, at King's Row.

We visited the Ommegang Brewey and King’s Row Gastropub’s beer dinner last week as the two collaborated  for “Cooperstown in California,” a special pairing of beer and epicurean delights, each with a beer of its own, of course. Set right in the middle of Old Pasadena’s “Get Happy” libation celebration, it was a scrumptious and dare I say, educational, evening of hops and happy.

(Full disclosure: Since I don’t drink, I brought along my associate Adam Bray-Ali to share his wisdom and his palate to help all appreciate the evening a little more clearly. )

A rare VOS Amber began the evening as an amuse bouche of batter-fried  beets was served with a collection of sauces—a raspberry Chutney, a standard Belgian frite sauce and a curry ketchup, all of them sweet-ish, creating a perfect opening sonata.

Adam described the Vos as “light, citrusy and effervescent. Not a lot of hops.” He would know.

The first course was a beef tartare they calleded Cannibal Toast, a round-configured spread of tartare served as a house-made spread, in the Belgian fashion, with nicoise olives, toasted circles of Farmers bread, and served with a mustard butter spread. It was tarty and just a little spicy, and just a little delicious.

Course two was a snappy Liege salad with Quail egg and a honey hop vinaigrette, served along with a Hop House Belgian Pale ale, which adam described as being “more carbonated, and fizzier with a stronger hops taste.”

A yummy and too-small celeriac and Chervil soup with Boudin Blanc meatballs followed, paired with a Hennepin Saison, medium carbonated and again, hoppier.

White fish en papillote (“in paper”) with asparagus, smoked butter and gribiche, a kind of coarse vinaigrette sauce, was paired with a Witte (white pale ale), which was “more citrus-y with a little spice.” Again, more, please.

A simple Flemish stew finished the main courses along with a “tasty” Abbey Ale.

Ice cream and beer? Why not? Dessert was a slice of chocolate waffle cone (“Stroopwafel”), brittle and served with a house-made malted barley ice cream.

The beer? A chocolate Indulgence Stout, of course.  Our gourmand’s impression? “Chocolate-y.” Again, he would know.

Suffice to say that the beer pairing nights at King’s Row Gastropub are not only great combinations of food and drink, but terrific social events, with long tables filled with fun, interesting strangers who love exploring, and truly appreciate a smart chef, like Chef Sundeep “Sunny” Vohra. With his terrific team of cooks and managers, Vohra has made each King’s Row event we’ve attended so far not only memorable, but leaving us always eagerly anticipating the next one.

King’s Row Gastropub is at 20 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena. (626) 793-3010. www.kingsrowpub.com.



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