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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spicing it Up: Coobah-5 Rabbit Dinner

For my birthday, I was taken out to the 5 Rabbit Beer dinner at Coobah on North Southport Ave. I've had their beers before, but was excited to try the Huitzi. I was not disappointed. While I was very full, the portion sizes were small enough to avoid gluttony death!

Coobah is definitely on my list to go back to. Good music and good atmosphere. The chalkboards and menus boasted great food and a good selection of cocktails (rum, tequila, and others). With the Latino-Filipino fusion, the menu and cocktails looked complex and amazing. They had a patio that looked comfortable. They had free parking too.

I took some really great pictures. I embarrassed myself with my bright flash, but it was my birthday after all. And...none of the pictures saved. Not sure if it was the lack of network connectivity, or if my notes app just got buggy on me.'ll have to imagine how visually appealing this whole meal was. And believe me, it was plated up very nicely.

Course #1: Scallops paired with Huitzi Midwinter Ale
with hibiscus, ginger, rhubarb and coconut bisque

This course was so delicate in flavor and texture. It paired very well with the Belgian Strong Ale. It brought out the subtle hibiscus. The bisque complemented the honey flavors. The honey balanced out the crisp rhubarb and tangy ginger. The complex flavors all melded well together with a scallop that melted in my mouth.

Course #2: Salmon paired with 5 Rabbit Shandy
with preserved lemon, goat cheese and peas

The meal and the drink were both very good. I was a little hesitant about the shandy, but as I tasted it...and the ginger beer, I was very pleased. I guess I'm not up on my shandies, because all I think of is lemonade and cheap lagers. 5 Rabbit ale is a good ale, a very light ale. The ginger beer really added something good to it! 

The salmon was meaty. The goat cheese was whipped and creamy, pairing well with the perfectly cooked peas (not too soft of hard). The saltiness of the bacon balanced out the sweetness of the drink.

When I was through, I had to remind myself that more was coming!

Course #3: Ropa Vieja paired with 5 Vulture Oaxacan-style Dark Ale
Beef short rib braised in 5 Vulture, plantain, tomato and caramelized onion.

This was what I was looking forward to. A tender, juicy, spiced ropa vieja, and it didn't disappoint. I tasted a lot of cumin though, which was good, but unexpected. I'm never big on sweet platanos, but I still took a bite. The other unexpected bit was the cumin marshmallow. Mr. K totally picked out exactly what it was. I've had better ropa vieja, but this was still very, very good.

Course #4: Cobbler and Ice Cream paired with 5 Rabbit Golden Ale
with peaches, 5 Rabbit caramel, thyme and salted crumble

When I go for birthday dessert, it usually involves chocolate and maybe a berry or two. This peach cobbler was a great alternative. The salted caramel did not have the chunks of salt that have ruined so many for me. It was lightly salted and well-balanced caramel. The peaches were diced, not big slices, so the absorbed all the flavors so well. The ale was light, and it didn't get in the way of this tasty end to a wonderful meal.

5 Rabbit does tastings and pairings all around the city with a wide-range of cuisine. Most of them are weekdays, and all of them look fabulous!

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