Category Archives: Beer and Food

Scott’s Seafood Presents ‘Best of Summer’ Beer Dinner Featuring Santa Clara Valley Brewing

Photo from last fall's beer dinner at Scott's Seafood
Photo from last fall’s beer dinner at Scott’s Seafood

The special beer dinners at Scott’s Seafood in downtown San Jose (185 Park Ave.) have proven time after time to be can’t-miss events. We’re talking consistently excellent food-and-beer pairings, stellar service , warm vibes and the gorgeous outdoor rooftop venue.

Following up their previous beer dinner last fall, Scott’s Seafood recently announced their next one – set for Monday, July 24 from 6pm-9pm – featuring San Jose’s own Santa Clara Valley Brewing.

The upcoming “Best of Summer” beer dinner will be a truly local, San Jose affair; Santa Clara Valley Brewing is located less than two miles south of the restaurant.

And a quick peek at the weather forecast portends a lovely summer evening.

The Five-Course Menu

Food and beverage director Sammy Reyes and the culinary team have created the following five-course dinner menu:

1st course/opening reception:

  • Charcuterie and Cheese Platter
  • Beer Pairing: Dry Creek Blonde

2nd Course:

  • Scallop Crudo: Thinly sliced raw Sea Scallop served with citrus wasabi soy sauce
  • Beer Pairing: Alviso Hefeweizen

3rd Course:

  • Steak Tartare served with arugula and crispy shallots in a citrus dressing
  • Beer Pairing: Electric Tower IPA

4th Course:

  • Halibut served with a saffron risotto and a mushroom ragout topped with basil pesto.
  • Beer Pairing: New Almaden Red

5th Course:

  • Chefs sweet surprise
  • Paired with: Loma Prieta Rye Stout

Dinner Tickets

Tickets for the beer dinner are $60 dollars per person and available for purchase at the dinner’s Eventbright page.

Consider getting tickets sooner than later as previous beer dinners have sold out.

As is the case with any good beer dinner, brewery representatives will be on hand to introduce the beer pairings and to answer any questions about Santa Clara Valley Brewing and their offerings.

 

About Scott’s Seafood

Scott’s Seafood San Jose is a Bay Area tradition in the heart of Downtown San Jose since 1986, offering a diverse dining destination in both cuisine and setting. Experience a friendly and relaxed environment to enjoy an intimate meal or a group gathering. With their modern lounge, stunning patio views, unique menu, and true hospitality, their American regional cuisine features the freshest seafood, pasta, chicken dishes, and USDA prime, aged steaks. Scott’s Seafood offers parking validation for its guests.



Scenes from Berkeley’s Pacific Standard Taproom, June 2017

We visited my alma mater UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) on a gorgeous Saturday morning last month.

We try to get out to Berkeley as often as we can – checking out various places in and around the city – but it had been an unusually long time since our previous visit.

It’s been amazing seeing the development taking place around the campus in recent years.

A particular highlight during our visit was checking out Pacific Standard Taproom, located just a couple of blocks from the campus at 2055 Center St.

Pacific Standard is the first outpost for Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and opened last October.

We arrived right at the open and were welcomed in with a friendly smile.

On tap were beers from Half Moon Bay Brewing as well as from other local breweries.

Pacific Standard also offers ciders, wines and a selection of small bites featuring fresh and local ingredients. Weekly specials include discounts on growler fills on Mondays.

We opted for the four-ounce tasters, including (from left to right) The Good Beer Blackberry Oro, Half Moon Bay Brewing Apricot and Passionfruit Belgian Blonde, Two Rivers Ciders Mango Cider, Half Moon Bay Brewing Honey Ale, Faction Smoked-N-Oaked and Faction Anomaly Milk Stout (Nitro).

Foodwise, we ordered House-Pickled Seasonal Veggies.

Charcuterie Board.

Grilled Cheese with Chips and Salsa.

We ordered additional tasters of Barebottle Galaxy Dust and High Water Campfire Stout (Nitro).

To pair with House-Baked Pretzel Knots with Cheese Sauce and Mustard.

