brooklyn beer dinner with chef jonathon sawyer

Last Thursday, chef Sawyer invited Jamie and myself to be his guests at Viking in Legacy for a special Brooklyn Brewery beer tasting featuring brewmaster Garrett Oliver (who also happens to be a best-selling author and sommelier). Each beer, six total, was paired with a dish created by chef Sawyer and his team. The night also offered a sneak peak into his highly anticipated new restaurant, The Greenhouse Tavern, because several of the dishes will be on the menu. Oh, and for those as anxious as I am for it to open, chef Sawyer shared that the wait should be over around April 1.

The menu featured:

  • raw mackerel filet with nicoise olives, a spicy dijon mustard Jonathon and Amelia brought back from Paris and haricot verts.
  • roasted Ohio baby goat served with a herb salad with coriander, lime and mint and delicious goat’s milk cheese
  • black cod in papillote with lobster, new potato, hop oil and artichokes.
  • Ohio beef tenderloin, short rib and bone marrow served with root vegetables and Local 1 bordelaise
  • Ossua Iraty cheese with scotch heather honey and crostini
  • Brooklyn Chocolate stout creme glace with chocolate cherry break and crushed malted milk balls

On the way home, we both commented that it’s been way too long since we’ve had any of Jonathon’s food and this night made us that much more excited for Greenhouse to open. And in talking with several people on his team, it truly sounds like it is going to be one hell of a space and well worth the wait.

As for the food, stand outs for me included the baby goat, short rib and cheese. While everything was simply perfect and incredibly satisfying, if I had to pick one favorite, it would be the sustainable black cod. He made this dish look effortless, but there is no way I could ever make anything tasting even close to that. Thankfully, I won’t have to because this dish will be on the new menu, although it may not always be cod.

If given the choice, I always pick wine over beer with my dinner. But this tasting opened my eyes. Garrett Oliver, who did an outstanding job selecting the right beers with each course and describing why it works so well, gave all of us quite the education and taught me to alter my thinking. In fact, I enjoyed the beer so much (Jamie has always been a fan), that we served it at our daughter’s baptism this past Sunday.

For pictures of each course, check out Northcoast Lifestyle.


  1. Kelly and José
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    We so wish we could have been there! *sigh*

  2. Stuart
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    My favorite was definitely the goat.

  3. jkc
    Posted February 25, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    sounds fantastic. i had no idea Cleveland was such a culinary hotspot….