Showing posts from May, 2012

Coquette Charcuterie Garni Beer Dinner

I've been to my share of high end beer dinners over the years. It was Will Meyers and the chefs at Cambridge Brewing Company that showed me how perfectly and skillfully beers could be paired with food. When we visited Northern California and had lunch at the esteemed French Laundry, our sommelier picked a great pairing of beers to complement Thomas Keller's food. When we moved to New Orleans, we enjoyed beer dinners at Donald Link's Calcasieu and Nathanial Zimet's Boucherie. They've all been great, and I've learned something important about beer and food at each one.

I have never been to a beer dinner like the one I attended this past Thursday night at Coquette.
When Jeff Schwartz, bar manager of Coquette, told me that when he and Chef Michael Stoltzfus sat down to plan the menu for the beer dinner, he realized that although beer can do almost anything wine can do and better, forcing a beer dinner into the wine dinner format does a disservice to how fun and soc…

Fine dining and fine beering

OK, I know that "wine" rhymes better with "dine" but that doesn't mean that beer ain't a serious contender for enjoying with good food. I had a sit down with two of the owners of Root to discuss their plans for their beer program. Both Max Ortiz and Nick Shay are very committed to promoting beer as a viable and legitimate complement to the daring and flavorful food that comes out of Root's kitchen. We talked about rearranging the beer menu so it's easier for patrons not as familiar with different beer styles to make more informed choices. Both men wished that they had more space to store more styles of beer, but we had a fun conversation about how to maximize the space they have to accommodate a diverse selection of beer that will actually sell.

It was a great time talking about beer and food, which is an intersection that interests me greatly. Their enthusiasm was inspirational! It looks like there are some very cool beer-related things on the hori…

American Craft Beer Week AND the AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival!

So, first of all, you all know that American Craft Beer Week (hereforafter known as ACBW) is this week, correct? Tonight Tom and I are going to the Avenue Pub for their Pretty Things historical beer event, which I've been crazy excited for since I first heard about it a couple months ago. There's lots of other stuff too, check it out! We have many friends coming into town towards the end of the week and over the weekend, so I don't know how many events we'll end up getting to, but we shall see.

ALSO, many, many congratulations to NOLA Brewing for bringing home the Gold in the Brown/Amber Ale category of the AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival held this past week! Good work, guys, and I certainly wasn't surprised, considering how addicted Tom is to his Brown Ale cans.

Coquette Beer Dinner

So, when we were over at Coquette a couple of weeks ago, we got to talking with the bar manager/beer guy Jeff Schwartz about beer and food and pairings, and he let slip that Coquette was planning on doing a beer dinner in May. They've been working with the Global Beer Portfolio through Crescent Crown to develop their beer list and to put something together that really showcases the great beer they have and the great talent in Coquette's kitchen. 
After the craziness of Jazz Fest, Jeff emailed me to let me know a little more about what they are planning. I really liked his thought process on it, so I'm just going to quote him:
When we sat down to drink beers and talk about this dinner, things were flowing well when I hit upon a concern I have about pairing dinners. Beer and cocktail dinners tend to have this mindset where it has to be just like wine. For legitimacy reasons, I suppose. And don't get me wrong, I'm pretty much convinced beers can do almost anything wi…