As we enjoyed our beer and food, it quickly became clear how special Pacific Standard is, thanks mainly to the excellent and knowledgeable service, a great beer selection (including bottled offerings), tasty bites and the charming space.

Wifey and our younger kid both raved about the food, and we made sure to offer up our compliments to Jana, who’s been with Pacific Standard since its opening.

Cheers to Jana and Sophia (who had just recently joined Pacific Standard)! They helped make our visit extra enjoyable.

Whenever we visit Berkeley, a stop at Pacific Standard will be a must.

Switching gears a bit, we recently enjoyed a couple limited-release offerings from Half Moon Bay Brewing.

Red Sails in the Sunset Flemish-Style Red Ale with Cherries marks the third release from Half Moon Bay Brewing’s Ocho Barril Series of Sours.

It’s a Flanders Red-inspired beer aged in pinot noir barrels for a total of 18 months, with the last 4 months aged on tart cherries from Michigan.

Coming in at 7.3% ABV, it’s a bright, tart and delicious beer with subtle oak flavor and enjoyable complexity.

A limited number of bottles of Red Sails in the Sunset are available at Pacific Standard.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Papa Juice Old Ale is a small batch release aged six months in Redemption Rye Whiskey barrels.

The flavors are punctuated by notes of dates, maple, molasses, whiskey and oak.

Papa Juice is an exquisite, smooth sipper that belies its 13.1% ABV content.

With special releases like these two excellent offerings, brewmaster James Costa and his team continue their output of standout beers.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy



Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant Opens Second Location in Cupertino

Photo credit: Steins

After a series of soft openings, along with some last-minute construction updates, Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant officially opens today in Cupertino (10088 N. Wolfe Rd., Ste. 130).

Located just down the road from the new Apple campus, the Cupertino site marks the second location for Steins restaurant.

An official ribbon cutting ceremony in honor of today’s grand opening is set to take place at 3:30pm with complimentary appetizers and beer tasters to be served afterwards.

Photo credit: Steins

Owner Ted Kim and executive chef Colby Reade have retained the original Mountain View location’s beer-focused beverage program (30 draft beers; 20 year round staples and 10 rotating seasonal brews) and made-from-scratch food menu.

Photo credit: Steins

The interior features an updated industrial-inspired atmosphere. More below from a recent media release:

The Space

Steins again enlisted Marc Dimalanta of D-Scheme Studios to head the architectural design of the new space. The restaurant interior boasts a 6400 ft² dining room accented with bright copper, reclaimed wood panels and filament bulbs glowing on metal-worked light fixtures for an industrial interpretation of the classic European beer hall. The space’s earth-toned metal highlights are juxtaposed with a lush living wall designed by Habitat Horticulture to bring a touch of the traditional outdoor biergarten inside.

Paired with an accompanying 1568 ft² al fresco patio, the entire restaurant space is reservable and can also accommodate smaller private events as sectioned parties.

Photo credit: Steins

The Beer

Akin to its Mountain View location, Steins Cupertino employs an innovative direct-draw beer  draft system designed for dispensing each pour under optimal conditions for near-perfect flavor and consistency. Guests can expect a great international beer list with a focus on local craft brewers. Steins offers 30 draft beers; 20 year round staples and 10 rotating seasonal brews.

In addition to the myriad craft and import beers on draft, Steins Cupertino offers  a robust wine program as well as a full-bar and seasonal craft cocktails.

Upholding a high standard of beer service, all front-of-house staff must successfully complete Steins’ stringent beer training program. Additionally, all bar staff must successfully complete and pass the Cicerone Certified Beer Server program.

Photo credit: Steins

The Food

Executive Chef Colby M Reade (Hawthorne Lane) parallels the quality characteristic of Steins’ ambitious beer selection with an all-scratch kitchen featuring New American comfort food. The opening menu at Steins Cupertino includes favorites like the Steins Burger made from a house-ground blend of dry-aged short rib, brisket and sirloin, the Fresh Baked Pretzel with caraway beer mustard and the Sonoma Lamb Trio’s brown butter green beans and salsa vert.

