Friday, March 14, 2014

Ottawa- Beer is such a versatile ingredient. If you know the taste profile of the types of beer, you can make amazing food. Beer is not only meant for drinking, you can make, for example, a good hearty beer short ribs stew or a freshly baked beer bread. Brother's Beer Bistro is all about featuring beer in all its glory from appetizers to deserts. 

Every item in the menu is cooked with beer or used beer in some form. Each dish can be paired with the suggested beer to balance the taste of the dish - same as wine pairing. You can also choose from a fine selection of draught and bottled beers to enjoy throughout the meal. Not to mention that some beers are gluten-free. The staffs are quite knowledgeable with the taste profile of each beer, so don't hesitate to ask the type of beer you desire. As my knowledge of beers is quite limited, it is interesting how the right choice of beer can contribute to the dish.

First, the bread was served with two beer-infused butter. The malt butter has a soft coffee flavour, while the hops butter has a strong floral and bitter taste. Quite an interesting play on the palate before the start of the meal.

The meal started with deep-fried veal sweetbreads - well-crisp outside and silky inside almost like tofu. The sweetbreads are complemented with a smooth and nutty polenta, smoky hickory sticks, and a sweet and spicy hot sauce. This is paired with the Brooklyn Lager which has a nice subtle floral flavour, balancing well the strong flavours of the dish.

Sundays and Mondays are their burger nights. We opted for the chuck beef patty coated with a melted aged cheddar topped with pickles and a creamy and tangy mustard. A juicy and mouthwatering burger! The tastiest item on this plate is the malt aioli for the hand-cut fries - great depth of flavours, you just want to keep dipping into the sauce until you wiped the cup clean.

The vegetarian dish has lots of complexity and flavours in the dish. The raviolis have a creamy, fragrant and sweet chestnut filling. These are elevated with a burst of sweetness from raisins, a flavourful vegetable pan sauce, a wonderfully rich and nutty slices of smoked parmesan and a bit of acidity to bind the whole dish together. A well-made vegetarian dish! 

As for dessert, we opt for the double chocolate stout mousse with a red heart infused cotton candy. The Liefmans Fruitesse is a Belgium beer served on the rocks - very fruity, the appropriate beer to cut down the richness of the chocolate and the spiciness of the cotton candy.

Unique and a well thought out concept, definitely worth a revisit!

Veal SweetbreadsCoffee Polenta, Aphrodite Hot Sauce, Crispy Kumquats, Hickory Sticks
Suggested Beer: Brooklyn Lager
Bread with Malt and Hops Butter
Chuck Beef, Aged Cheddar, Pickles, Beer Mustard, Hand-cut Fries with Malt Aioli
Chestnut Raviolis, Smoked Sultanas, Almond, Lemon, Ameko Mushrooms, Watercress, Pickled Onions, Smoked Parmesan
Double Chocolate Stout Mousse, Cake Crumb, Cassia Bud "Red Hot" Gel, Marshmallow, Lace Tuile, Red Heart Cotton Candy
Suggested Beer: Liefmans Fruitesse
Brother's Beer Bistro
366 Dalhousie St.
Ottawa, ON
K1N 7G3


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