Left Hand and Twelve Triangles at Salt Horse
A bonus post today and not exactly a review, more of a plea for a one-off to become a two-off, then a three-off, then an always on.
Both Our Beer Man and I have written about how much we’ve been enjoying Salt Horse since it opened. To that number we can now add MJ who aside from developing a recent taste for beer – which is still slightly disturbing – gets all misty-eyed about the lamb and anchovy sausage roll she ate there, created by the fair hands of Twelve Triangles.
When one seat opened up for their planned beer and bread dinner with Colorado brewer Left Hand, they were kind enough to slip it my way as a wee thank you for continued services to massaging the ego of their macaroni pies.
The reason we have Our Beer Man writing for the site is that beer is not a world with which I’m hugely familiar and given the sheer volume of breweries and beers we now have across the globe it’s a full time job to keep up with the pace.
I hadn’t come across Left Hand before so it was an excellent opportunity to explore some new stuff.
As I say they’re based in Colorado where it seems there are rather a lot of breweries due to the fantastically pure water they have there. Although only 23 years old, they’re very much elder statesman of the scene which was seen rapid expansion in the last decade or so.
Matching the three beers from Left Hand was a seasonal dinner crafted by the baking maestros at Twelve Triangles. It was some fucking feast. Seriously, the centres of gravity of all attendees shifted markedly through the evening; the waddling home that followed must have been a sight to behold.
First up with Good Juju was some seasonal sea trout pate with a salad of roasted peach, accompanied by rye and crisp breads, their own cultured creme fraiche, and some pickled ginger.
This was a delicious opener and proved an excellent match for the beautifully restrained ginger notes of the spiced beer. There were some great flavour combos to contruct from the ingredients on offer, all filled with surprise and delight.
Next up we had Extrovert IPA with a roe deer venison pie, garlic bread, pickled apple and braised lettuce.
As with the starter, things were served family style with two massive pies delivered to our table of ten. Shot just south of Edinburgh the haunches of the deer had been slow cooked for 10 hours so the meat was tenderness incarnate.
It was without question the finest pie I’ve had the pleasure to eat across the course of writing Lunchquest.
The orange and pineapple top notes of the beer worked really beautifully with the rich meat.
All of those timewasters who’ve spent their lives serving me raw lettuce can collectively do one. Braised lettuce is clearly where the future lies. And the garlic bread hedgehog, made with one of their white sourdough loaves, was just expectional.
We were fairly overwhelmed by this point, both with quality and quantity.
There was still more fireworks to come with Nitro Milk Stout served with an excellent bread ice-cream, rye crumb, honeycomb, caramel made with the stout, and bourbon soaked raisins.
The match was spot-on with the creaminess of the stout beautifully accentuated.
So overall, this was an absolutely sensationally dinner. Thanks go to Rachel and Emily for the fantastic food, to Sharona from Left Hand for expertly leading us through the event and making a compelling case for why we should all be drinking their outstanding beer, to Joe her trusty sidekick for the evening, and all at Salt Horse for their continued excellence and generosity.
Salt Horse has a pretty regular programme of tastings and events. I’d strongly recommend them to you.
But it all comes back to that epic pie. I occasionally have a rant about the dearth of food in this style served in Edinburgh pubs and restaurants. I’m very clear that I want this type of dish to infiltrate the Salt Horse core menu or for it to at least be a regularly occurring special. This is the kind of locally-driven hearty fare that should be the cornerstone of menus in the city. Please make it so, folks.