The premise of the column is simple; work with restaurants of all kinds to explore what they have to offer and what makes them unique. In a city like Toronto, the choices are sometimes daunting and the food reviews and critics can be snotty and too complicated for their own good. So why not keep this easy?
Drinks. Appetizer. Main Course. Dessert. All along with a bit of information about what makes them my choice for Daniel’s Dish and why you should try them right away!
I am starting to be one heck of a busy boy it seems. With growth comes demand, and I have a total of six Daniel’s Dishes to write. They have both been keeping me up at night and brewing with ideas. Insert cheesy beer joke here… Recently I was invited to join the wonderful staff at Bier Markt Esplanade for a beer pairing dinner. Not an area I am all that familiar with, I was intrigued and hoped on board to see what a beer pairing dinner would be all about. Let me tell you what happened next…
For those of you who haven’t visited your local Bier Markt yet (with more exciting locations opening soon!), the concept is one that actually appeals to all types of patrons. Think beer pub without the grime and tacky decor. With a delicious menu, they offer over 150 choices of Biers (*not a typo, but rather a trademark ™) from 30 countries around the world.
The evening was dedicated to the introduction of Goose Island beer to the menu. We were even introduced to Goose Island’s Master Brewer Brett Porter all the way from Chicago who guided us through the evening and each pairing. His knowledge of beer was one I had never interacted with and I am left feeling educated and intrigued. Who knew something I once considered so low brow is in fact as delicate and intricate as wine? You learn something new every day! So let me tell you about some of my favourite items from the new Bier Markt menu, alongside some Bier recommendations.
Need you even ask? The beverage of choice that I would recommend of the Goose Island Bier options would have to be the Honker’s Pale Ale. The 1st beer ever brewed at Goose Island Beer Co, this amber coloured liquid is one that I genuinely enjoyed. Alongside an intricate beer tasting process which involved me swishing beer with my hand over the glass, I was able to enjoy the flavours of hops, sweet fruit and acidity. The colour is deceptive and leaves you expecting thick heavy flavours like its similarly coloured cousins on the market. Thankfully for us, it leaves you pleasantly surprised and wanting more. And the best part is the fact that it is exclusively available on tap at The Bier Markt!
Of the few dishes I was able to enjoy that I would deem “Appetizer”, my favourite would be the Beet Trio. A combination of roasted crimson beets, cider poached golden beets and shaved stripe beets. If you love beets, then this is the dish for you. The amazing thing is, that if you don’t love beets, I dare you to not like this. Pickled radish play with a fresh acidity you need in contrast to the decadent creaminess of goat cheese coulis. Refreshing is the key word for this dish and I highly recommend it to each and every one of you. Especially with the playfulness of crispy quinoa croutons, it’s just a lot of fun.
If the following words don’t get you salivating, I’m not sure what will. 72-Hour Short Rib. I mean, at this point I could just write that and let your imaginations run wild with delight. Paired with a glass of Pepe Nero Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale, this dish is the epitome of decadent Sunday night dinner. Leffe Brune braised certified AAA Angus short rib with heirloom baby carrots, grilled aparagus and roasted cauliflower purée. Fall of the bone, the meat is flavoured beautifully and the vegetables are sweet and savoury at once. My favourite part is when I was encouraged to bring the bone home for my dog! Though Julio & I may not have our French Bulldog just yet, when we do get him this will be a treat for him each and every time.
This is by far my favourite part of this dinner. Not only was I served beer with dessert (which in the food world screams faux pas) but I was presented with… Dessert Charcuterie. Yes. This course is all about classic contradictions and each and every one of them worked. Charcuterie traditionally is a set of cured meats that you start your meal with. So when I read the name of the sweet choice for the evening, I was thinking this was going to be one of the best things I have ever tried or a complete disaster. A board of sweet interpretations of all the classics was set in front of me and the whole concept still has me smiling as I write this. Milk chocolate pâté to strawberry & peach prosciutto. Each item is culinary creativity and the entire dish is a must. If you tried nothing else, this would be my winner for the night as a whole. And with a glass of Matilda Belgian Style-Ale, you’re in for a dessert you won’t soon forget.
Secret You Should Know:
A fun fact that many of you may not know is that my Health & Nutrition Contributor Catherine Sugrue is not only one of the most brilliant people I know, but she is also an incredible musician. She performs alongside her band at Bier Markt’s around the city on a regular basis. So next time you visit and you hear a powerful woman singing, it might just be the one and only Catherine herself. Why not go say hello!
So have I tempted you to go and try your own beer pairings yet? When you do, make sure to tweet @BierMarkt to tell them which is your personal favourite combination of what they have to offer. A destination for young and old alike, the Bier Markt is a place that makes me smile. And I hope it does the same for you upon your next visit thanks to DoTheDaniel.com
For more behind the scenes of this and other Daniel’s Dish visits, follow my Instagram!
Please remember to enjoy responsibly and never drink and drive.