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Monday, April 13, 2009

My Gastropub Weekend

Posted by Stephanie Barna on Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 7:20 PM

On Saturday, after a morning at the Farmers' Market where I stocked up on fresh veggies and stuffed myself with mini donuts and strawberries, I headed for a lunch meeting in Summerville with a designer who's helping us come up with a new look for the website (shhh).

Since I rarely get up to Summerville, I thought it would be a great opportunity to check out the Farringdon Bistropub. 3b78/1239664719-pub.jpgThe weather made it all the better since we could sit on the wraparound front porch while we drank beer. And beer is the big attraction at this new restaurant.

The beer list is three pages deep with a great selection of craft brews, from ales and pilsners to IPAs and ciders. The menu has a handy guide to alcohol content too, which is nice, cause you can easily get in trouble with high gravity brews if you don't know what you're getting.

I used the alcohol content as my guide for ordering, since it was midday and I did have to get back to the kids. A Stone Levitation amber ale (4.4%) was refreshingly crisp and went down quick. I ordered the blackened mahi sandwich and a Hitachino Nest White Ale (5%) from Japan. My husband stuck with the pilsners, choosing a Kapsreiter and an Einbecker to go with The Wade, an ambitious sandwich stacked with a split sausage, egg, cheese and topped with frites (heart attack). All that beer drinking made us want to get our growlers filled at the Beer Exchange.
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We chatted with the owner, who is the beer lover behind the incredible list. The Bistropub's only been open a few months, and they've got a busy schedule ahead of them. On Thursday, they'll be hosting a pre- and post- viewing party for the Beer Wars documentary which will screen at the Regal in Summerville. David and Jaime from Coast Brewing Co. will be on hand for that event. Read all about it here. They've also got a wine dinner on April 19 and a Sustainable Seafood Initiative dinner on April 22.

After our leisurely lunch meeting, we headed home and I retired to the couch with a slight beer buzz and caught an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay. It seems the theme for the day was gastropubs, as Flay was challenging a restaurateur from Washington D.C. who runs a gastropub that specializes in moules frites (mussels and french fries). I watched about half the episode before I dashed over to the Teeter for all the ingredients. My husband was tasked with running down to the Charleston Beer Exchange to fill our growlers. All I'll say is that they remained empty when I returned home to make the moules.

It's an amazing dish called Fromage Bleu: bacon, shallots, lemon juice, white wine, mussels, blue cheese, and parsley. Seriously. It was scrumptious. I tried to make a pistou for the second batch, but it was no Rue de Jean dish, believe me. So, we focused on the sopping up all the leftover broth from the first batch with some crusty bread.

All in all, I must say that as a beer lover, I cherish this whole gastropub thing. And I hope Farringdon's has better luck attracting a crowd than Relish did (Tim Armstrong's cute little Summerville restaurant that closed back in January). It looks like they're heading in the right direction with all the cool events they have planned.

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