Photos by Caitlin Abrams
The kitchen at Surly Brewer's Table
Getting right down to the brass tacks, chef Jorge Guzman just opened Brewer’s Table, an upper-level eatery at Surly Brewery, and it is serving technically masterful, refined dishes. The artistry is stunning and the flavors work in concert with the underlying goal of enhancing some of the more complex Surly brews. If you want your beer to wash your burger down, hit the beer hall below, but if you want your beer to play its citric core against the lilting flowery notes in a quinoa dish with a tea-soaked egg, then Brewer’s Table is where you belong. But, of course, it’s still Surly, so even its finer realm comes complete with a rocking-loud soundtrack and tattooed servers who uniformly wow with their knowledge but hold the pretension. Here’s a sampling of what you might expect from the five-course beer-pairing menu, which runs $75 per person.
520 Malcolm Ave. SE, Mpls., 763-999-6526, surlybrewing.com
LITTLE NECK CLAMS + WITCH'S TOWER
These little beauties sit perkily on cannellini beans dressed with pickled gazpacho. The Witch’s Tower brown ale is a sessionable sip driven by cardamom that rounds out the spice mix.
OCTOPUS + OVERRATED
The best dish on the menu, and the best octopus dish in the city right now. Supple and tender pieces are stacked (yes, make the Stonehenge joke) over a bright and unctuous sauce with a dollop of bitingly rich romesco on the side. The West Coast IPA doesn’t overwhelm this dish, but the fruity tang supports the flavors.
CYNICALE MOUSSE + PENTAGRAM
Certain beers can truly be dessert. Dark sour ale Pentagram (not pictured here) is one of them, with its tart cherry tones. Here it’s lifted and brightened by a creamy mousse made with Cynicale, cut beautifully by rhubarb strawberry ice cream and bits of green tea cake.
PANZANELLA + BENDER
If it feels like a breadless bread salad, why not consider the oatmeal brown ale, Bender, as a perfectly oaty, bready companion. For the perfect bite, chase the boquerones with a bit of the delicately lush lardo, a tomato, and a swipe of olive puree caught with crispy crumbs.
TEA EGG + CYNICALE
One of the more beautiful plates, the flavor star is actually the puffed quinoa flecked with black garlic and spring onions. A slice into the soft tea-laced egg really just ties the whole scene together. Cynicale, a Belgian-style ale with a citric core delivers a bright backbone to the elements of this dish.