Sunday, October 2, 2011
Restaurant review: Meddlesome Moth in Dallas
The best way to experience this place is through small portions.
Anyone interested in good beer and good food will tell you that one makes the other better (like Lucy and Ethel, or ranch dressing and anything).
That said, I’ve been in a committed relationship with the Meddlesome Moth ever since I had my first taste of their shrimp and grits and Allagash White. So how thrilled was I to learn they do rare brew tappings every Wednesday? Let’s just say I’ve been forsaking all prior engagements for the last few weeks.
Last night we stopped by to sample the Real Ale Barrel-Aged Empire. Like much of their menu, this beer is home grown right here in Texas. If you’re a Moth newbie, this place can be intimidating. With 80 bottle choices and 40 shiny taps lined temptingly along the wall, one of two things will happen: For the novice, you’ll stare like a deer in headlights at the chalkboard filled with foreign names and weird symbols. For the connoisseur, you’re thinking, How do I narrow it down to just one? Luckily, the bartenders are helpful, offering samples and suggesting the perfect brew to go with the rabbit pot pie you just ordered.
When you’re here, be sure to order a flight of beer. Though the Belgian is the most popular (with everything from Maredsous 8 to a pucker-inducing New Belgium sour), my favorite is the Texas assortment. It features Live Oak Pilsner, 512 Pecan Porter, and three other tasty brews from the Lone Star State.
“I love this. You can get something from every country — even Texas!”
“Yes, Texas. The best of those countries.”
One of the best things about this fine gastropub is its dedication to local and seasonal items. This time of year, you can count on a hefty selection of Oktoberfest brews (all things pumpkin-flavored get an A-plus in my book). Chef Chad Kelley changes the specials daily, depending on what he’s “feeling,” and he gets all his ground beef from nearby Grandview. After spending a year tasting every beer he could find in our great state, he’s truly honed the art of the perfect pairing. His favorite? Anything with a Belgian yeast.
In my opinion, the best way to experience this place is through small portions: beer flights and sharable plates. Not only is this the best way to learn (who said dining can’t be educational?), but also it’s the best way to get a taste of everything. For the timid, dishes such as Mobay chicken on a stick and baby back ribs will go down smoothly. For the not-so-timid, Diablo mussels and beef bone marrow might appease your more adventurous palate. I’ve considered making it a goal to taste every beer here. Lofty naturally, especially since they’ll probably change them all before I get around to it. But I always like a challenge.
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