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Fine dining with good beer too?

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by sergeantstogie, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. I have to believe that with all the amazing restaurants in the PNW and all the great beer, there have to be some great restaurants that also have great beer lists. I looked up Ray's Boat House in Seattle and saw they had some pretty good beer. Know of anywhere that has both fine dining and fine beers?
  2. adkieffer

    adkieffer Savant (420) Washington Nov 23, 2010

    Trellis in Kirkland has fantastic food and a great tap and bottle list to go with it. Last time I was the they had several Lost Abbey beers on tap and RR sours in bottle. Many local beers as well. $35 3 course meal and great beer is a home run
    sergeantstogie likes this.
  3. John_M

    John_M Moderator (1,215) Oregon Oct 25, 2003 Staff Member

    I guess it depends on what your definition of fine dining is, but Higgins in PDX would fit that definition for most folks I think. They usually have 10 or so craft and import options on tap, along with a very good bottle selection. I believe they also have the beer version of a sommelier on site.
    BuckeyeOne and sergeantstogie like this.
  4. guajolote

    guajolote Advocate (530) Oregon Sep 12, 2008

    I haven't been there (yet), but it Wildwood in PDX would also fit into that category.


    In my experience/research, most good PDX restaurants have, at minimum, an acceptable beer list, but there don't seem to be a ton that will flat-out blow your socks off.
    sergeantstogie likes this.
  5. NWer

    NWer Advocate (740) Washington Mar 10, 2009 Beer Trader

    If anyone were to give serious thought to their beer list around here it would be Tom Douglas. But I don't know first hand what they might serve at Etta's or Dalia Lounge. Of course Brave Horse has great beer but then I don't know about the food.
    sergeantstogie likes this.
  6. mporter13

    mporter13 Aficionado (175) Oregon Jul 13, 2011

    Finally made it to Laurelhurst Market and they had a nice tap list. Nothing too extensive, but they have a rotating tap and several top-notch choices. Also, the steak is incredible!
  7. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    While not exactly call it fine dining, Manito Tap House in Spokane has a very well done menu usually with something fresh. With 50 or so taps, they are beer-first though.

    I'm no Seattle expert, but the food at Brouwer's is very good.

    I guess I couldn't really tell you much about true fine dining establishments, with the several courses and whatnot, because I can count the number of those I've been to on one hand.

    Sante in Spokane is a barry nice restaurant and usually has like 2 decent beers. The first time I went there I asked the waiter about beer. When he got to explaining the couple craft option they had he talked about them like they were "not for everybody" even though I don't recall them being anything too abnormal. It's annoying. These places won't hesitate to pour you a big ass cab that tastes like black pepper and dandelions, but they are so afraid of pouring you a beer that might challenge your palate that they'll discourage you from ordering it.
    checktherhyme likes this.
  8. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,120) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Beer Trader

    The whole reason I really got into craft beer was a bottle of Saison Dupont I enjoyed with a 7-course (or 9-course) meal with wine pairings at the Herbfarm in Woodinville on my 39th birthday. Before that night, I'd been stuck in an almost 20-year rut of basically Pyramid and Redhook offerings—which aren't terrible, but aren't terribly exciting either. The Herbfarm has a legendary wine list (you can download it if you have a few minutes and several MB to spare), but their beer list isn't too shabby either.

    I agree, Ray's always has something good on tap, although their menu seems to have stagnated over the last several years. Good, just nothing new or different. I believe I also had my first Black Raven Trickster next door at Anthony's on a night we couldn't get a table at Ray's.
    sergeantstogie likes this.
  9. John_M

    John_M Moderator (1,215) Oregon Oct 25, 2003 Staff Member

    Shrug. Agreed, but in my experience, that sort of behavior is just a product of the customers they see. I think things are gradually changing and improving in that regard, but for now, the impression I have is that most high end customers still don't associate beer with fine cuisine. Consequently, most wait staff are hesitant to try to steer them in that direction.

    Also, as someone who does visit "fine dining" establishments from time to time, I'm a bit hesitant to order anything from the bottle list at most restaurants. There's no telling how the beer's been handled, nor how long the restaurant has had the beer. If I'm ordering a bottle of HOTD Matt, that's not particularly a problem, but the last time I was at Higgins (admittedly some time ago), they had bottles of PtE that were nearly 10 months old.

