kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

703.203.9463

Lots and lots of suds

I dined at Alexandria's Rustico a few nights ago, where encyclopedia of beer and all-around super nice guy Greg Engert paired suds with dishes on their current tasting menu. I had some memorable plates, including goat cheese stuffed figs that were to die for, fried pork trotters, Cornish hen under brick, and 2 of their fantastic pizzas--mushroom and spinach; and gulf shrimp with fontina cheese.

Greg's choices took me all over the beer world, to likely places like Belgian and Germany, and more unlikely ones like Italy. To end the evening, he selected a Gouden Carolus, a Belgian Blond Ale, to pair with warm blueberry pie with whipped cream and ginger syrup. The beer had some nice fresh fruit, without being at all sweet, as well as some spice. The yeast strain used in the brewing gives aromas of overripe bananas.

***If you go, try to reserve the chef's table--four seats that overlook the kitchen and guarantee lots of attention from Greg and Chef Morales.