We actually went out to dinner with friends last week!
You're thinking, "Yeah, yeah big deal", but it is for us. With the regular work week Shelby and I have and my regular schedule running around town, there actually isn't a lot of time we go out to just relax - let alone with friends. In the month of August, in the year 2016 we officially went out to dinner twice with friends. I can't remember that last time that as happened! The first time was with Cappy and Lauren to the Commis dinner earlier in the month (still working on the gazillion photos I took at that one) and the second was with our friends visiting from San Francisco.
Tatiana and Chris were staying in Sandbridge with family and wanted to hang out someplace close to the beach house and after putting together a short list we finally decided to hit Esoteric. I figured the food, beer menu and the atmosphere are great and we have the option to sit inside or out. When we arrived they were already out back on the patio. Warm (hot would be a little more accurate) Virginia summer nights are a little bit different than the cool ones in San Francisco.
We ordered the Charred Octopus to start and they house brought out some Roasted Shishitos grown in the garden and Pimento with their housemade crackers (which are great!) Our entree orders were the Pork Chop, Scallops, and Duck. I went ahead and ordered some other things to pick at which included a Charcuterie board and some wings. I had judged a "beer food" contest earlier so I wasn't starving though I got some bites from everyone's plates.
Chef Ian Hock came out to say "Hi" and after a little chat he brought out a couple of The Veil Brewing beers they had stashed away in the fridge. This was a great treat for us and our guests because if you know anything about Veil beer their cans go quick and are only sold at the brewery in Richmond. We all shared the Lil' Kitty Boi IPA and Eternal Shredder DIPA. Man I love their beers, you should check out pedigree on The Veil Brewing's Matt Tarpey, here's a good article at Good Beer Hunting.
After sipping our beers and ordering a few more Resins, I asked if we could slip into the kitchen to meet the crew. Ok, the elephant in the room is that Tatiana's husband is Chris Cosentino, a world renown chef who has pioneered snout-to-tail cooking in the U.S. They also own Boccalone and the restaurant Cockscomb, both in San Francisco. The guys in the kitchen were excited for the fact that he was eating at their shop so it was a treat for Chris to come back and hang out.
Shelby and Tatiana were hanging out back while we were in the kitchen but we all eventually made our way to the bar and drank more beer. Go figure right!? All in all, it was a great time and we were glad we were able to get out and have a proper sit down and just hang out. We need to get to San Francisco those two keep saying. Don't be surprised when we show up on the doorstep Tatiana and Chris, I know we've been saying that for years but it's coming. Here's to seeing you in your town next time!