    If a restaurant buys a couple of cases of Chard or Sauvignon Blanc that doesn't sell for 10 or 12 months, that's not particularly a problem for a restaurant. However, if they decide to invest in a couple of cases of Stone "enjoy by xxxx," and it sits around for 10 to 12 months, that's a major problem... especially if someone as knowledgeable as you comes in and orders a bottle. Under the circumstances, I can understand why a lot of restaurants (high end or otherwise) don't want to mess with carrying an extensive craft or import selection.
    leedorham likes this.
  10. I have been bringing a nice bottle to fancy dinners lately, and its funny because the waitresses typically always have to ask the manager what corking fee would be. Recently, I was at a greek restaraunt in Post Falls which happens to be across the street from a great bottle shop where I had just purchased a bunch of beer. I asked the waitress if I could bring a few bottles in and pay corkage and the owner told her $1 per bottle. I was pumped.
    devlishdamsel and leedorham like this.
  11. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,120) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Beer Trader

    That sounds like a win-win strategy for all involved. Customer's happy, server gets a better tip, restaurant doesn't have to worry about handling inventory. All restaurants should do this.
    checktherhyme likes this.
  12. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    I'm doing this next time I'm at the White House, and if they try to charge me more than a dollar I'm gonna throw a fit ;)

    mmmmm garlic.
  13. distantmantra

    distantmantra Advocate (745) Washington May 23, 2011 Beer Trader

    The Brave Horse is the only one with a seriously deep and impressive beer list. The other TD restaurants have some nice local options such as Schooner Exact and Maritime Pacific, but nothing that would knock your socks off.

    The Blacksmith in Bend, OR has a nice beer list.
    NWer likes this.
  14. Yeah the $1 thing was definately not a set price, as they probably don't get that request too often. The waitress just went and asked Raci (the owner) and she came back and said $1. I got to drink Oude Tart and Myrcenary for barely over store price, while enjoying a great meal!
  15. HuskyinPDX

    HuskyinPDX Advocate (690) Washington Jan 23, 2011 Beer Trader

    I will second Wildwood. Theire food is solid, and their taplist has been good when I was last in. I mean, they still have Peche N Brett bottles, a bit pricey, but stilll.
  16. Brave Horse has decent bar food, but it feels a bit too much like an Amazon cafeteria. Pine Box's food is more "fine dining."

    I haven't been, but apparently Canlis has a good selection of bottles.
  17. dirtylou

    dirtylou Champion (955) Washington May 12, 2005 Beer Trader

    Seattle doesn't have a particularly great Belgian-themed restaurant (like the food at Brouwers, but its a stretch) - that's where you'll typically find the marriage of exciting beer and food.

    If Bravehorse and the like are qualified, then I'll put in a vote for Quinn's
  18. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,120) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Beer Trader

    This thread got me to wondering about beers available at a few good restaurants I'm aware of. I'm sure there are many other similar restaurants across the country, I didn't look at New York, Chicago etc.

