Veritas Gateway to Food and Wine is known for fine food and excellent wine. Now they'll be known for craft beers as well as they add carefully selected artisan beers to their ever-changing menu. Wine lovers needn't worry; the boutique restaurant will still offer great vino, but will now also offer a selection of seasonal beers plus two regularly rotating taps.
To introduce the new menu, a special five course dinner pairing five artisan beers selected from the restaurant's offerings will be held on Sun., Aug. 14 at 5:30pm. Chef Mathis Stitt said both the beer and the food will focus on local produce which is at its peak right now. Stitt will be joined by beer guru and assistant brewer at Morgan Street Brewery, Chris Shea.
At Veritas, all of the elegant dishes are prepared behind the counter out in the restaurant, so the atmosphere is like visiting friends and hanging out in the kitchen. And the menu changes every week, with Stitt planning the restaurant's dining selections according to what quality ingredients are available locally at the time, just like home.
“I generally start with produce then add proteins,” Stitt said. “Beef, pork, fish and pasta—those stay on the menu, but the produce can change dramatically. I look at the produce that's available. It's not a logical process—it's more intuitive. Then I tweak it until I like it.”
It's a lot of work for a chef to create a new menu every week when the norm is to serve the same menu day after day. But for Stitt, it's an opportunity to be creative and explore new cuisine. “Yeah, it's a lot of work, but it keeps me interested even if I am doing more work every week. I may be busy, but I'm not bored.”
What is the secret to pairing beer with a particular course? Surprisingly, the rules for pairing food with beer are the same as pairing food with wine.
“When you're pairing drink with food, there are two ways you can go,” Stitt said. “You can go with the flavor profile, or come the other way and balance it out. If one part is acidic, you can go with acids or go the opposite way with sweet to balance it out.”
Chef Stitt has been thinking about pairing beer with food for several years, but began planning in earnest just a few months ago. “There was a void in our business,” Stitt said. “We didn't offer a lot of beer choices, but there's not too much competition in that area."
"We're trying to attract a younger clientele, so it's a natural move. Our beer choices will be uncharacteristic,” Stitt said.
Does Stitt have any other future plans up the sleeves of his chef whites? “I'm positive there will continue to be changes, but it will change organically according to what's going on,” Stitt said. “Changing the menu every week is a constant growing process. We can see what's working immediately. The food takes care of itself. But what wines we serve, what beers will be featured—that comes from us.”
The Veritas beer dinner will be served Sun., Aug. 14, 5:30pm. Reservations required; some seats available at this time, $55 per person or $100 for two. Call 636-530-9505.
Veritas—Gateway to Food and Wine—Beer Dinner Menu
Starter: Cheese plate featuring goat cheese, watermelon and honey
Course One: Heirloom Tomato salad with sweet onion, cucumbers and balsamic vinaigrette
Beer: La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin Brewery.
Course Two: Steamed mussels and clams, house-made bacon, tomatoes, leeks and roasted potatoes
Beer: De Ranke Saison De Dottignies—an imported Belgian Saison beer.
Course Three: Braised pork, grits, oven dried tomatoes, zucchini, squash and tobacco onions
Beer: Achel Extra, one of only two beers still made by Trappist Monks.
Course Four: Saint Agur bleu cheese and honey comb
Beer: 'Le Sans Culottes' from French brewery, La Choulette.
Course Five: House-made peach ice cream, peaches and candied peanuts
Beer: Autumnal from Stillwater Artisan Ales in Baltimore, MD.
Veritas is at 1722 Clarkson Road (at Baxter) in Chesterfield, located in the Dierbergs Market Place. Lunch is served Sun.,Tues. and Wed., 10am-5pm; lunch and dinner Thurs.- Sat., 10am-11pm.