EATS // MC Tasting Room at Central Kitchen

A little while ago, I had the pleasure of attending my first beer pairing dinner at Central Kitchen, hosted by Miller Coors. At first, I wasn’t sure quite what to expect, but visions of Coors Light danced around in my head and I imagined myself drinking out of pint glasses all night eating fried food. Boy, was I wayyyyy off the mark. Rather, it turned out to be the complete opposite– an elegant dinner highlighting fresh, seasonal ingredients, a wide range of beers I’ve never tried, including a blood orange rosemary beer!!

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The restaurant was beautiful decorated, with gorgeous light streaming through the huge windows and fresh flowers. It’s like a Pinterest dream come true.

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We were honored to have Chef Thomas McNaughton himself design and cook the meal. In addition to Central Kitchen, he’s also opened flour + water, salumeria, and aatxe (on my to-try list). Quite the hefty resume. The man opens restaurants like I change outfits!

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Course #1 being prepped: Salmon Crudo paired with Blue Moon Belgium White w/ herbs/flowers vs. traditional fennel. pear. chile. To die for. We also did a side by side taste test of the Blue Moon Belgium White with flowers and without. Everything tastes better with flowers.

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Photo credit: Molly DeCoudreaux

Hey, it’s me and my concentration face!

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The finished crudo.

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Photo credit: Molly DeCoudreaux

Next, the charred octopus paired with Pilsner Urquell heirloom tomato. padron. black olives. The charred octopus was perfectly blackened and the heirloom tomatoes were to die for. With the beer, it absolutely tasted like we were catching the last fleeting moments of summer.

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Photo credit: Molly DeCoudreaux

An amazing toasted wheat agnolotti dal plin paired with Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest short rib. pine. mushrooms. I rarely eat pasta, so this was quite the treat. It was like eating little pasta pockets of short rib. Top it off with cheese, can’t go wrong with that! They encouraged us to take a sip before biting the pasta, then afterwards to see how the taste of the food changes with the beer. It’s really fascinating how the pasta can affect the taste of the beer and vice versa.

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Photo credit: Molly DeCoudreaux

The entree: braised pork shoulder & oyster paired with Big Eddy Uber-Oktoberfest summer squash. bread sauce. Bread sauce?? Don’t know how he came up with that idea but it was GENIUS and sooooo delicious. I wish I could make it myself. I’d like to bathe in it.

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Photo credit: Molly DeCoudreaux

Holy smokes the dessert was heaven. Figs & caramelized whey paired with Crispin Reserve The Saint green cardamom-honey ice cream. There was fresh honeycomb from their beehive on the roof. ON THE ROOF. If that’s not the very definition of San Franciscan, then I don’t know what is. And when I think of whey, I normally think of whey protein but this was faaaaar from a protein shake. Rich, lightly sweet, and oh so fresh, this was local ingredients highlighted in a scrumptious way.

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Photo credit: Molly DeCoudreaux

All of us gathering around to sample the blood orange rosemary beer that the cicerone had specially made, there were only two jugs available! As delicious as expected. Thank you so much for having me, Miller Coors! Now, must go back to Central Kitchen and try Aatxe…

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