    The Herbfarm
    Domestic Ale
    Elysian Brewing Company, “Avatar” Jasmine IPA, Seattle, WA 22 fl.oz. $7
    Dick Cantwell’s ingenious India Pale Ale, brewed with dried jasmine flowers, is unique,
    delicious, and a little quirky—a must try.
    Elysian Brewing Company, “Wise” ESB, Seattle, WA 12 fl. oz. $5
    Founded in 1996, the Elysian Brewing Company has been turning out world class brews at its
    Capitol Hill location. The Wise Extra Special Bitter is copper-red ale that is both hoppy and malty.
    Pike Brewing Company, Pike Pale Ale, Seattle 12 fl. oz. $5
    This classically defined Pale is one of Seattle’s best kept secrets. The brewery was founded by
    Charles Finkel. It is brewed just steps from the famous Pike Place Market. Presidents
    Washington and Jefferson both home-brewed pale ales.
    New Belgium Brewing, Fat Tire Amber Ale, Colorado 12 fl. oz. $5
    Quickly approaching classic status.
    Brewery Ommegang, Three Philosophers, New York 12 fl. oz. $7
    A combination of strong malty ale and authentic Kriek Lambic brewed in Belgium comprise
    this unique brew.
    Deschutes Brewery, Black Butte Porter, Oregon 12 fl. oz. $5
    One of the most delicious porters this side of the Atlantic—rich and lush with tons of character.
    Hood Canal Brewery, Dabob Bay IPA, Kingston, WA 22 fl.oz. $7
    Founded in 1996 just north of Poulsbo, the Hood Canal Brewery produces a complex and
    diverse selection of ales named after locations around the Hood Canal. A wonderful,
    multi-dimensional ale sporting a golden color and hopped-out flavors.
    Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Indian Brown Ale, Delaware $5
    A Scotch ale, IPA, American Brown hybrid, this amply hopped beer is brewed with
    aromatic barley and caramelized brown sugar. Dogfish Head is a hop-head-friendly brewery.
    Imported Ale
    De Dolle Brouwers, Arabier, Belgium 11.6 fl. oz. $8
    A strong Belgian ale. Big and robust with red fruit notes, rather hardy at 8%.
    Uerige, “Sticke” Düsseldorfer Alt, Germany 11.2 fl. oz. $7
    A top-fermented specialty brewed since 1862. The 6.5% strength is indicated by “sticke,”
    as guests would whisper (“stickum”) that the brewmaster had been a little too generous
    when weighing out the ingrents. Rich and complex.
    Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei, Leipziger Gose, Germany 25 fl. oz. $7
    An eclectic brew made by adding salt and coriander into the boil. Unique aroma and
    flavor to this copper-colored masterpiece.
    St. Peter’s Brewery, Old-Style Porter, England 16.9 fl. oz. $6
    Brewed in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, this “true” porter is made by combining
    a younger light beer with a mature old ale.
    Kiuchi, Hitachino Nest Beer, White Ale, Japan 11.2 fl. oz. $6
    This delicious Belgian-styled ale is spiced with coriander, orange peel and nutmeg.
    Weissbräu, Erdinger Weissbräu, Hefe-Weizen, Germany 16.9 fl. oz. $5
    Erdinger brews all of its wheat beers with water that has been pumped from a natural
    reservoir 157 meters below the ground.
    Brouwerij Bosteels, Tripel Karmeliet, Belgium 25.4 fl. oz. $12
    Brewed with oats, barley, and wheat, this ale is impeccably balanced with a thread of sweetness.
    Hanssen’s Artisinaal, Oude, Gueuze Lambic, Belgium 12.7 fl. oz. $8
    Gueuze is a style of lambic that blends young lambic with an older one to produce
    a wonderfully complex beer. Dry and light-bodied.
    Brouwerij Girardin, Gueuze Lambic, Belgium 12.7 fl. oz. $10
    Considered by many to be the finest lambic made—naturally sour. but ultimately refreshing.
    Moortgat, Duvel Golden Ale, Belgium 11.2 fl. oz. $5
    One of the greats, brewed since 1871.
    Saison Dupont, Farmhouse Ale, Belgium 12,7 fl. oz. $7
    One of the last farmhouse ales. Citrus with hop finish. “The best beer in the world.”
    Schlenkerla, Rauchbeer, Urbock, Germany 25fl. oz. $5
    First mentioned in 1405, the Schlenkerla brewery tavern is located in the heart of Bamberg beneath
    the Cathedral. The name means roughly: “to not walk in a straight line”. Rauchbeer is a Southern
    German style of beer with an intense smoky flavor, achieved by exposing the malt to the aromatic
    smoke (rauch) of burning beech-wood logs. A real trip, great with game!
    St. James Gate Brewery, Guinness Draught, Ireland 14.9 fl. oz. (can) $5
    The quintessential Irish brew.
    Specialty Beer
    Paulaner, ThomasBrau, Germany 11.6 fl. oz., non-alcoholic $3
    Dragon’s Gold, Bard’s Tale, Gluten-free, lactose-free beer $6

