Beer and food are natural partners, although some would deny the fact. How many times have your friends insisted that food, coupled with wine, lays lighter in the stomach, even though they have winced at an inappropriate matching of the victuals and vine?
There is little more pleasurable than well-matched food and beer. Beer can add airy illumination to crudités or quiche. It can immerse you in the depth of a juice-dripping steak, or captivate your senses at a fine oyster bar. The final sweetness of chocolate madness drips with warmth in the seduction of a Millennium sipper.
Many restaurateurs shy away from offering a beer menu. Perhaps they have not discovered the gustatory delights in cuisine a la biére or the subtle nuances of flavor that distinguish one style from another.
Beer connoisseurs will seek out those who revere the chef’s hand, paired with a glass of gold. Great beer and food destinations become legendary in the beer community, largely because they are viewed as a Mecca to beer enthusiasts, a drawing card of highest regard.
Following is a list of legendary destinations that prepare beer and food as the raison d’ être for those of us who delight in the merger.
Beer Fox Recommended -
Best Beer & Food Destinations in North America
Belgian Beer Emporium & Restaurant
16th & Spruce Streets
Brew worshippers flock to this slice-of-paradise for the beer-drenched flavors of Flemish Mussels, Veal Cheeks braised in Abbaye de Leffe Belgian Ale and Rochefort Roquefort Filet Mignon. Pairings with select International and American beer make for a perfect marriage on the palate.
Regional Food & Drink
810 Seventh Street NW
More than 300 bottles of world-class beer and D.C.’s largest list of draught beer bring beer connoisseurs to this Mecca of the amber waves. The artistic merging of beer with food results in palate pleasers like Endive in Belgian Kriek or Salmon in Smoked Porter.
Cooter Brown’s Tavern & Oyster Bar
509 S. Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA
Still the best place in New Orleans to get Oysters on the Half Shell! Beer lovers delight in the funky “Obeertuary & Barsoleum” décor, along with a significant selection of 350 imports and 42 draft beers.
Higgins Restaurant & Bar
1239 SW Broadway
True aficionados of beer-food pairings are like hounds in a hunt, drawn to this savory fare of local organics, fresh mussels, and satiating cuisine. An impressive list of beers from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, and North America enhance the gastronomic experience.
Michael & Louise’s Hopleaf Bar
5148 N. Clark Street
How many beer bars have a menu that educates the clientele? A compendium of beer describes appearance, aroma, and flavor for premium micros from Europe, Canada, and the USA, aiding beer lovers in their own selections with such entrees as Steak Frites, Rabbit Stew, or Organic Pork Chops.
Bieres et Compagnie
4350 Rue St-Denis
Upscale and bi-lingual, this oasis of beer showcases over 100 brews from Canada, as well as imports from England, France, Germany, Belgium and other European neighbors. Many entrees are cuisine a la biere. Specializing in mussels, Bieres et Compaigne devotes an entire page of the menu to these delectable morsels.
1106 N. Charles Street
The upper level is upscale; the basement, cozy and casual. Such a pleasing compromise has been created for a diverse, metro clientele. Superior cuisine - Pan Seared Salmon, steaks and seafood - merge with a fine selection of single malt scotch or well-aged bourbon. Beer connoisseurs may choose from 120 bottled beers or fresh, Belgian-style house brews on draught – Ozzy, Proletary Art, Canard, Saison de Pecore, and more.
The Publick House
1648 Beacon Street
Jim’s House Made Hot Sauce is only the beginning of a menu that runs from artisanal cheeses, scallops and sausage to Waterzooi, Veal McChouffe and Statler Chicken with Peche Lambic. Twenty-seven taps, 50 Belgians, and 250 bottles of beer make this worth seeking out.
Allen’s on the Danforth
143 Danforth Avenue
Traditional fare from around the world pairs with your selection from over 140 bottled beers. Outdoor dining contributes to the comfortable atmosphere.
The Happy Gnome
498 Selby Avenue
St. Paul, MN
Located in a gentrified St. Paul neighborhood, this is beer lovers’ Eden, complete with a happy gnome casting his spell from above the bar. Cuisine ranges from the casual pizza fare to more formal Scallops Fettuccini or Roasted Yellow Peppers. American micros dominate with a strong showing of Belgians on hand.