Marquee Pizzeria Opening End of October in Coralville’s Iowa River Landing!

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The newest addition to Coralville’s Iowa River Landing location, Marquee Pizza, will be opening its doors to the public at the end of this month. While pizza made in a Modena, Italy brick oven will be featured, their menu will offer appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and entrees. A few pictures below of some of Marquee’s menu items…mouth-watering looking!

The food will no doubt be amazing and I’m pretty stoked to try it out, but I’m also pretty excited to get into those 20 beers lines! Marquee will have 20 draft lines that will emphasize quality. There will be great Iowa made brews as well as some of the best from bigger craft breweries in the country. Marquee is also going to put emphasis on forward thinking breweries such as Evil Twin, Prairie, and Grimm. They also hope to always offer some “oh wow, I’ve had this before” beers. The everyday/frequently seen smaller breweries will play a smaller role in their draft lineup and for the domestic beer lover they will have your Coors Banquets and Budweisers offered in cans.

One thing I’m particularly excited for is Marquee’s mission to offer events.  Things such as local brewery spotlight all the way to off the radar events that will provide more meat than just a simple tap takeover. One good way to keep track of these events is to sign-up for Marquee’s newsletter here.

As the date of opening approaches, stay tuned for many more updates, pictures, and hopefully soon a tap list! Check out Marquee when they open!

Drink This: Crooked Stave L’Brett d’or

l'brett d'or.jpgThank the Beer Gods for Abu Nawas! They are responsible for getting Iowans a chance to try Crooked Stave whose beers always challenge and satisfy the palate.  Crooked Stave specializes in barrel aged sours, wild ales, and saisons. When there’s a Crooked Stave delivery day, I’m usually in line to pick up a few bottles and I just so happened to be at Winestyles at the Iowa River Landing in Coralville doing a little beer shopping when I came upon their L’Brett d’or. Dry hopped sour aged in oak barrels? Yes please! Here’s more on this beer:

A dry hopped surreal golden sour ale aged in oak barrels that comes in at 7% ABV.

There have been a few variants released of L’Brett d’Or, none I’ve seen in Eastern Iowa but this dry hopped is excellent in many ways.

#1: This is the perfect gateway beer for those who are not 100% into sours/wild ales yet. It’s not too tart, don’t get me wrong, tartness is there, but an acidic vinegar bomb it is not. It’s sweet enough for fruit fans to get on board with and the Brett is very present but doesn’t dominate the flavor.
#2: For Brett fans, once you open up that bottle and get the aroma of Brett and oak you will be ready to dig into this beer. The sweetness of peaches and apricots mesh perfectly the with oak and you get a little bit of an herbal taste that I’m guessing comes from the hops.

#3: The complexity of flavors: As this beer warms a bit it brings out the peaches and apricots as I said above but there is some green apple and faint balsamic vinegar.

Would I buy again? Absolutely! I was happy to share this with some people but regret that I didn’t buy another bottle to selfishly drink by myself. I really want more of this and it would pair perfectly with a warm Iowa 4th of July weekend.

I’m not sure if Winestyles still has it in stock but check out Benz in CR as well, they carry quite a few Crooked Stave beers. If you find some, let me know where it’s at because I need more! If you are not satisfied with it and purchased multiples, get a hold of me and I’ll buy the rest from you. Get out there and Drink This!

Restaurant Review: 30hop; Coralville, IA

30hopThe trend of some excellent craft beers and tasty food continues to strike in Eastern Iowa, this time in the Iowa River Landing area in Coralville. A location that already hosts Backpocket Brewing the newly opened Winestyles continues its impressive dedication to craft beer and food with 30hop. More from their website:

Trendy and yet a comfortable, urban-industrial, dining and drinking establishment will feature the area’s first rooftop patio. The contemporary menu will focus on simple, fresh, delicious offerings and will include 60 beers on tap on the main level and 30 beers on the rooftop. Through constant focus on superior service, exquisite food, and craft beers, guests will be eager to make 30hop a new hangout. Welcome to the newest addition to Iowa River Landing, Coralville’s gateway to the corridor.

photo 2 (13)As you approach it’s hard to ignore the rooftop seating and the view that you will experience when you get up there. But once you get in it’s hard to ignore the view of the 60 beers on tap! A fantastic looking chalkboard with ever-rotating lines of deliciousness greets you as you enter. I think I was too busy focusing on the board of beer as the hostess was trying to ask how many in my party, but eventually she got through to my beer-numbed mind and we took a spot near the back wall with the sweet looking giant American flag. photo 1 (13)

The beer menu was up-to-date and I noticed Toppling Goliath pseudosue, which I photo 3 (11)hear is good:), so I order a glass of greatness as my wife and I pondered our food move. So many things that looked intriguing and unique but I usually test a place by their wings. It might be a bit cliche but damn, I love wings. These were called Firecracker wings and they had an asian flare to them. Soy, sesame, cilantro with a cool blue cheese dipping sauce and fried crisp to perfection was the perfect starter and went well with my Sue.

photo 4 (6)And then it was on to the beast. Now, it wasn’t a huge burger size wise, but it was huge in flavor. The 50/50 burger at 30hop is 50% beef and 50% bacon and is mouth watering delicious. My wife and I agreed we would share it, (I could eat 2 by myself and then die a happy heart-attack death) and after our first few bites she made me promise I wouldn’t order it again because…..IT WAS SO FREAKING AWESOME! I loved this burger! A bit messy, but you really can’t go wrong with that mix of ingredients. Burger went terrific with a Deschutes Black Butte Porter and the trip overall was great. Was happy to meet a few beer lovers there as well!

After leaving I took a trip to Winstyles and picked up a few bottles of brew. (Evil Twin BA Imperial Biscotti Break!) This area really has it all, great food, shopping, and not too far from University of Iowa athletics. We will be back (and have been!).

Update on Iowa City/Coralville’s newest beer bar: 30 Hop

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Iowa River landing’s website recently gave its Facebook followers an update on the progress of 30 Hop, which is an American Grill and Craft beer bar. Owners of Big Grove Brewery, Blackstone, Vesta, and Reds Alehouse have announced a possible opening at the end of July and recently hired a chef. Here’s the article courtesy of http://www.iowariverlanding.com:

30hop will be the next business to open in the Iowa River Landing. It is a restaurant/bar with the area’s first rooftop patio. Located directly east of the University of Iowa Healthcare Clinic on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 9th street as guests turn to approach Von Maur.

After utilizing the owners’ network of Big Grove Brewery, BlackStone, Reds Alehouse, and Vesta in search of a chef with a fresh perspective, 30hop is excited to announce the hiring of Ryan Funk as Executive Chef.

Ryan is originally from Iowa City, graduated from the Art Institute of California-San Diego before helping Top Chef contestant, Brian Malarkey, open Burlap restaurant in San Diego. After the corporation shifted focus, Ryan was integral in the transition of Burlap restaurant to another concept, Searsucker. This is where he furthered his culinary skills working alongside voted San Diego best Chef Anthony Sinsay. During his time in culinary school, Ryan was a student worker allowing him to gain extra mentoring from some of the best Chef Instructors in the Nation.

Ryan will provide a refined perspective on modern American cuisine for 30hop. He will focus on introducing fresh & seasonal ingredients in a creative way, while making the dishes approachable and unique with an Asian inspired twist.

30hop is looking to open towards the end of July. The restaurant is currently looking to hire 130 employees. Please email Managing Partner Dan Blum at dan@30hop.com for questions, employment information, and to set up an interview. Ryan Funk is available at ryan@30hop.com. The website is under construction, but is available at www.30hop.com.