Ladies and gentlemen, meet José Ralat-Maldonado. Jose is a new contributor to SideDish. He is known for his blog The Taco Trail , a subject he will touch on from time to time, but we’ve asked Jose to step off his taco trail. Today he has a new map in his hands with plenty of paths to cross. Welcome him.
Let’s not kid ourselves, thoughts have begun to lean toward weekend eating and drinking plans. Start early with Union Bear’s inaugural Family Dinner tonight. The West Village neighborhood pub’s new beer dinner series will take place the second Wednesday of each month and include three courses paired with suds and surprises. I asked for hints of said surprises when I stopped in for some pints this week but was met with tight lips. Surprises or not, the menu for this Family Dinner is a rich, palate-warming affair.
First up: A butternut squash-guajillo chile soup with a kick of roasted pepinos and cocoa powder. It will be matched with Ska Brewing’s Autumnal Mole Stout, one of four new seasonal stouts from the Colorado operation. I had the opportunity to sample the Mole Stout this week. Made with cocoa nibs, spices as well as ancho, guajillo, and Anaheim chiles, the dark beer does indeed evoke the substantial and widely recognized mole poblano, which is basically the chocolate and chile-based mother sauce of Mexico (because everyone’s mami made the best). It’s also refreshing. Think of it as the perfect sunny fall afternoon, one that ends resting on a pile of newly shed leaves.
Jump for José.
The main entrée is a Spanish chorizo and cornbread-stuffed roasted turkey galantine served with apple-braised cabbage, golden beets and acorn squash macaroni and cheese. The platter will be paired with Cedar Creek Brewery’s Scruffy’s Smoked Alt. I sampled this selection from Sevens Point, Texas, which is southeast of Dallas. This altbier, an aged, balanced lager, has a smoky start imparted by beech wood, a subtle fruit bridge and a clean finish, making it an approachable brew for palates unfamiliar with smoked beers.
A dessert of blood-orange flan with almond tuile and a cardamom crème anglaise coupled with Blood & Honey, a wheat beer from Revolver Brewing, out of Granbury finishes the meal nicely. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a taster. While the flavor profile of the final beverage pairing remains a mystery to me, the Family Dinner’s price tag does not.
Tickets are $40 and available here. You could probably get away from the clan for that, right?