Monday, December 23, 2013

The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out for December...Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden

This month's The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out spotlight is shining on Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden, located at the Pearl Brewery complex. This popular restaurant is located in the Pearl Brewery's former “boiler house,” which powered the adjacent brewery. To honor the historical significance of the building, many of its original architectural features have been preserved and incorporated into the restaurant's design, including two of the three large boilers that powered the brewery more than 100 years ago. The Boiler House describes their menu as "Texas Hill Country Gourmet" paired with wines from around the globe. The large menu features tons of great options that are perfect for taking a group of friends or family and sharing bites as you enjoy some excellent wine. Ingredients are fresh and local, which I can really get behind! Michael and I visited as the holiday season was just starting to gear up, and we were very impressed with the eclectic menu! There's something for everyone...from carnivores to vegetarians...and everything in between. 
We arrived and were warmly welcomed by the hostess. We were quickly shown to our table and brought two flutes of delicious LaMarca Prosecco from Italy...bubbles are always a great way to start out a meal! Our dinner menu that night was personally selected for us by Sous Chef Gerald Toomey, and our wine pairings were selected by our sweet server, who also happened to be Chef Toomey's wife! Between each course, the chef came to our table to talk about each dish we were tasting. It was informative and gave our entire meal a very personalized feel! We started out by sharing three small plate selections from the Breads, Skewers and Tastes sections of the menu. We enjoyed their signature Quail Poppers with Bacon, Jalapeno and Green Goddess; Chicken Liver Mousse and Charred Red Onion Jam; and Braised Kurabuta Pork Belly with Kraken Run Demi, Pickled Radish and House Mustard. 
The Boiler House is well known for their quail poppers, and they did not disappoint! They were spicy and savory with a ton of Texas attitude. They were paired with Willakenzie Pinot Gris from Oregon. The chicken liver mousse was creamy and rich. We enjoyed spreading it on toasted bread and topping with the sweet-savory onion jam. It was paired with Willakenzie Pinot Gris from Oregon. The pork belly was rich and decadent on a slightly sweet sauce. The pickled radishes and house-made grainy mustard provided sharp contrasting flavors that worked really well with the rich pork belly. It was paired with a fruity Reserve M Syrah from Pays d'Oc, France. 

We then shared two entrees from the Boiler Cuts section of the menu, one seafood and one venison. First out of the kitchen was the delicious Pan Roasted Salmon with Creamed Bacon Spinach and Pickled Asparagus. It was followed by Texas Hill Country Axis Venison Loin with a Wild Berry Demi Glaze and Whipped Potatoes.
The salmon was perfectly cooked: crispy on the outside and on the inside. It was served on a bed of smoky, rich creamed spinach and a spear of tangy pickled asparagus. All of the flavors worked really nice together. The salmon was paired with a refreshing and light Vicius Albarino from Portugal. The lean venison loin was fork tender and not the least bit gamey, with a fruity finish from the rich berry demi glace. The velvety potato puree was the perfect side dish to this flavorful cut, along with the rich Spanish Clos de Tafall Priorat wine.

We opted to share dessert and were thrilled when a gorgeous dish of White Chocolate Peach Bread Pudding with Kraken Run Butterscotch Sauce, Sea Salt and Candied Pecans came out from the kitchen. We love bread pudding, and this is one of the best we've had in ages! It was rich and moist, with tons of fresh peaches and a sinful salted caramel sauce. 
Our fruity bread pudding was perfectly paired with a delicious and slightly sweet Lietz "Dragonstone" Riesling from Germany. It was the perfect ending to a fabulous meal! As you can see, we enjoyed all of the wines that we sampled with our meal that evening -- everything from bubbly prosecco to a robust Syrah.
When we visited The Boiler House, it was all decked out for the holidays...with tons of colorful holiday lights and a huge Christmas tree near the entrance. The decor definitely set a festive mood for our visit! The restaurant offers two levels of seating, as well as a large bar that looks into the busy kitchen In addition to dinner, the restaurant also features popular lunch and brunch menus and a lively Happy Hour. Whether you're looking for lots of great small plate options to share with friends...or a romantic dinner for two...Boiler House is an excellent option in the popular Pearl Brewery entertainment complex! When the weather is nice, they also have a great outdoor seating area. We can't wait to visit The Boiler House again very soon to try some of the other menu items.

Disclosure: We were provided with a complimentary dinner and wine pairings to facilitate this feature. We received no further compensation, and all opinions are my own. Photographs are copyrighted by Michael K. Garcia and may not be copied or otherwise used without prior permission.

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