Russet + Craft Beer = The Perfect BYOB Date Night

July 8, 2016

“Philadelphia Boasts more BYO’s than any other US metropolis. But why in the City of Brotherly Suds do so many wrestle with which wine to being when there’s an easier solution…Bring Beer Instead

–Excerpt from Summer Draught Lines Article

(For full article, click here):  Beer Finds A Place At The BYOB Table


Our first stop on the local BYOB map? RUSSET, a center city bistro owned by husband and wife team Andrew and Kristin Wood. They feature a French and Italian-inspired menu that changes daily depending on what fresh meats and vegetables farmers deliver. With full and earthy flavors, the sauces at Russet pair well with beers that have dark, malty flavors.  Our original recommendation? Shiner Bock. The smooth flavor goes well with a variety of cuisines, and it paired perfectly with the succulent meat and sweet, earthy sauces at Russet.

In order to bring more options and choices to our readers, we decided to offer a few other selections along with Shiner, so I picked up a variety pack from The Foodery, which contained two of each of the following different beers:

1.  Great Lakes Elliot Ness

2.  Dos Equis Ambar 

3. Allagash Saison (The original article stated  that, with Russet’s flavors, the spice of a saison might be overbearing, so I brought one along to test out the theory)

Then it was off to meet the last piece of the date night equation. My date! We were soon on our way to 15th and Spruce, where the small, but elegant restaurant is located. From the moment we walked through the narrow (and surprisingly heavy) door, the staff at Russet were nothing short of superb. It being my first visit to the center city bistro, I was not entirely sure what to expect. The dining room was filled with sounds of laughter, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that two other tables had opted to bring beer as well. Eager to start trying out the different dishes and beers, we ordered from our wonderful server, Claire. The results were quite fantastic.

First Course: Shellbark Hollow Goat Cheese Ravioli

Paired With: Great Lakes Elliot Ness

Result: This beer’s smooth flavor and malty tone complemented the smoky richness of the ravioli. The intense flavor of the goat cheese and the clean taste of the beer went well together, and I was pleased with the way the flavors worked with each other to create a very nice pairing.

Second Course: Alaskan King Salmon and Green Meadow Farm Pork Chop

Paired With: Dos Equis Ambar

Result: Dos Equis Ambar’s smooth and earthy tones paired quite well with the pork. The flavor of the herb jus carried throughout the dish, and the full flavor of the lager complimented it well, creating a pairing that was delicious. The Mexican lager’s clean finish also made it a good choice for the salmon entrée. Served with dandelion greens and wheat berries, the salmon dish had grassy, earthy tones which went well with the smooth, amber lager.

Dessert: Rhubarb Parfait

Paired With: Allagash Saison

Result: This was absolutely my favorite pairing of the night. I loved the way the citrusy spice of the saison complemented dessert. The balance between the sweet sabayon and the tart rhubarb was, in itself, quite delicious. The dry finish of the saison made it perfect for the rich dessert, and didn’t become too sweet or overpowering. This pairing was quite fantastic!


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