We all know that food and beer pair well together, but Surly plans to change the way we think of that marriage. “We have Jorge (Guzman) on board to share that vision,” says Surly owner Omar Ansari. The menu itself is a bit challenging, but after eating through some of it, one gets a sense this will be a hit with foodies and travelers. The restaurant is another step in the process of, what will be, the most popular Destination Brewery in the Midwest.
By completing the project in phases the crew has been able to stay somewhat sane. “This has been a ride [the last four years],” explains Linda Haug. “We took it one bite at a time, and we’ve been working our asses off.” The Brewers Table, which opened last Friday, will feature a rotating food menu — put together by Jorge and Brewery Operations Director Todd Haug, who will now begin working closely together.
The price points are fairly reasonable; ranging from $5 for the snacks to about $30 if you are looking for a meat entrée. There will also be a chef and brewer pairing menu for $75 per person (entire table must participate), which will consist of 5 courses and beer. The most interesting concept though is the “beer and a bump” for $15, which will include a surprise dish paired with a beer. This is aimed at foodies and the like, who seek an unpredictable experience.
The opening menu has a couple of highlights including the Octopus ($16) with pickled peppers, romesco and a chorizo glaze on top of a white bean puree. A nice smoke flavor comes through this dish thanks to the glaze, plus the texture is just right. The cured and sous-vide Pork Jowl ($17) was outstanding with cojita cheese, cilantro, hazelnut vinaigrette and picadillo sauce. What really stood out was how the fat from the meat would just melt right in your mouth. The Surly Cynic Mousse was a great finisher — made up of champagne, pistachios, rhubarb, strawberries and finished with black sesame seeds.
If you plan to go, be sure to make reservations ahead of time at the site.