Tuesday night we had the pleasure of dining at The Vanderbilt in Prospect Heights for another one of the restaurants beer pairing dinners, this time with Sixpoint Brewery beers, with an Oktoberfest theme. The menu:
Kartoffelsuppe, a potato soup made with bacon, radish and bread crumbs
Pretzel Wrapped Weisswurst Sausage with beer mustard
Beef Short Rib Sauerbraten with herbed spaetzle
Signal Smoked Ale
Black Forest Cake
Gemini Double IPA
The first course was our favorite pairing of the night. The soup was velvety and delicious, with some extra texture from the bread crumbs, bacon, and radishes. The Brevity Wit had spice notes from coriander and the Belgian yeast which echoed the spice of the radishes. The beer also had a great full body, thanks to the unmalted wheat Sixpoint used, that complimented the texture of the soup.
The pretzel wrapped sausage for the second course, a decidedly fun interpretation on a pig in a blanket, was a bit difficult to eat but worked well with the dank and slightly sweet Autumnation. The third course was tender and a bit salty, but was nicely balanced by the beer, the Signal, which had a really great bacony smoke flavor. It smelled like bacon. This was definitely our favorite beer of the night.
The final pairing was one of the most interesting. The chef’s interpretation of black forest cake was an ice cream cake. We had never before thought to have a double IPA with desert but it was a great counter to the cherry sweetness – sometimes too sweet – in the cake.