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Fermentation Nation

Dear Friends,

I'm writing today to provide some additional details regarding our upcoming prix fixe dinner with Jester King Brewery, which is this Monday, October 24, at 6:30 pm.

But as I sit here today pondering the connections between bread and beer - brewing and bakery fermentation - it occurs to me that I really say far too little in these emails about our bakery and the folks on our overnight crew who produce a staggering variety of high quality bread and pastries. They do amazing work at crazy hours of the night, 365 nights a year.

Please forgive the non sequitur. Anyway - where was I again? Oh yeah, next Monday night we're overjoyed to be doing a special dinner featuring a sterling line-up of beers from Jester King Brewery.

We began offering Jester King's beers at TFB about a year ago. We couldn't be more excited about their mixed culture fermentation and the old world brewing methods that make their farmhouse-style beers perfect for food pairings.

As any of you who've spent time fermenting live cultures for breads, beers, or pickles know, there is something marvelously mesmerizing and life affirming about watching that stuff bubble as it reaches peak activity and roars to life. For us, Jester King's style - unambiguously low intervention, utilizing natural yeasts and flavors - is the perfect accompaniment to our food (and not to be forgotten, our wine list) at TFB.

At Monday's dinner, we plan to pour the following beers:

  • Le Petit Prince - a farmhouse table beer perfect for introducing your palate to the style of brews we'll be enjoying throughout the evening.
  • Fantôme Del Rey - a biere de coupage brewed at Jester King. This beer was originally brewed at Brasserie de Fantôme in Belgium with the enigmatic Dany Prignon. Notes of truffle honey, coriander, and black peppercorn will pair nicely with our bistro menu.
  • Gotlandsdricka - Viking beer. Sweet gale, juniper, and smoked malt make this lightly smoky and acidic ale, it's one of our favorites of the night.
  • La Vie en Rose - Farmhouse Ale refermented with raspberries used in brewing the Atrial Rubicite (up next). We'll be pouring these two side by side so guests can taste the unique personalities of both brews.
  • Atrial Rubicite - Barrel Aged Sour beer refermented with raspberries, this beer is a perfect example of what a fruit sour beer should be like.
  • CRU-55 - This barrel aged sour red ale spent over 3 years in a barrel. This one off beer is a very special one that we feel extremely lucky to get to pour for our guests. It'll finish off the dinner as a digestif.

The menu will feature shared plates that we believe to be an ideal accompaniment to all these great beers.

The first course will feature a bread salad of sorts, with burrata, autumn squash, and our organic pain de campagne. We plan to follow this up with some grilled gulf shrimp with warm tomatoes and horseradish cream.

The main course will be an Italian stew called Bollito Misto (a little like a pot au feu) that will include Dewberry Hills chickens and cotéchino, with buttered greens and lentils served on the side.

Rounding down the meal will be an almond tart alongside cheese, Texas apples & celery hearts.

At this time of year, produce can change quickly - so adjustments to this menu are a possibility. It also goes without saying that we will be happy to accommodate vegetarians and vegans who would like to join us. The dinner costs $85 per person, which includes food, pairings and good company.

I hope you can join us next Monday.

bon appetit,


PS - Note to all you cheeseburger aficionados, We're beta testing the latest iteration of our cheeseburger and as always, it will be the focus of our Sunday evening dinner menu.