Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant Hosts Fantastic Luncheon Highlighting Stella Artois, Hoegaarden & Leffe
I could end this blog on that one word, because it’s the best way to describe the pairing of food from the talented chefs of Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant and high-end Belgium beers and a cider as part of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival.
Instead, tho, I’ll use a few more words: Awesome, spectacular, satisfying (very), and sensational.
The creative chefs of this restaurant about a 15-minute walk (and $10 cab ride) from the Gaslamp worked with Master Beer Sommelier (a title I wish I had!) Marc Stroobant of Belgium to create a menu that blew away the guests.
“This is, top to bottom, the best meal I’ve ever had,” said one of the participants.
Executive chef Carl Schroeder and Chef de Cuisine Ted Smith brewed up a menu that included beef, fish and seafood, all designed to bring out the best flavors of Stella Artois Lager, Hoegaarden Ahite Ale, Leffe Brune Ale and Leffe Blonde Ale. Plus, appetizers complimented Stella Artois Cidre.
But the luncheon was more than about the food. It was about savoring the atmosphere. “Food pairing is about the experience,” Stroobant said, and in that he was most certainly correct. The cozy setting of Bankers Hill – a kind of eclectic but casual place you might expect to find at a mountain resort – only added to the experience.
The event began with servers handing out Stella Artois Cidre – and let me say before I tried this, I steered clear of ciders because I much prefer beers – and then bringing out plates of appetizers.
There was house cured salmon flatbread and boucheron goat cheese crostini (can you tell I kept the menu after the event!?) but the real highlight was the grilled shrimp skewers. The flavors of the shrimp literally melted in the mouth so much it brought conversations to a halt.
We were then seated and here’s the pairings. And let me say these were no sample sizes that leave you a bit hungry afterward. They were ample portions:
• Roasted Organic Beat And Apple Salad, paired with Stella Artios Lager
• Spice Local Red Snapper paired with Hoegaarden White Ale
• Braised Beer Shortribs (so tender you not only didn’t need a knife, you did not even have to chew) paired with Leffe Brune Ale
• Butterscotch Pudding, paired with Leffe Blonde Ale
The shrimp, by the way, is a dish on the regular menu, and the other items are pretty much seasonal as this is a farm-to-table restaurant. Whatever is fresh and available is what the chefs cook up, and I cannot recommend this restaurant more highly while you are in San Diego. And if you go, be sure and have these Belgian beers with your meal.
Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant is located at 2202 4th Ave., San Diego, CA. Phone (619) 231-0222.