I've always found the staff at Monk's Kettle to be not only intelligent and informative, but more importantly, happy. Then again, what is there not to love about working in a place where you are surrounded by fantastic beer and delicious food and, generally speaking, a crowd that can appreciate it?
Not originally planned for the menu, head chef Adam Dulye was inspired by the peach notes in the Hedes and the ripe peaches at the Ferry Building Farmers Market just a few days earlier to create a crostini with peaches, candied bacon and fromage blanc. The fruity sweetness was pleasant, the saltiness of the bacon gave it a nice contrast, and the fromage blanc was smooth and mellow. The pairing was just light enough to whet the appetite in anticipation for courses to come.
Apparently, it was Colette.
Good decision, or best decision?
A term of endearment or friendship, Hoss had the least friendly food pairing. The beer itself was solid - almost like eating a slice of rye bread, it had deep caramel undertones and a grainy-ness that made me want to pour it over some pastrami and let my inner New York Jew have a field day. The dish was a boudin blanc with caraway dumplings and a currant chutney. I think the issue here was the sausage, which, though cooked perfectly, just didn't have the flavor that I wanted it to have. I think a fennel sausage may have played better into Hoss's strengths. The caraway dumplings were phenomenal, made almost more like a spaetzle, and the sweet currant chutney cut right through the spice of the rye.
Finally, the last taste of the night - the Titan IPA paired with hop sugared pretzel donuts, white chocolate, and candied orange preserve.
Three men; three best friends - employed full-time and reunited after a long year apart, using our minimal amount of disposable income on an incredible dining experience. We owe this great memory to you, Great Divide and Monk's Kettle. Thank you for a night we will never forget.