The kitchen will open with lunch, happy hour, and dinner with brunch to follow shortly.

Photo credit: Steins

About Steins

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant is the vision of Bay Area native Ted Kim. Kim has more than 20 years of small business experience, including his tremendous success with Northern California’s Paris Baguette stores.

The Steins concept is a modern American take on the classic German biergarten, infusing rustic elements of nature with brilliant contemporary architecture. Each location offers the perfect escape for guests to drink and be merry.

With locations in Mountain View and Cupertino, Steins is open everyday from 11am – 11pm and until 11:30pm on Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit www.steinsbeergarden.com and visit the restaurants on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.



Uproar Brewing Company to Open June 14

The wait is over. Uproar Brewing Company (439 S. First St.) has finally announced their opening date via their Facebook page earlier this morning:

“Words we’ve been waiting to say for too long… We’re opening June 14. Drop by and say hello.”

It certainly has been a long wait, and after a series of delays and changes, Uproar’s low-key update is sure to excite many, including local beer fans as well as folks eager to see the continued growth of downtown San Jose and the SoFA district in particular.

I had the good fortune to attend a preview dinner earlier this spring, and the event indeed portended a positive outlook for the brewery and restaurant and the surrounding area.

In becoming the newest member of the South Bay brewing community, Uproar will look to enhance the local beer scene by offering more options for beer fans with an emphasis on good beer and good food.

Very happy for the Uproar team and look forward to visiting soon.

Update: Below is the opening menu shared by Uproar a handful of hours after their initial opening date announcement:





Brewmaster Dinner at Stanley’s Sports Bar Featuring Coronado Brewing Company

Passing along info. regarding an upcoming beer-and-food pairing dinner at Stanley’s Sports Bar, located inside the Sharks Ice facility in San Jose (1500 S. 10th St.).

The four-course dinner takes place Monday, May 22 at 6:30pm and features select offerings from Coronado Brewing Company.

Beer dinners such as this one are not new at Stanley’s, and I have it on very good authority – I haven’t been to one yet – that they’re consistently done well.

A peek at the menu – prepared by Art Cardoza – offers up what looks to be quite a tasty affair.

Menu

First Course:

  • Spicy Cornbread Bites with honey butter
  • Paired with Waylaid White IPA

Second Course:

  • Caramelized Bacon with roasted pineapple
  • Paired with Stem to Stern Batch #1 Hoppy Red

Third Course:

  • Oven Baked Corn Beef Brisket with roasted carrots
  • Paired with Mermaid’s Red

Dessert Course:

  • Citrus Ginger Cake with spiced orange compote
  • Paired with Orange Avenue Wit

Tickets are $38.75 per person, not including tax and gratuity.

For reservations, contact Dan at danglikowski@sharksice.com or 408-999-6786.

Scenes from Spring Fling Pairing Dinner Featuring Hitachino at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant

Simply put, the “Spring Fling” pairing dinner featuring Hitachino out of Japan’s Kiuchi Brewery – held last month at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant – was epic. It was festive, warm and intimate, elevated and delicious… and I could go on, but instead, let’s just skip ahead to the photos from the memorable dinner.

Hitachino Nest White Ale (Witbier). Beautiful tablescape.

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Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 03

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 04

Executive chef Colby Reade introducing the first pairing of the evening.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 05

A Queen City-inspired cocktail featuring Kiuchi Brewery’s unique Kikusakari Asamurasaki – Red Rice Sake – served with a savory cream puff with creme fraiche, caviar and chai blossom.

Very much enjoyed the sweet and savory combination, and the mini-bursts of salt from the caviar provided an extra pop of flavor and texture.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 06

Bar manager Ryan Hummel detailing the delicious cocktail – whiskey, lemon juice, amaro and grapefruit liqueur.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 07

Second course: Mumm Napa Brut Prestige (Sparkling Wine) paired with Japanese Style Egg Custard with shiitake mushrooms, spring garlic and dashi.

