Beer and Food Pairing: The Table Restaurant in St. Petersburg

A fancy dinner deserves the company of a high quality beer; at The Table Restaurant (539 Central Avenue, St Petersburg, 727-823-6372) in downtown St. Petersburg, you can get both. Just like wine pairings, certain foods go better with certain beers. So, cast aside the domestic lagers — or even the tasty mojitos — and get hip to the ways of intermingling The Table’s impressive food and beer menus. Here’s how it goes:

If you’re in the mood for the snacky goodness of cheese, try the Spanish Cheese Selection with Belgian beer, Saison Dupont. The funky, dry spiciness of farmhouse ale blends with the nutty taste of Manchego, the mild acidity of Queso Fresco, and the tanginess of wine-bathed Drunken Goat, while stabalizing the sugary elements of dark rum guava spread and balsamic glazed almonds.

Wahoo Ceviche Cones, a signature dish of the restaurant, pairs well with German Hefe-Weizen Hacker-Pschorr Weiss. The traditional wheat beer’s creamy texture and bready, lemon banana flavor add another layer of depth to the sweetness of raw wahoo fish and citrus vinaigrette perched atop a blue corn tortilla cone.

Delirium Tremens, a Belgian strong ale, measures up to the complexity of Panca Marinated Free Range Chicken Breasts. The golden hued beer’s grassy, floral component compliments the savory panca pepper infused chicken, mushroom sticky rice, and green plantain broth.

The natural sugars of Pan Seared Diver Scallops and the earthiness of pumpkin pancetta mash are a harmonious match for the woodsy hops character of English brew, Black Sheep Ale.

Scottish brew Fraoch Heather Ale pairs nicely with Annato Crusted Lamb Rack accented by a malanga root and fontina cheese croquette and drizzled with tempranillo fig reduction. The atypical flowery and slightly peaty aspect of the Scottish beer subdues the lamb’s gamey flavors.

Charlie’s Crab Cake is entirely luscious, packed with huge chunks of lump crab meat. The seasoned breading, seafood essence, and key lime aioli are boosted by the lemony wheat profile of Wittekerke, a traditional Belgian white beer.

The Belgian spiciness of Val Dieu Tripel balances the saltiness of air-cured 18 Month Serrano Ham, while the beer’s buttery tone enhances grilled asparagus, brie cheese, and port pears.

For a vegetarian option, try the Portabella Tower paired with Old Engine Oil. The dark acidic richness of Harviestoun Brewery’s old ale goes well with the steaky quality of roasted portabella mushroom topped with roasted heirloom tomato, Bermuda onion, name root mash, and sweet basil lemongrass broth.

The delicate body, floral fruitiness, and refreshing finish of Spanish white beer, Estrella Damm Inedit, is a good call alongside the Grilled Pork Loin, which is accompanied by chipotle barbecue sauce, smoked bacon, and macaroni and cheese.

Finally, for your inner red meat fiend, go for the light bodied, Brazilian black lager Xingu and Cast Iron Seared Center Cut Filet Mignon. Served with mushroom espresso reduction, goat cheese bread pudding, and tempura asparagus, this palatable dish is a suitable mate for the beer’s mild smokiness and flavors of dark roasted malt.

The Table will also host the upcoming Stone Brewing Vegetarian Beer Dinner, a five course blend of angry beer and meatless food, which takes place on Sunday, May 17th.

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