Monday, February 8, 2016

A Night at the Taproom: A Local Pair & Their Local Pairings

by Blair Loup

Tin Roof Brewing Company can always give you something tasty to sip on, but if you pop by the brewery every now and then, you might find yourself in the middle of a good time.

Since the opening of their taproom, Tin Roof has played host to pop-up dinners, home brew competitions, yoga classes, crawfish boils and more.

Recently, I enjoyed a five-course beer dinner prepared by Chef Kelley McCann of Galatoire’s Bistro and Jesse Romero of MasterChef Season 6 at the taproom. Pro tip: keep up with Tin Roof on their social media channels to hear about local chefs cooking up seriously delicious stuff.

The dishes were well thought out and paired deliciously.

Whether it’s a five-course beer dinner or Jesse serving greens out of a cast iron cauldron on the loading dock, you won’t want to miss it.

First Course: Oyster Mignonette with the Blonde Ale

Gulf Oysters with Satsuma Mignonette
Gulf Oysters with Satsuma Mignonette

I’ve had a lot of raw Gulf oysters and some good mignonettes, but this Satsuma mignonette with fresh parsley had me feeling incredibly Louisiana. It’s a really good feeling.

Jesse and Kelley mixed in some gelatin to firm up the mignonette so it would stay on the oyster and not get lost in the oyster juices that eventually spill out of the shell. I really appreciated that little flex of technique.

Second Course: Citrus Poached Louisiana Shrimp with Turnrow Harvest Ale

Citrus Poached Louisiana Shrimp with Turnrow Beurre Blanc
Citrus Poached Louisiana Shrimp with Turnrow Beurre Blanc

Who knew a single succulent Louisiana shrimp could be so exciting? The Turnrow beurre blanc really set this dish off. Tin Roof’s Turnrow, originally intended to be a seasonal brew, became so popular they now brew it year round. It is hands down my favorite Tin Roof beer.

The coriander in the Turnrow came through beautifully in the beurre blanc, and incorporating the beer into a beurre blanc is one of the most delicious ways I’ve experienced it.

Third Course: Geaux Local Soup with the House Series English Brown Ale

Smoky Tomato Soup with Basil Oil
Smoky Tomato Soup with Basil Oil

This dish, named after one of the brewery’s commonly used hashtags, gave me the feeling the mean food critic in Ratatouille got when he first tasted the mouse’s ratatouille.

Cold-smoked tomato soup with the slightest creaminess drizzled with basil oil may rival that of Chelsea’s. As a longtime lover of soup, it’s hard for me to get wowed by a tomato soup, but it had the most perfect (and I don’t say that lightly) consistency and balance of flavor.

The new House Series English Brown brought some roasty notes to the table to compliment the smoky soup.

Fourth Course: Lamb Two Ways with Rougarou

Seared Lamb Lollipop, Lamb & Risotto Cake and Greens
Seared Lamb Lollipop, Lamb & Risotto Cake and Greens

A mash up of Kelley’s fine dining background and Jesse’s Louisiana sportsman flare, this dish proved to be a true collaboration. I would have been happy with the savory greens and seared lamb lollipop, but the fried risotto and lamb “boudin ball” was the star of the dish.

Creamy risotto, bits of lamb all fried into a ball? It’s like someone slipped a tuxedo onto a boudin ball: genius. The pairing of the Rougarou, an Imperial Black Ale, was a bold choice. I find the Rougarou to be very rich, roasty, toasty, and smoky with a hint of hops, but it worked out nicely and added a little jolt to the creaminess of the risotto.

Fifth Course: Parade Mousse with the Parade Ground Coffee Porter

Parade Ground Coffee Porter Mouse, Candied Bacon and Port Cherries
Parade Ground Coffee Porter Mouse, Candied Bacon and Port Cherries

Chocolate mousse topped with port cherries and candied bacon? Yes. This dessert speaks for itself. Decadent chocolate and candied bacon with a side of Tin Roof’s coveted coffee porter sounds like the best decision anyone could ever make.

Baton Rouge is kind of having a moment right now. With Jay’s success on Food Network Star, Jesse receiving national attention on MasterChef, and Avery Kyle nearly snagging the MasterChef Junior title, I think Louisiana, and more importantly Baton Rouge, has a lot to be proud of.

(You can catch all three of these cool cats this weekend downtown at the Red Stick Roux Rally! Jay will be one of the judges for the gumbo competition, and Jesse and Avery will teaming up to take all the stellar gumbos out there! Stop by, give them a high five, and snap a picture because these folks are bound for great things!)

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