In addition to the tasty flavors, the textures stood out with this pairing. The bubbly mouthfeel of the sparkling wine helped balance the creamy custard and mushrooms.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 08

We then got to try the Red Rice Sake from the earlier cocktail by itself. Fruit and herbal aroma and flavor notes stood out.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 09

Third course: Hitachino Nest Saison Du Japon paired with Apple and Asian Pear Salad with white miso vinaigrette, mizuna and daikon radish.

The lightly sweet yet tart and citrusy Saison Du Japon matched well with the fruits and vegetables from the dish, as well as with the acidity from the delicious and abundant dressing.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 10

Manager Lynna Nguyen checking in with guests Chris and Van.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 11b

A surprise pour of Kiuchi No Shizuku, a unique whiskey-like spirit distilled from Hitachino Nest White Ale. Fine and clean tasting.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 12

Cheers with Chris and Van. It was great meeting them – couldn’t have asked for better tablemates.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 16

Before the fourth course, chef Reade brought out the service and culinary teams behind the pairing dinner.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 13

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 14

He expressed great appreciation for the teams, including among others manager Rachel Rohrenbach, chefs (and brothers) Paco and Cheke Guzman, Ryan and manager Toby Yi.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 15

Hitachino Nest Extra High XH (Oak-Aged Strong Ale).

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Ryan imparting knowledge about both the Hitachino Nest Red Rice and Hitachino Nest Extra High XH ales.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 18

Kurobuta Pork Belly with sesame wonton noodles, miso au jus, toybox mushrooms and sauce gribiche.

The malty heft from the Extra High XH was in sync with the pork belly while the carbonation and the beer’s dark fruit profile cut nicely through the protein’s richness. I enjoyed the sauce right down to the last drop.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 19

A bonus plate of Gulf Prawn Paella with mussels, clams, chorizo, crispy rice cake, smoked white fish, bottarga and spiced tomato sauce. Exquisite.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 20

Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Milk Sweet Stout) paired with Yakitori Chocolate Cake with macerated raspberries, sour cherry and truffle cream.

The slightly roasty bitterness from the Sweet Stout – plus its dry finish – provided a well-balanced counterpoint to the very moist and sweet chocolate cake.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 21

I thought all the pairings were successful and showcased in delicious fashion the versatility of beer given its wide variety of aroma, flavor and mouthfeel characteristics. The kicker is the carbonation aspect of beer (Andrea has previously written about this aspect) that helps refresh the palate with every sip; food and beer can be enjoyed and appreciated to the fullest.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 01

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 22

Steins next beer-and-food pairing event won’t be for a while, as a lot of energy will be devoted to the opening of Steins Cupertino. The memories from this one – good company, roaring laughter, excellent service, warm vibes and delicious pairings – will suffice in sustaining me (barely) until their next one.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy

‘Beers Around the World Tour’ Spring 2017 Edition

SJSU Beer Around the World Spring 2017

San Jose State University’s Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management presents the next installment of the “Beers Around the World Tour,” taking place Thursday, April 27 from 6pm-9:30pm at The Glasshouse in downtown San Jose (2 S. Market St.).

The event is run entirely by SJSU students enrolled in select courses – including beer appreciation and event industry classes – and provides real, hands-on experience in putting together a big event project from scratch to finish.

Expect the format to be similar to that of the previous event held this past December – numerous booths set up throughout the venue representing different countries with beers and hors d’oeuvres available to taste.

According to Professor and Internship Coordinator Dr. Kate Sullivan, the upcoming trade show will be the largest one yet, and for the first time tickets can be purchased by non-SJSU folks.

For registration information and to purchase tickets, click here.

I had the good fortune of being able to attend the previous Beer Around the World event (click here for my recap post) and really look forward to this upcoming one. I’m happy to be helping support future hospitality professionals one sip at a time. :)

Go Spartans!

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant Presents Spring Fling Pairing Dinner Featuring Hitachino

Steins Hitachino Dinner

Fresh off last month’s four-year anniversary celebration, Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant (895 Villa St., Mountain View) is set to host a five-course Spring Fling Pairing Dinner featuring a number of Hitachino Nest Beer offerings from Japan’s Kiuchi Brewery.

