On Saturday, September 1 Evelyn and I had the great pleasure of dining with Debora and Hector Esparza at Stone Brewing in Temecula, California. Temecula is a small little town between Los Angeles and San Diego. Hector is Evelyn’s brother and an avid Dallas Cowboy fan so he requires constant dicipline. But I have to hand it to him, what an awsome dinner establishment.
First of all, Stone has created an old world Biergarten. And yes I am using the German pronunciation, since the Germans perfected beer in the first place and they do produce the best beer on the planet. But I digress. Stone Brewery is correctly famous for their Arrogant Bastard beer series. I suspect that the beer quality is due in large part with their respect of tradition.
Stone Brewery also has a nice gift shop. A collection of tee-shirts and hats. I purchased a hat but I wish that they had button down shirts. They had a number of interesting books for sale, so I had to purchase The Oxford Companion to Beer and The Craft at Stone Brewing Co. These tomes should make for informative and interesting reading. I should probably read them while enjoying a fine brew.
So on to dinner. The Biergarten itself is very nice, check out these photos as they have a first class bistro. The menu was eclectic, interesting, and was a great match for the brew.
We chose the following from the menu.
- House made Hummus
This went well with the beer. A great palate cleanser, especially after sampling the Kimchee.
- House made Kimchee
A brewery that makes their own Kimchee. How cool is that? Nice flavour and good heat. Went well with the beer.
- Tilapia Ceviche
Ceviche is always a good thing.
- Chicken Schnitzel
Debbie and Hector shared this one. A nice German style dish.
- Spicy Almond-Crusted Tilapia
Great seafood dish. Nice herbs and spices.
The clams were cooked in an Ale. And boy were they every good. A great dipping sauce too. These are some of the best clams that I have ever had.
Check out the dessert menu.
- Arrogant Bastard Chocolate Cake
A wonderful flour-less chocolate cake. Went very well with the dark beer.
- Crème Brulee
A great classic, creamy dessert that also complemented the beer.
This is a Black IPA that has a great spice but nice darkness to it. We had the draft and it was wonderful.
Another wonderful draft. A nice palate cleanser.
We enjoyed this from the bottle. This beer is aged in Lowland Scotch Whiskey Barrels.
Very rich, a sipping beer.
This draft definitely tasted of mint and chocolate and coffee, and is a great dessert beer.
- Bosteels Deus Brut Des Flanders Strong Ale
This is a fine Belgium Strong Ale from the bottle. A very nice aperitif.
All of the beers went very well with the food. By definition, beer (like champagne) goes with anything. Debbie and Evelyn both really do not care for beer. But they both were sipping the brews this evening. All in all, the evening was over the top. Thanks to Debbie and Hector for dragging us there.