    sapporo light Tokyo-To Tokyo-Shi, Japan 3.6%abv. 354ml 7
    sapporo Tokyo-To Tokyo-Shi, Japan 5%abv. 354ml 7
    Trumer Pils Berkeley, California 4.8%abv. 354ml 7
    Aspall CuvÉe Chevalier Stowmarket, England 11%abv. 750ml 35
    Mahleur Brut Buggenhout, Belgium 12%abv. 750ml 62
    Estrella Damm inedit Barcelona, Spain 4.8%abv. 750ml 28
    CASTELAIN Blonde Benifontaine, France 6.4%abv. 750ml 32
    Saison Dupont Avec Le Bon Voeux • Tourpes-Leuze, Belgium 9.5%abv. 750ml 28
    Lucifer Dentergem, Belgium 8.5%abv. 330ml 12
    Heather Alba scots pine ale Alloa, Scotland 7.5%abv. 330ml 10
    AMIATA CONTESSA PALE • Arcidosso, Italy 6.9%abv. 750ml 48
    Hop-ruiter blond Meer, Belgium 8%abv. 750ml 46
    Hirschbräu bavarian -weissbier Sonthofen, Germany 4.7%abv. 500ml 16
    Russian River Redemption Santa Rosa, CA 7%abv. 375ml 18
    russian river damnation Santa Rosa, CA 7.75%abv. 375ml 18
    Westmalle Trappist TripEL • Malle, Belgium 9.5%abv. 330ml 14
    La Trappe Triple Berkel-Enschot, Netherlands 8%abv. 750ml 36
    Straffe Hendricks Tripel Brugge, Belgium 9%abv. 750ml 36
    Toccadibo Maracalagonis, Italy 8.4%abv. 500ml 28
    Hirschbräu Doppel-Hirsch Sonthofen, Germany 7.2%abv. 500ml 16
    Rodenbach Classic Roeselare, Belgium 5.2%abv. 750ml 24
    The bruery oude tart Placentia, CA 7.5%abv. 750ml 52
    Vicaris tripel-gueuze Grembergen, Belgium 7%abv. 750ml 44
    de proef van twee Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium 7.5%abv. 750ml 48
    bellegems bruin Bellegem-Kortrijk, Belgium 5.5%abv. 330ml 12
    Leifmans Goudenband Oudenaarde, Belgium 8%abv. 750ml 38
    de proef flanders fred Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium 7.5%abv. 750ml 44
    Super Baladin Piozzo, Italy 8%abv. 750ml 24
    noel Baladin Piozzo, Italy 9%abv. 750ml 24
    la rulles cuvÉe meilleurs voeux • Rulles-Habay, Belgium 7.3%abv. 750ml 45
    Scaldis Prestige De Nuits Leuze-Pipaix, Belgium 13%abv. 750ml 112
    Aecht Schenkerla • Bamberg, Germany 8%abv. 500ml 12
    Dark Island Orkney, Scotland 4.6%abv. 500ml 14
    Belhaven wee heavy Dunbar, Scotland 6.5%abv. 500ml 16
    traquair house ale Peebleshire, Scotland 7.2%abv. 330ml 13
    Maredsous 8 Brune Breedonk-Puurs, Belgium 8%abv. 750ml 26
    Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Malle, Belgium 7%abv. 330ml 14
    Rochefort Trappist 8 • Rochefort, Belgium 9.2%abv. 330ml 14
    Skull Splitter Orkney, Scotland 8.5%abv. 330ml 9
    2010 Ola Dubh Alva, Scotland 8%abv. 330ml 26
    Olvisholt lava stout Selfoss, Iceland 9.4%abv. 500ml 28
    Rochefort Trappist 10 • Rochefort, Belgium 11.3%abv. 330ml 16
    2010 La Trappe Quadrupel Barrique #3 • Berkel-Enschot, Netherlands 10%abv. 375ml 50
    2010 Allagash Odyssey Portland, Maine 10.3%abv. 750ml 55

    The French Laundry (Napa Valley)
    Jever, Pilsener, Friesland, Germany (330ml) 10
    Logsdon, "Kili Wit," Hood River (750ml) 35
    Cambridge Brewing, Double IPA, "Audacity of Hops," Cambridge (500ml) 30
    Upright Brewing, Saison, "Four," Portland (750ml) 30
    Bouwerji di Ranke, "Cuveé de Ranke," Belgium (750ml) 45
    Brooklyn Brewery, "Blue Apron Ale," Brooklyn (750ml) 35
    Russian River Brewing, Ale, "Supplication," Santa Rosa (330ml) 18
    Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project, "Brown Lager," Westport (500ml) 25
    HenHouse Brewing, "Oyster Stout," Petaluma (750ml) 22
    Achel Brewery, Trappist, Belgium (750ml) 48
    Mikkeller, Porter, Denmark (500ml) 25
  19. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Advocate (610) Washington Mar 9, 2008 Verified

    While Ray's (both Boathouse and Cafe) might have a more than decent taplist, they could use some learnin' on how to serve beer. Last summer, my wife and I were waiting at the bar for a table on the deck at the Cafe. I ordered a Boneyard RPM and it was served to me flat. I told the bartender it was flat and he asked for my glass back, then proceeded to pour a bit off the top and added a bit of foam. I know this because he did this in front of me. I asked him what he was doing, and he said, "A lot of customers don't want any head on their beer. I just gave you some head" [at which point my wife laughed out loud and said, "That's what she said."]. I told him that the beer was still flat and all he did was add some foam from what was probably just the end of the keg. His response, "That beer's not flat." The hostess came at that point and took us to our table. I told our server what happened. She went inside and came back with a fresh beer, fully carbonated. She said that they just tapped a new keg and that the first beer was taken off of our bill and that this beer would be on the house.
    NWer and draheim like this.
  20. NWer

    NWer Advocate (740) Washington Mar 10, 2009 Beer Trader

    Salty's on Alki served me a Manny's in a frosted glass. I was stunned. I thought they would know better. Didn't say anything though.
  21. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Washington Dec 16, 2011

    Ray's cafe for happy hour outside on the deck with that gorgeous view is pretty damn hard to beat.
  22. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,120) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Beer Trader

    I used to rent a little house with a couple friends on the bluff just east of Ray's, same gorgeous view. I think our rent was around $800, split three ways. Those were the days.
  23. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Holy Shit! Is it called The French Laundry because they're taking you to the cleaners?
  24. John_M

    John_M Moderator (1,215) Oregon Oct 25, 2003 Staff Member

    If you think their beer prices are high, then you haven't seen their wine prices. A 3 or 4 times mark-up over suggested retail seems to be norm at the French Laundry. There are very few deals to be had there.

