In the July 2014 issue of TAPS magazine, I wrote about my dining experience at Luksus, a restaurant in New York, where Nova Scotian chef, Daniel Burns, showcases a seasonal tasting menu that challenges our notions about beer and food. Luksus is the only haute-cuisine haunt to go beer exclusive, but a handful of others offer stupendous beer pairings to match the killer plates.
Eleven Madison Park, Manhattan, NY
Sarah Monroe, the beer director at this three-star Michelin restaurant will ask you about your favourite beers and then choose pairings from her enviable cellar of rare, global brews to match some or all of the dishes on the resto’s $225 tasting menu (and yes, the beer is extra).
The Ledbury, London, England
This Notting Hill pub came in 13th in the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2013. Traditional English ingredients take on new heights here and the set lunch or tasting menu ($175) are the way to go—ask the somm to help choose beer pairings from its new-school English, American and Aussie-heavy list.
Hertog Jan, Brussels, Belgium
Self-proclaimed, “culinary soulmates,” chef Gert de Mangeleer and star sommelier Joachim Boudens’ five-course lunch menu ain’t cheap ($270!) but Joachim is passionate about beer and food pairings. Becoming “Belgium Beer Ambassador” for 2013 — he can match the tiny, but delicious beer list (rare Rodenbachs and Boons) with the luxurious fare.
De Heeren van Liedekercke, Denderleeuw, Belgium
This traditional Belgian restaurant cooks and worships wild homegrown ales, go à la carte or get that month’s short ($65) or long ($85 Euro) tasting menu—which boasts dishes like lemon sole with goat’s cheese washed down with Gueze Cantillion bio—beer pairings included.
Casa Baladin, Piozzo, Italy
Stay at this tiny hotel across from the brewery and enjoy wild boar seared in Cognac together with one-off Baladin specialty brews and ciders.
Roast, Detroit, USA
Iron Chef’s Michael Symon’s sprawling Motor City restaurant has an impressive beer list dominated by sour, funky ales from America and Belgium — try ‘em alongside beef cheek pierogies, sturgeon or a Porterhouse steak for two.
Unfortunately, I have not yet had the pleasure of eating at all of these fine dining and beer establishments around the world but I remain hopeful. Meanwhile, are there any other restaurants out there with beer-centric menus that you highly recommend? Let me know!