Seattle, WA – Last Monday, with overcast weather featured prominently outside, this writer made a visit to the Tom Douglas restaurant Etta’s Seafood, for dinner with Deschutes Brewing. Featured at this event from the brewery was several employees, including long time brewer
For Etta’s part the dinner was thoughtfully paired by Etta's chef, Ron Anderson and sous chef, Joe Labatt.
The meal began at around 6:30 with an introduction by Deschutes’ Brewer, Jake Harper, discussing the art of beer and food pairings. After listening to the inspiration behind the various beers featured, we were educated by Chef Ron Anderson and his relationship to Etta’s and the food about to served. With the speeches ended, we dug right into our first course.
Featuring two breaded Minterbrook oysters, resting on a brussel sprout, and mustard seed, slaw; thoughts wandered as to how Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale would pair. In the end this beer worked very well, much to the delight of those admitted whiskey and wine enthusiasts, that were also seated at the table.
With our plates cleared and glasses empty, the staff of Etta’s removed our forks while we waited for our second menu item “Steamed Manila Clams with Smoked Potato Sausage”. While the guests waited, local Deschutes Brewery Sales Representative Mark Marzano gave his initial impressions of the first course, which mirrored ours.
Featured alongside the Inversion was a thoughtfully prepared bowl of clams, garlic, butter, pepper, with a small portion of potato sausage resting on top. The combination of salt, peppers, garlic, sweet melted butter, and fruity citrus, of the meal provided a wonderful counter-point for the Inversion to rebuke, and neither disappointed.
Another well received course, and there was some at our table that were looking for seconds of this beer, they never had before. As we looked around, we noticed people starting to mingle a bit in between meals, including the chef, getting reactions from people.
With smiles abound and an attention to time, our main course showed up; Cinnamon-spiced Berkshire Porkbelly, beer-braised cioppilini onions, and paired with Jubelale Winter Ale. With our fork, we dug eagerly into the layers of warm, juicy fat, while the combination of mild spice, worked its way down our throats, being washed away, with occasional sips of the Jubelale Winter Ale. This was by far our favorite course and probably the best pairing of the menu. But we needed to save room for dessert; malted peanut butter ice cream float, with an Apple Cider Cinnamon Truffle, side-by-side with a Bacon Salt Truffle.
As the natural light outside dimmed, the final course arrived in the form a small plated cup of malted peanut butter ice cream, that sat naked until a bottle of Black Butte Porter was partly emptied into the glass, revealing the promised float. For the guests at the table this was there first beer float, and they had high praises for the truffles as they scooped spoon upon spoonful of ice cream, wet with Porter. Definitely well thought out, in regards to the float concept and we almost had a sense this was a personal favorite of one of the chefs based on the detail put into its assembly.
With the meal ended, we walked over to the brewer, thanked him for the imaginative selection of beers, and asked (as is tradition) for our menu to be signed by the Chef. Etta’s Seafood, you already had this writer following your Seafood menu, but count me in as one of the first in-line, the next time you assemble a dinner as wonderful as this!
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a seat at this event free of charge, that was used for research prior to writing this review.