Talk about a match made in heaven.
The Pine Box is the absolutely stellar, somewhat hidden beer haven on Capitol Hill co-owned by Ian Roberts (one of our 2012 Tastemakers). I love the place, but I'm a beer amateur. So I asked my favorite beer fanatic, Washington Beer Blog's Kendall Jones, to weigh in on the place. He told me this:
"Ian Roberts is one of Seattle's most-respected beer minds. He is totally on top of everything that happens at Pine Box. He's been there every time I've visited. He must live in the basement or something."
The Pine Box regularly features a tap lineup as good, or better, than any at the other serious beers bar around town. And, Jones says, "To say that Pine Box takes draft beer seriously is an understatement. They've got a Randall built into the wall--the only one of its kind that I've ever seen. If you don't know what a Randall is, ask one of the bartenders and learn something. Actually, you can ask them pretty much anything about beer."
Now, it seems, the Box is serving food as estimable as its beer. Kendall's wife, Kim Sharpe Jones, clued me in to a new menu at the Box, created by none other than stellar chef Scott Carsberg (of the late, great Lampreia and Bisato). The menu pre-Carsberg had been standard fair: decent, but nothing to go out of your way for.
Roberts told me that, "Carsberg is on board as our 'Consulting Chef.' He came in, tore apart our kitchen, retrained our staff or changed staff where necessary, and wrote us a nice menu to work with. Scott will be popping in and out to help maintain our quality level and keep our menu ideas fresh. Scott's also doing a beer dinner with Hair of the Dog Brewing during Seattle Beer Week. We are very happy with the changes and directions that he has taken and look forward to more beer dinners and redefining beer and food pairings."
A look at the new menu finds wood-fired pizza with jalapeno spread and pork cheeks. Spaetzle with brown butter, mushrooms and sage (add a duck egg if you so desire). A half-pound burger built of beef, pork and veal (topped with truffle mayo) that I cannot wait to try. Also: burrata with roasted veggies; soft pretzels with sausage and red sauerkraut.
Sounds like a beer-lovers dream menu, don't it? It's almost quittin' time. I'll race you.