Winter’s upon us and it’s time for comfort food. The new dishes on the Pajarito Brewpub & Grill’s winter menu will make you very comfortable indeed. The Los Alamos Daily Post was invited to sample the new selections Wednesday so we tucked in for some culinary treats designed to take advantage of fall produce and add excitement to the Brewpub’s menu.
Executive Chef David Tripp worked with Sous Chef Oliver Fresquez and Pastry Chef Laura Hamilton to develop the new dishes.
“We relied a lot on customer input,” Tripp said.
The ramped up LANL Burger with sweet potato fries. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
In addition to new dishes, some old favorites got a makeover, including the LANL Burger. The burger has been spiced up with red chili and poblano and onion chutney. “It’s spicy but mediterranean and we think it’s a lot more exciting,” Tripp said.
It came with sweet potato fries topped with rosemary olive oil and asiago cheese. Yum.
Wings eight ways. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
Another favorite, the chicken and pork wings, are complimented by some new sauces, eight in all. We couldn’t keep our hands off the very spicy habanero wings, but all eight were plenty tasty.
Brewpub nachos is a full meal, with melt-in-your-mouth beer braised beef, two kinds of cheese, black beans and veggies, complimented by chipotle lime sour cream. We’re not talking your ordinary plate of nachos here.
A new dish we kept coming back to was the Autumn Harvest Ravioli. This dish, ravioli with pine nuts, sundried tomatoes and pea tendrils in a sherry-shallot cream sauce just shouts fall in New Mexico.
Chopped salad. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
I’ve been a bit suspicious of the chop salad trend, but the Brewpub’s version won me over and then some. Jicama, black beans, cucumber, red pepper, red onion, poblano peppers, tomato and cotija cheese in an agave-lime vinaigrette were presented in a gorgeous radicchio cup. It was almost too pretty to eat, but I was glad I did. I’m definitely ordering this one.
You’re in for a surprise with the Brewpub’s take on Chicken Fried Steak. No white gravy and grease here. Find instead, a tender cut of beef in a mushroom-thyme sourdough crust, with a delicate brown gravy.
This is a modern take on a classic comfort food that I can get behind.
Get ready, it’s time to talk dessert. Chef Hamilton presents us with three new delights. Chocolate Toffee Cake is a flourless confection topped with toffee ganache.
Cherry Crisp. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
Cherry Crisp has a warm oatmeal cookie crust surrounding a cherry ginger compote.
It’s egg and nut free for those with dietary restrictions.
These two desserts come with the Brewpub’s homemade sorbet and gelato, quite a treat in themselves.
Caramel Pinenut Tart. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
Dessert number three is a Caramel Pinenut Tart made with salted butter caramel in a pastry shell, served with crème fraiche. I had to go off my diet for this one and have more than one taste. If I ever get off this diet, I’m having this dish to celebrate.
Don’t get nervous, most of the Brewpub favorites are still on the menu, including their Fish ‘N Chips, which are so popular they’ve gone through 3.5 tons of cod in one year, owner Patrick Mockler–Wood said.
Since we are talking about a pub here, I’ll mention the Brewpub’s new brew, Alaskan Amber Ale. It’s a really tasty brown ale, malty and not too sweet – perfect for a winter’s night.
Mockler-Wood called the supplier so often about getting this beer to New Mexico they got on a first name basis. “It’s my beer triumph for New Mexico,” he said.
So don’t let the demise of warm weather get you down … head over to the Pajarito Brewpub and sample some winter delights.