While away for four months, lots of new restaurants and breweries showed up in Denver. Having so many places to try is like falling behind in work…what a great “job”! 😀 Before heading back to the states I noticed on a fellow bloggers page, a new place in downtown called Stout Street Social. Colorado Beer Girl got me excited with her mention of their 40 beer tap list and happy hour specials. Within a couple weeks of being stateside, I made my way there.
After enjoying some happy hour beers and nachos at the first visit, I was excited when they invited me to taste more food and beer! Their dedicated Certified Cicerone, Vanessa Combs, took us through a complete food and beer experience.
We started out with the Picker Pack (Washington State) Oysters paired with the St. Louis Gueuze by Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck. The oysters were served with the works: lemon, cocktail sauce, and mignonette (shallots, white wine, and vinegar).
Sitting right near the sushi bar, I could not resist trying a couple rolls. We went with the Tropical Tuna Roll and the special roll of the day: Yani’s Roll. The tropical roll had mango, avocado, coconut wasabi sauce, tobiko, and tuna on top. It was the coconut wasabi sauce that intrigued me! Yani’s roll had crab, cucumber, salmon, hamachi, tuna, avocado, and shrimp. Both were outstanding!
The Hamachi Crudo with jalapeño, Asian pear and citrus appeared in front of us next. This was a wonderful light combination of flavors! The hamachi and sushi rolls needed a light beer pairing so the Reissdorf Kölsch was chosen. I had never had this one on tap and I thought the beer was not as crisp as it should be but it was still a good style to pair with sushi.
The Social Bites are an explosion of rich flavors in your mouth: Bourbon-maple glazed house bacon with raspberry-jalapeño jam, and Moody Blue cheese. The crispy brussel sprouts are another full-flavored item with mint, cilantro, truffle-chili glaze, snap, crackle, and pop. With these appetizers, a beer that could hold its own was in order. Stone Enjoy By IPA was good company. We also tried another IPA at this time- the Ninkasi (Oregon) Tricerahops Double IPA. This IPA was on their rotating tap. It had a light hop smell and was more bitter compared to the more fruity current Enjoy By IPA.
The last appetizer we went with was the steamed mussels in a tomato-garlic broth. Vanessa said mussels are typically paired with a witbier but due to the tomato broth base, she wanted to pair it with a saison. The Foret Organic Saison by Dupont set well with the mussels.
Though I typically stick to beers on tap while I am out, especially when you have 40 choices, Stout Street Social has 25 bottled beers, including a list of unusual and hard-to-find beers on the cellar list. Their convenient location across from the Convention Center will bring in a lot of out of town guests as well as locals looking for a spot for happy hour or dinner after work.
It would seem we should have been full to our
hearts bellies content; Fortunately, we were sharing all these plates and eating over the span of a couple hours. So with what room we had left we decided on two entrees. The Blackened Rocky Mountain Trout, served on top of spiced rice and tarragon butter was an amazing dish. This spicy fish was complimented well by Crooked Stave Vieille Dry Hopped Saison.
The Social Burger was the other entree of choice which was equipped with bourbon maple glazed bacon, truffle aioli, jalapeño raspberry jam, romaine and crispy onions. This burger was a delicious mouthful! Great Divide Hibernation, Trinity Chilly Water, and Firestone Walker Wookey Jack Black IPA were the suggested beers with the burger. We tried a little bit of the Chilly Water but went with the Black IPA as the best pairing.
With a food coma sinking in, I felt I could consume no more but a couple bites of the Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding paired with one of Dry Dock’s Whiskey Barrel Aged beers was well worth it! Caramel and whiskey aromas escaped the beer brightening the flavors of the bread pudding.
There are plenty of great options in Denver but what made this one special was their dedication to have knowledgeable staff. Not only do they have the wonderful Vanessa but all of the staff are required to get their Level 1 Cicerone completed within 90 days of employment (fees covered). This place is dedicated to beer!
Disclaimer: I was invited into this restaurant and this meal was complimentary. All opinions are my own.
More To Love: