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Romance doesn’t come easy after nearly twenty years of marriage. You get comfortable…and lazy. That’s when you know you have to shake things up with an outing that’s so outrageous, so far out of your comfort zone, that all else is forgotten. And that’s where Wild Game Night at City Beer Hall comes to play. On a week night–already, that’s a game changer–my work-weary husband and I pulled out the old Miata convertible for a night of exotic meats and intoxicating beverages.
Chef Dimitrio Menagias pulls out all the stops on Wild Game Night at the City Beer Hall. Four courses, four beers. Each one of those Firestone Walker beers potent enough to sideline a lightweight like myself.
Since seating is family-style, we made some new friends. Zach Hutchins and his lovely wife sat at our table, as well as a young couple who shared the merits of college-league Beer Pong and Caribbean weddings. Across the room, we spied Daniel Berman of FUSSYlittleBLOG.com who, I’m sure, will tell us what was good about the beer pairings.
I’m not that picky. I thought it was all good. The first course–Vadouvan curried alligator with salt smoked sweet potato and bugles– paired with Firestone Walker’s Wooky Jack – Black Rye PA – 8.6% ABV was delicious. The curry camouflaged whatever gamey flavor is inherent in alligator. And maybe it was Chef Dimitrio laboring over this dish for three days, but I thought the meat was succulently tender.
The best dish, by popular consensus, was the brown sugar, black mustard and oat crusted kangaroo–as long as I didn’t think about the food source. Although I don’t have a problem eating all kinds of meats, there’s something maternal and human-like about a kangaroo. Maybe that’s just me and my personal bias. If anything, there should’ve been a bigger issue with the next dish’s connection to Bambi, but I don’t have a problem with venison. The kangaroo was paired with Firestone Walker’s Parabola – Russian Imperial Stout – 12.5% ABV, which tasted more like hard liquor than beer, and the venison mole, accompanied by rabbit liver and foie gras plantain hash, was paired with §ucaba (Abacus) – Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley Wine – 13% ABV.
By this time, I wasn’t in any condition to properly appreciate the final course–chocolate panini with house cured wild boar bacon, nufenen cow’s milk cheese, and brandied cherries garnished with black tea pickled blueberries. My last beer, a very special XVI Anniversary – American Strong Ale – 13% AVB, remained mostly untouched.
It’s clear to me now that my husband and I need more date nights, and opportunities to build up a tolerance for beer and exotic game, so as to do full justice to the copious quantities of both offered at Wild Game Night.