Isn’t it exciting when new restaurants or attractions open up near to you? I am always on the lookout for new places to eat, and I had the pleasure of being invited to Yard of Ale Gastro Pub in Clearwater recently. This is their newest location, and I love that it is a bit more accessible to me. Not only is it closer to me, but it also has a great atmosphere and vibe! I mean, how cool is that curved wooden wall in one of the rooms we visited? You can also sit outside and enjoy a cocktail on the patio, sit indoors and watch one of the many TV screens on the walls, and even attend events.
Anyway, a group of us were treated to a food and drink pairing, and it was absolutely impressive! I have to admit: at first I would have thought we’d be dining on chicken wings and other fried food. I was dead wrong. Yard of Ale Gastropub is what it’s name implies. There is American fusion cuisine ranging from classic pub food to hearty entrees with a twist, a huge selection of beer, and craft cocktails too.
We began our culinary tour with fried shrimp topped with Thai chili, arugula, and sriracha, paired with Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. What a way to start strong! This was one of my favorites of the evening. I could have eaten an entire plate of these bad boys all on my own. Yum.
Next: a Maryland crab cake with frisee and red bell pepper coulis, paired with Santa Ema Chardonnay. It was pretty dang good: their crab cakes have practically no filler, so I can truly appreciate how meaty they are!
From there, it was on to the main courses! First, pan seared diver scallops with mashed potatoes, arugula, capers, lemon, and brown butter. Melt in your mouth goodness, I tell you! I think this was my second favorite dish of the evening. This entree was paired with a Foam Flash cocktail. It was my first time ever trying cocktails with frothed egg whites involved; it was a new experience!
The second main dish was a seared snapper, fingerling potatoes, broccolini, baby carrots, and a beurre blanc sauce. This was paired with the Clover Club cocktail!
Finally, we were presented with a New York strip topped with garlic butter and Belgian fries on the side. The cocktail pairing for this round was an Envious Old Fashioned. YUM – this cocktail was certainly up my alley!
As if that wasn’t enough food, it was then time for dessert! We were served up a trio of homemade ice cream, alongside a trio of beer pairings. There was pistachio, strawberry cheesecake, and coffee toffee…and all three were amazing. I was ready to take home a gallon of the coffee toffee…too bad I couldn’t make that happen… 😉
All in all, I would say that our first experience at Yard of Ale Gastropub was a huge success! I was truly impressed with the food selection, presentation, and the drink offerings. Make sure you check it out if you are nearby any time soon!
Have you visited a new restaurant in your area lately?