    That being said... it's not the sort of place where anyone ever complains about the high prices. As near as I can tell, they can pretty much charge whatever they want and no one would bat an eye.
  25. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Washington Dec 16, 2011

    Damn!!!!!!! $800???? That's insanity! What year was this?
  26. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,120) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Beer Trader

    The prix fixe dinner is $270 (service included). But yeah, looks like about a 200% markup on the beers I'm familiar with. Except for Supplication, which is marked up by only about $5.
  27. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,120) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Beer Trader

    Around 1992. The house was pretty run-down (it's still there), and for some reason the landlord liked to send his day-laborers/muscle out to collect rent if we were more than a couple days overdue. But I used to spend most afternoons sitting on the little flat rooftop outside my bedroom window overlooking that view, just reading and drinking terrible, terrible homebrew.
  28. Would really love to see what that costs now.
  29. Someday I will get to eat Thomas Keller's food and hopefully it will be at the French Laundry and I would not bat an eye paying even double that. Though, I admit I would allow them to tell me what accompanies the meal best.
  30. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    More like 300-400% for some of them. Kili Wit is $9.99 at TW.

    Honestly, I wouldn't mind paying $300 for the meal because it's something unique I can't get anywhere else, but the beer I can get elsewhere and Mr. Keller had no hand in crafting it.
    draheim likes this.
  31. Yeah, thats what I meant.
  32. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,120) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Beer Trader

    Zillow estimates current rent at $1,673. The house last sold in 1989 (just a couple years before we rented it) for $89k. It's currently valued around $335k, and that has to be almost entirely for the land.

    [Stay on topic, draheim! Stay on topic! Must... fight... urge... to digress...]
    slinkie and distantmantra like this.
  33. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,120) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Beer Trader

    You're absolutely right, but as johnmichaelsen points out, most people dining there aren't going to bat an eyelash at those prices. Then again, most people dining there aren't going there for the beer; nor are they likely to order it.
  34. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Well, to be honest, if I were at a fine dining establishment in the Napa Valley, I probably wouldn't order beer either.
    draheim likes this.
  35. John_M

    John_M Moderator (1,215) Oregon Oct 25, 2003 Staff Member

    Yep. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they even offered some craft beer selections when I was there in February. Then I quickly shrugged and flipped the page over to the zin section and ordered a bottle of Martinelli Jackass Hill. I tried not to look at the price. :)
    draheim likes this.
  36. NWer

    NWer Advocate (740) Washington Mar 10, 2009 Beer Trader

    Hmmm. Dinner at the French Laundry or 36 bottles of Abyss? Or 120 glasses of Pliny the Younger?
    Nothing wrong with splurging if you can afford it. I do it myself. On this though I think I'll pass. Have fun guys :)

    * figures based on 2X$270 (unless you dine alone) and $15 per Abyss and $4.50 per glass of PtY
  37. John_M

    John_M Moderator (1,215) Oregon Oct 25, 2003 Staff Member

    My GF hates beer. That tends to trump any arguement I want to make regarding younger or Abyss being the better value. :)
  38. NWer

    NWer Advocate (740) Washington Mar 10, 2009 Beer Trader

    Yea and my wife hates beer (except PtY - she likes that one) and I didn't even factor in the cost of the $140(?) bottle of wine. $75 corkage fee if you bring your own? Seriously?
  39. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,120) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Beer Trader

    I'm torn. A once-in-a-lifetime experience or 36 experiences that are more or less identical?

    I'll say this. I haven't eaten at the French Laundry (yet), but I can still taste the oysters and wagyu steak we had at Canlis and the wild game dishes and wine pairings we enjoyed at the Herbfarm.

    My wife doesn't drink beer (or anything containing alcohol really), but she likes a good meal. I enjoy the best of both worlds.
    adkieffer likes this.
  40. distantmantra

    distantmantra Advocate (745) Washington May 23, 2011 Beer Trader

    My favorite restaurant in Vancouver (Bin 941) has a terrible beer list, but it doesn't stop me from eating there every single time we go up to Canada.