November 14, 2007

Belle Vista Bar Hopping


I go out every night. every single night-
to my bank account's dissent.
I switch it up and try to support accounts all over our fair city...but it really does get to be a bit same old same old after a while.
Some nights are truly more fun than others.
I am not quite sure if it's when you throw some Jameson into the mix or not, but it certainly helps. Aaahhh, the wonders of whiskey.

Last night was one of those nights. I had anticipated JAMES annual fireplace lighting for a week now. That started at 9 so I knew I would have to get a bite to eat prior. I thought about visiting Chicks right down the street. This is such a wonderful spot. It's considered a wine bar but they are making great progress by the pint as well. They have already hosted one amazing beer dinner featuring Italian craft breweries, and they have one focusing on the French coming up in the next week. Their food is reasonably priced and does not disappoint. Chef/partner, Jim Piano, made a squash toped with leeks that was good, but a bit more pureed squash than soup, my bartender let me know that it's usually not that thick.
I was dining with my friend/stylist matt di gennaro.
The tress trimmer's salad looked appetizing-but I am not a huge fan of anchovies so I didn't take him up on his offer to share.
We did split some prosciutto and Mahon cheese.
Mahon, from the island of Menorca, is one of a few cow's milk cheeses from Spain. It was sharp, with a hint of salt...not to overwhelming..I really enjoyed it.. plus you get some honey to spread on the bread...





I was drinking a French Abbaye ale...St. Druon. With little notes of honey, it was quite the quaff. We followed that up with "Guido" from Browerie de Regenboog.

Named for Guido Gazelle, a poet and priest who died in 1999. This beer was brewed in celebration of his life and work according to Beer Advocate. It's a strong dark ale brewed with honey and raisins from Belgium. The brewer is actually a bee keeper to boot and makes a few different beers incorporating his own honey....It reminded me of another beer, I couldn't put my finger on at the time, but as I type this, I think it was the de dolle oerbier. Beer Advocate also said this beer was no long available in the states.....I am going to have to tell Todd Alstrom to head to 7th and Bainbridge. It it being imported by B.United.

We headed over to James and got a seat right by the live music. There was complimentary roasted chestnuts and fresh popped popcorn. I ordered the featured beer of the night Peaks organic ale. It's brewed in California and is named for the times you enjoy a beer after a "peak" experience like climbing a mountain, catching an 18 lb wide mouth bass, or if you are my boyfriend, buying your dream winter hat from the LL bean catalog.

Peaks website claims it to be a " complex hybrid between a West-Coast Pale Ale and a British-Style Pale Ale with Cascade hops that impart citrusy, hoppy notes in the nose."

There was some off flavoring in it. A little metallic. It has 41 ibus which is typical for a pale ale....but the hop character didn't come through as much as I would have liked. I was not a fan..I gave it three sips and moved on to the Stoudts Winter Ale.... then some spiked cider ( that would have been a lovely accompaniment to the Squash soup one hour prior.)

Around 11:00 we decided to take the show on the road to Royal Tavern. I hardly ever go here any more... Not really for any reason.. they have great food and I know 80% of the people that work there. AND they have Petrus Oud Bruin on tap...very exciting but my friend Matt decided the experience would be even more exciting with shots of Jameson.

three of them.

That doesn't lend itself to an exciting Wednesday, unless your idea of a good time is frequenting the facilites.

Beer Club gals Bronwyn and Jennie Hobbs were in tow for our Belle vista bar hopping

and we decided to do a photo shoot...........................................

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