All posts by John Fortunato

TAPASTRE

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SOMERVILLE, NEW JERSEY

An exquisite upscale cocktail lounge with gourmet food and well-selected craft beer perfectly described as a “cozy hideaway,” TAPASTRE is centrally located on the corner of historic High Street alongside old Victorian properties and a pristine white-marbled courthouse.

A quaint patio with six umbrella-shaded metal tables and chairs welcomes patron to the dungeon-like low ceiling basement pub. A wraparound S-shaped granite-topped 15-seat bar features lots of shelved liquor and 22 draught taps as well as two TV’s and blackboard beer menu. Small pendant lighting lines the bar while beige embossed ceiling tiles cover the back dining space and several right side booths and tables add further refined elegance.

Upstairs, Project Pub pairs food such as ostrich burgers, ahi tuna, duck leg, schnitzel and chicken wings with featured brewery’s ales. Tonight, nearby Lone Eagle Brewing offers several choice beverages.

During my two-hour stay with wife in tow, I consumed Long Island duck confit and Cajun crabcakes with hummus while quaffing wide-ranging stylistic fare such as Alementary Kalamansi Gose, Nickel Brook Uber Peach Raspberry Beliner Weiss, Allagash Farm To Face Sour Ale, Flounder Sourlands Wheat, Cigar City Good Gourd, Icarus Sunwalker Smoked Pilsner, Icarus Lil Yacht Juice NE IPA, Sloop Liquid Sorcery NE IPA, Cricket Hill Comet Cloud Red IPA and red wine-barreled Brotherton Earthbound Saison (all reviewed in Beer Index).

www.tapastre.com

BELL’S 30TH ANNIVERSARY CHERRY STOUT RESERVE

On tap at Growler & Gill, luscious 30th Anniversary dessert treat circa 2018. Bold oak-chipped stout enriches syrupy black chocolate malting with tart red cherry bluster. Subtle wood-charred hop bittering underscores viscous mocha cherry beauty. Black Forest cake, creamed coffee, bruised cherry, dark cocoa, chocolate truffle and raspberry puree illusions fill out the busy full body.

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CORONADO BLACK FOREST CAKE IMPERIAL STOUT WITH COCOA, VANILLA BEANS AND CHERRIES

“Sinfully delicious” bourbon barrel-aged stout goes thru significant transformation. Clean-watered bourbon spicing and dry burgundy undertones gain sour dried fruit respite to reinforce creamy cocoa bean resilience, rich vanilla bean bittering and bruised black cherry resolve. The result is a bourbon-dried Black Forest Cake for robust thirsts.

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