Coalhouse Pizza in Stamford is a regular haunt for us; we have a large group that’s been going to the restaurant at least once a week for over a year now. We’ve been lucky enough to attend some of the restaurant’s special events in the past, so we were delighted when Gerard invited us to attend the Victory Brewing + OmNomCT event on Monday. The event featured live music and five courses of beer and food pairings (plus four beer mixes to try at any other time; we sampled these extensively before our meals) and was a lot of fun! Some details follow, but the pairings generally worked well and the food was pretty good. At first the “five courses of bacon” seemed like quite the gimmick, but I’ll give credit where it’s due: it worked.
So, next time you’re in Stamford, check out Coalhouse, and definitely try one of their beer or wine dinners out if you’re interested in lots of food, lots of alcohol, and lots of fun!
The first course was Steamy Summer Love Clams & Bacon, paired with Victory’s Braumeister Pils. The pairing worked well and the clams were perfectly tender – not at all gritty. There was not, sadly, anything to mop the broth up with – a crusty roll could have made this dish a killer nosher.
For the second course, the Bacon Blues Salad with Victory Headwaters Pale Ale Dressing was paired with the Headwaters Pale Ale. Again, the pairing worked well. The salad itself was a nice side salad (with the amount of food at this event, this is not a complaint, believe me). The speed at which these salads were prepared and delivered was pretty incredible to witness.
By the third course, the beers started to get more serious. Victory’s Golden Monkey Tripel was featured with a Sweet & Spicy Hawaiian Pizza (featuring Golden Monkey Pizza Dough, no less). This pizza was epic. The substitution of bacon for the ham on the Hawaiian works for me. Diced ham has always been the weakness of the otherwise classic combination (substitutions such as prosciutto have made me happy in the past).
But, what made this epic was the slices of Habanero flesh. So good. So very good! I don’t think a lot of the diners present realized that Gerard wasn’t pulling any punches when he said this pizza was spicy. Again, killer pairing with the Tripel, but the pizza stole the show – I fell in love with it and now want to eat this pizza always and forever when I go to Coalhouse.
A surprisingly good Smoky the Beer Bacon Burger Slider with Beer Battered Onion Rings was joined by Victory’s Hop Devil for the fourth course. I topped my burger with a copious amount of Harissa. The burger itself was cooked a little well, but the flavors and aromas all worked well together. Interesting was the smoked gouda (I think?) disc atop the burger, but the onion rings and dipping sauce stole the show here.
And of course Hop Devil is delicious, which helps.
The final course was a mix for me. The Salted Caramel Bacon Brownies were pretty damn good and made just the way I like them (dense like a neutron star and moist).
The Storm King Stout Butterbeer was ghastly and awful. This sadly continues my experience with “dessert beer” experiments at Coalhouse usually going poorly. With whipped cream and a cheery, the stout was wrecked with schnapps and was probably one of the more vile things I’ve consumed. Hats off to the creativity, but this was not my speed, friends.