Saturday night, back home from my friend-and-food foray to Champaign/Urbana, Bill and I were headed to one of our favorite restaurants in the Naperville area, Chef Amaury’s 33 West, AKA Chef Amaury’s Epicurean Affair, located in Aurora, Illinois.  It was a beer-and-snack night, but if you want to see what the fabulous, often locally-sourced, menu looks like, take a quick peek at my post about our anniversary dinner there last September: https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/a-chefs-tasting-menu/.  Just don’t do it while you’re hungry!

I decided to dress up a bit and put on my boots that aren’t really made for walking, at least not too far, but that Bill loves:

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Then we were off to the bar and some beer.  Bill’s tastes tend toward the Belgian ales–light and hoppy.  I looked up his Salvation beer online and was taken by the description, so I’m going to share it with you.  (Who knew you could drink salvation??)  The Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado is the source for this beer that Bill loved.  Frankly, the food pairings they suggested sounded amazingly good to me!  A 22-oz. bomber, by the way, is the larger bottle, the size of two regular bottles.

“The success of Hog Heaven and The Reverend clearly demonstrates that beer drinkers are willing to embrace “BIGGER” beers. In the fall of 2001, we decided that a lighter BIG BEER would complement its darker-colored predecessors. Luscious apricot and peach aromas are delicately interwoven with spicy suggestions of nutmeg and cinnamon in this heavenly soft, champagne-like elixir.

Salvation is the final installment of “The Holy Trinity of Ales” series.

Food pairing: We find that dishes featuring mushrooms–like Mushroom Melange on Crepe–will bring out many of the herbal and spicy characteristics of the Styrian Goldings hops in Salvation. We also like portabella beef wellington, mushroom duxelle and salads with spicy vinagrettes.

Availability: Year round in 22oz. bombers, 1/6BBL and 1/2BBL kegs.”

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Light, hoppy beers are not my tipple.  My default beer is Guinness, so I wanted something dark and smooth.  Chris recommended Nitro Milk Stout, also from Colorado (maybe it’s the Rocky Mountain water!), but from Longmont and the Left Hand Brewing Company.  Hmmm, I see that they have a recipe on their website for Chocolate Milk Stout Cake.  How bad can that be?

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But although the beer and mixed drink list is extensive, we always have to have some food while at Chef Amaury’s, so we decided to try the cheese plate.  Our cheese plate offered (clockwise from bottom right): Barely Buzzed (rubbed w/espresso & lavender, cow’s milk), Boucheron goat cheese, Merlot cheese, sweet grass tomm (sheep’s milk) and triple cream blue (cow’s milk), served with baguette slices.  We couldn’t decide which we liked best, so we keep on testing.  Barely Buzzed, made in Utah, took a Bronze medal at this year’s World Cheese Awards in London, making us very cosmopolitan (but not what we were drinking.)

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As far as date night’s go, it might have been a little cheesey, but there were no complaints.  Plans are in the works for another round in the near future.  Stop by and you can come along, too.

Comments
  1. deanabo says:

    Congrats on a fun date night !

  2. Cheese and beer – about as good as it gets 🙂

  3. jeannie says:

    Naperville is actually in the Aurora area. Neither of them is in the Chicago area.

    • I’m hoping you’re saying this with your tongue firmly in your cheek and that you might live in Aurora. Let me reword and say Naperville and Aurora are neighboring Chicago suburbs. Wherever they are, Chef Amaury’s is at the top of the food list! Thanks for commenting.

  4. The cheese looks great – I love cheese…hope “nitro” is only the name and not literally meant ;o)

  5. That cheese looks really good.

  6. Chocolate stout cake – yum! There’s a recipe for it at http://rantingchef.com/2012/03/05/cake-of-the-irish/ – I tried it a while ago, and it’s very rich and moist and chocolatey – and you can still taste the stout, in a good way.

    That cheese platter looks astonishing. I can imagine just going around and around it sampling.

  7. What a wonderful date night and hmmmm… as I am born and raised Colorado I can verify all beers from the great state taste so wonderful due to the magnificient icy waters! LOL Glad you had a great time and I too love the boots. 🙂

    • All beers that is except for light beers, which should be called some thing other then beer. :-). I love Colorado.

      • light beers are the spawn of some wimpy kid I am sure LOL should be called ‘spring water with a drop of aleor hops’ LOL I miss home, now that I have just the one sister and she is younger she visits me here in Ks but I am going back someday for a visit although the home where I grew up now belongs to another family I would love to see it just one more time, before my days are through. can we say ‘bucket list’ lol god bless my friend!!

  8. Sounds interesting. I have never been a fan of beer, but you do make it sound good. My main reason is history: The first week I was waiting tables at Pizza Hut, I tapped a key and did it wrong; the beer (about 1/2 a pitcher) poured all over my uniform and they had no spares and it was the first hour of my shift. By the time the shift was over, I could no longer tolerate the smell of beer.
    Scott

    • Yuck, I can well imagine that could taint you for life!! I hated beer for years but have grown to like it–at least some of it. I like wine as well. Mixed drinks have gotten much too expensive, not that I’m a big drinker.

      • Due to the medications I take for problems from my stroke, I can no longer have any alcohol. I had gotten used to wine and enjoyed several types. Having more than just a bit caused some problems, so I quickly learned to curb that amount.

      • That would definitely not be worth it! Have to go for quality, not quantity, which is best anyway.

  9. […] when we emerged from our lovely evening at Chef Amaury’s last week (https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/a-little-cheesey-but-grin-and-beer-it/, in case you missed it.)  It makes me happy just to look at it.  And yes, it makes me feel like […]

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