Last night, La Trappe Cafe (800 Greenwich Street) celebrated Valentine’s Day in style with their highly-entertaining Love Is Like Fish Dinner, emceed by local fisherman Kirk Lombard. The Beer Week event was centered around a five course seafood meal, complete with pairings of carefully-selected Belgian brews. Best of all, the fish was all locally caught earlier in the day by Lombard himself. And aside from being a highly-skilled Man of the Sea, the dude knows how to woo a crowd.
Throughout the evening, Lombard set the mood with a number of fascinating demonstrations, including the filleting of several varieties of the very same fish that were served throughout the meal. The frolicking fisherman also led the crowd in several spirited sing-alongs and then showed a few videos depicting his adventures on the open ocean, bringing sustainable seafood to the plates of satisfied diners from around the Bay Area.
Highlights of the meal included a Basque style rock crab, which tasted pretty much like the best crab cake you can imagine, served inside the shell of the animal itself. The dipping sauce was a sensational house made tartare-esque aioli with a delicate balance of spice and tang. We paired it up with a McKellar Saison, with a robust finish that helped enhance the subtle characteristics of the crab.
Perhaps my favorite course was the Red Curry Monkey Face Eel. This curious looking creature, which Lombard proudly paraded past the apprehensive diners, thankfully is far tastier than it looks. It was exquisitely prepared by La Trappe’s masterful chefs in a Thai-inspired bath of red curry, lemon grass and coconut milk. Rich and succulent, the tones were married beautifully with yet another Belgian-style saison, Nautilus, brewed by Pacific Brewing Laboratory. A triple layer chocolate cake punctuated the meal in triumphant decadence; an evening to remember, thanks to Kirk Lombard’s undeniable charisma and the hard-working, well-prepared staff of La Trappe.
If you haven’t been to what is clearly the city’s most authentic Belgian style cafe, there’s perhaps no better time than this week: Thursday they’re hosting New Belgium Brewing’s Sour Symposium (only 2 seats remaining) and on Saturday they will be dishing out Italian beers to accompany an all-Italian menu, for one night only. Don’t miss out. More information is available here.