Every so often my friend Beth and I get together for a drink and some eats in the Grid and catch up but this last time around we were looking for somewhere/something new to try. So when I happened upon the Sacramento Press' article about Community Tap and Table I decided to run the idea by her to see if she'd be interested in checking it out. After all it did have the major components we look for- food and beer...the only difference was we would have to do the cooking ourselves but that might turn out to be kind of fun.
Community Tap and Table is described as a club for "beer bellies with a cooking problem." It was started by couple, Emily Baime and Darin Michaels, and offers cooking classes, brewery tours and beer dinners. The cooking classes can range from four to eleven people. The night we went was a Tuesday and the class consisted of five "beer bellied cooks". Both Baime and Michael were quite welcoming when we showed up at their South Land Park home and extremely hospitable throughout the night. The class we chose to attend was called, " Grilled Flatbreads and Homemade Summer Flavors," and the menu consisted of:
- Green tomato jam served with sliced baguette (not what I expected at all- the cinnamon made it almost dessert-like, yummy!)
- Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote served with goat cheese and water crackers (absolutely divine!)
- Tea-Smoked Salmon, Homemade Ricotta & Fresh Tomato Sauce on Grilled Flatbread (yum, the salmon was so good I could have eaten it by itself)
- Wild Plum Cardamom Syrup & Pork Belly over ice cream (crisp chunks of pork belly!!!...seriously, need I say more?)
Baime handled the food portion of the evening. Several stations were set up and ready to go in their gorgeous kitchen with the appropriate ingredients (all fresh seasonal fruits, veggies and herbs from the farmers' market) and needed tools. As we started our respective dishes and chatted with each other; Baime circulated and talked, joked, and answered questions. Baime's laid back nature makes the cooking fun and stress-free, so don't worry if you haven't spent much time behind an apron, you'll be fine. Once all the courses are ready, Michaels takes over at the dinner table with the beer pairings. We received a brief but informative overview on beer making, then he describes each American craft or micro brew that's been chosen for the course we're eating. We got to try- Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat, Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, Imperial Barley Wine Ale and Trumer Pils. They were all tasty but I think the Lagunitas was my favorite both in taste and in back story.
On the whole, I love what Baime and Michaels are doing. They're marrying the concepts of food, beer and people. What's not to love about that? If you're looking to meet new people, looking for a fun night of beer tasting or to hone a few cooking skills give CTT a go I think you'll have a great time. You'll definitely come home with a full belly, a big smile and maybe even a few recipes and a leftover or two. It's a great addition to the Sacramento food scene and I look forward to attending another one of their events.