One of the things that I love about Toronto’s food scene is the constant change — everything from the types of cuisine, the daring menus and of course the surprises that come with it all. The DRex Team recently enjoyed a private food tasting at Bier Markt on the Esplanade and if I had to sum up the night in one word it would be, AMAZING. Bier Markt Esplanade has recently revamped their menu with a few tweaks and if their beer menu wasn’t big enough, they’ve added Chicago’s Goose Island Honker’s Ale on draught!
Baked Mussels | Pairing: Goose Island Honker’s Pale Ale
I’m a giant fan of mussels and this appetizer really hit the spot for me. It was the perfect balance between sweet and salty. The texture of the topping was crispy and the flavour of the smoked bacon didn’t over power the taste of the Salt Spring Island mussels.
The sweet and bitter notes of the Honker’s pale ale really contrasted and cut through the flavours of the mussels. If you’re looking for a new summer beer, the Honker’s Pale Ale is both refreshing and light.
The Oka Raclette cheese was served on a mini raclette grill over some tea candles. My favourite part of this appetizer was the presentation. It was rustic and well presented. I loved scraping the cheese off and adding it to the saucisson sec, fingerling potatoes and cornichons. I would describe the raclette as a fancy fondue but better!
Spelt Risotto | Pairing: Goose Island Honker’s Pale Ale
3 words: rich, creamy and unique. In place of rice, there was toasted spelt and broccoli pilaf. A great vegetarian alternative for those who don’t eat meat since veggies were a plenty.
72-Hour Short Rib | Pairing: Goose Island Pepe Nero Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale
This AAA Leffe Brune Abbey Ale braised short rib was sous-vide for 72 hours in all it’s juicy goodness. Definitely the highlight of our meal. It was tender, flavourful and the meat just melts in your mouth.
The Pepe Nero Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale has a dark, mahogany hue with a very earthy, black pepper finish. Fun fact: Black petter is added to the beer during the brewing process and this beer is stored in a champagne bottle. The reason? The wild yeast in this beer can age and change in taste over time.
“Sweet” Charcuterie | Pairing: Goosle Island Matilda
Hands down, the most unique and conceptual dessert I have ever had! Made to replicate your typical charcuterie board, it was replete with chocolate “rye bread”, banana crostini, milk chocolate “country pâté”, strawberry and white peach “prosciutto” and red velvet “blood sausage”. My favourite part of this plate was the “prosciutto” because it tasted like a grown-up version of Fruit Rollup! Yumms!
The Goose Island Matilda was the perfect beer to pair with this sweet dessert. There’s a slightly fruity aroma and a spicy yeast flavour. Over time, this beer does lose its sweetness as the wild yeast ages and increases the acidity of the beer.
Overall, we were impressed by the new menu and the Goose Island pairings! Service was impeccable and we’re still thinking about that 72-Hour Short Rib! ;)
To see the full brunch, lunch, dinner & dessert menu available at Bier Markt, please visit here.