The dinner takes place Wednesday, April 26 from 6pm-8pm, and the recently announced menu is below.

Menu

Amuse:
Poached Oyster paired with Mumm sparkling wine

Appetizer:
Japanese-Style Egg Custard paired with a sake cocktail

Salad:
Apple and Pear Salad paired with Hitachino Nest Red Rice (Pale Ale)

Main Entree of your CHOICE:

Monterey Spot Prawn paired with Hitachino Nest Saison Du Japon

– OR –

Kurobuta Pork Belly paired with Hitachino Nest Extra High XH (Belgian Strong Dark Ale)

Dessert:
Chocolate Cherry Black Forest Cake paired with Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout

Tickets are $75 (not including tax and gratuity), and reservations are required. Click here to make your reservation.

The dinner represents executive chef Colby Reade’s last big event at the Mountain View restaurant. He’ll be at the Cupertino location which is set to open in the coming months.

Scenes from Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant 4-Year Anniversary Celebration

We had the good fortune of making it to the recent four-year anniversary BBQ celebration held late last month at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant in downtown Mountain View.

Pics below.

SteinsMV Anni17 01

SteinsMV Anni17 02

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout 2015 and Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen.

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Executive chef Colby Reade provided a sneak peek of a sake made by Kiuchi Brewery that’ll be one of paired offerings at the upcoming Spring Fling Pairing Dinner Featuring Hitachino on Wednesday, April 26.

SteinsMV Anni17 04

Chef Reade has been devoting a big part of his days lately focusing on the buildout of the Steins Cupertino restaurant, which is scheduled to open later this summer.

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Sous chefs – and brothers – Cheke and Pako Guzman. They’re set to lead the kitchen at Steins Mountain View as Chef Reade heads up the kitchen at Steins Cupertino.

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San Jose’s Lincoln Court Brewery pouring samples of their Red Lavender – a unique, refreshing beer.

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Lincoln Court Brewery founders – and Bay Area natives – Lisa and Vince.

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Very nice catching up with manager Lynna Nguyen.

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The Bruery So Happens It’s Tuesday – imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels.

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Bruery Terreux Frucht: Boysenberry – Berlin-style tart wheat beer aged in oak foeder with boysenberries added.

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Always a pleasure hanging out with Bobby Favela of Wine Warehouse.

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It was another wonderful visit to Steins – tasty eats and drinks, excellent service, great folks and fun times.

Congrats to Steins on their four-year anniversary!

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy

Bourbon Pub Presents Hops & Harvest Beer Dinner Featuring Anchor Brewing

Bourbon Pub Anchor Dinner April 2017

The next Hops & Harvest beer dinner at Bourbon Pub – located at Levi’s Stadium (4900 Marie P. DeBartolo Way) – takes place Friday, April 7 at 6pm. The dinner features a four-course menu with pairings from SF’s Anchor Brewing Company.

Below is the recently-released details on the menu and pairing:

Meet & Greet with Anchor Brewing:

  • Los Gigantes Mexican Style Lager

1st Course:

  • Diver Scallop Tostada with easter radish, fesno chili & coconut-lime dressing.
  • Paired with Anchor’s Mango Wheat

2nd Course:

  • Gulf Shrimp Stuffed Poblano with jasmine rice, marcona almonds & queso fresco.
  • Paired with Liberty IPA.

3rd Course:

  • Slow-Roasted Duck Leg with fresh corn torilla, pickled carrots & coffee mole.
  • Paired with Anchor Porter.

4th Course:

  • Warm Apple Strudel with cheddar cheese & buttermilk ice cream.
  • Paired with Old Foghorn Barleywine.

Longtime Anchor brewer Kevin West is scheduled be on hand to introduce each pairing.

Tickets are $65 per person, not including tax and gratuity. To reserve your seat, call 408-579-4460, email nicole.anthony@49ers-smc.com or purchase via the ticket link.

For my recap post from a previous Hops & Harvest beer dinner, click here.