On June 25th, Tapas By Alex Stratta in Las Vegas hosted its first group event, a beer dinner featuring local Tenaya Creek Brewery, held in the restaurant’s beautiful upstairs area that overlooks Tivoli Village, located in the Summerlin area of Las Vegas, and is bedecked with original paintings by Chef Alex Stratta himself.
Beverage Manager Peter Vitolo was joined by Tenaya’s “Beer Mercenary” Alex Graham, as Vitolo described the dishes we would enjoy and Graham the beers they were paired with. Graham informed us that the brewery is truly a hometown operation, with four of its employees, including himself and owner Tim Etter, having been born and raised in Las Vegas.
The evening began with a reception with passed canapés including pincho de boquerones with Romesco sauce, thin sliced Serrano ham with picos and Moroccan spiced chicken skewers, paired with Tenaya Creek Hefeweizen, the 2001 International Beer Festival gold medal winner for “Best In Show.” After moving on to our seats we enjoyed Spanish olive oil coca (Spain’s answer to focaccia) with caramelized onion and saffron aioli with Local 702 Pale Ale; bacon-sage wrapped dates, roasted chicken croquettes and pea puree with the 2014 GABF bronze medal-winning Bonanza Brown Ale; grilled curry lamb with confit marble potatoes with the 7.2% Hop Ride India Pale Ale; red wine-braised beef cheeks with Graham’s own creation,
The 9.3% God of Thunder Baltic Porter; chocolate and almond mousse cake and cajeta with the rich, 9.3% Imperial Stout; and Catalonian Garrotxa and Basque Country Idiazabal cheeses with one of my all-time favorites, the 10.6% Old Jackalope Barley Wine, which was given a near perfect score of 97 by Draft Magazine and selected as one of the magazine’s top 14 beers of 2013.
Beverage Manager Peter Vitolo explained that the dinner was originally planned for 35, and eventually wound up with a sold out crowd of 50. After 6 courses and an equal number of outstanding beers, for sure no one left hungry, and judging from the delighted reaction of those present for this inaugural event, more are sure to come on a regular basis.
Bob Barnes is editorial director of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional, regional correspondent for Celebrator Beer News and writes the Top 10 Beer lists for Gayot.com. He welcomes your inquiries and can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.
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