Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Founders Dry-Hopped Pale Ale

Last night to celebrate Valentine's Day my wife and I decided to skip the traditional candlelight dinner for two, and instead opted to go out to eat with my wife's sister and her husband. My Mother-in-law came over to the house to watch the kids, so the cousins got to hang out and play.

Meanwhile, we were headed across town to a restaurant that I have been excited to try, but is a little pricey, so I had been waiting for the right occasion. Fortunately, I had also found a Groupon the week before! $15 for $30 food credit? I'll take it! Yes, I am a cheap bastard...

However, that doesn't mean I had to sacrifice quality, or the romance factor...The restaurant, dish, is pretty fancy for our small town, and specializes in tapas and gourmet small-plate dishes. As the cook in our house, I get awfully tired of coming home from work and trying to come up with something that the whole family will eat - it is about time I get a multi-course meal with service and perfectly executed cuisine!

We started out with a 4-cheese sampler of: pecorino romano with strawberries, idiazabal with almonds and olives, caprino with a fig preserve drizzle, and cabrales with dried cranberries. I honestly could have stopped after the starter and my pint of Old Rasputin and I would have been perfectly happy!

Despite my love of beef, the quail was the hit of the night!
But NO, we had 6 "small" plates to contend with including: baby spinach with raisins, almonds and a raspberry-orange vinagrette; jerk chicken with caramelized plantains and a mango-ginger sauce; southern-fried quail with "maytag blue" cheese and granny smith apples; a Mediterranean dish with baba ghanoush, hummus, olives, feta and pita slices; chorizo sausage with pear preserves, soft goat cheese and whole-grain mustard, and finally a petite filet mignon with baby quail egg served sunny-side-up! Definitely one of the most decadent meals I have EVER had!

If you are ever in the area, this place is a MUST TRY! Oh, and they also have local brews on tap, so you have to give them your business!

After such a heavy meal, I didn't have any room left for dessert, but I needed something lighter to cleanse my palate. It was getting late, so we headed home to get there in time to put the kids down.

For my after-dinner-mint, I selected Founders Dry-Hopped Pale Ale, a 5.4% ABV, oily-gold beer that pours to a one-finger white head, fading quickly to a dirty dishwater consistency. I can't believe I have never sampled this beer before, and I'm even more surprised to note that it has only 35 IBUs...

Although from the name I was expecting a more intense aroma, the brew still smells very good - lemony citrus with the faint, fruity sweetness of apricot. The first sip is very flavorful! Buttery texture with some nuttiness and toasted grains in the middle, and a clean, lingering English Muffin taste in the finish. Forget a night cap...in my opinion this beer would go great with breakfast! It did make for a great ending to the night, though!

No comments:

Post a Comment