Bar Manager, Pangea Kitchen
Pangea’s chefs have mastered the art of combining exotic flavors and ingredients to create wonderful flavor profiles for our dishes. But your culinary experience doesn’t have to end there! Over at our in-house, craft cocktail bar, I’ve made it my mission to pair our unique dishes with the perfect wine, beer or cocktail.
Here are my top recommendations for drinks that complement some of our best-selling dishes.
Thai Drunken Noodles and Chenin Blanc or a Thai Daiquiri
For the drunken noodles, I recommend a Chenin Blanc wine. Our Protea Chenin Blanc tastes like a sweet Sauvignon Blanc, but it has slightly more acidity to it. Drunken noodles have a peppery, ginger sauce that’s a bit spicy, so the Chenin Blanc’s acidity will cut through that spice nicely.
If you prefer a cocktail, the Thai Daiquiri is the obvious choice. With its rum base, the Thai Daiquiri has peanut, thai chili, lime and ginger — a perfect complement to the ginger-based drunken noodles.
Pistachio Pizza and an IPA or a Moscow Mule
Our pistachio pizza, with its house-made mozzarella, sausage and pistachio pureé, is definitely one of our most popular pies. I recommend pairing it with an IPA. We often bring in new brands of IPA, and any of them will complement this unique pie. IPAs have a slightly bitter, citrusy flavor that plays well against the delicate pistachio pureé.
For a cocktail, the Moscow Mule is a solid choice. The mule is made with ginger beer and vodka, so it’s a very light drink that will match the soft flavors in the pistachio. You don’t want a strong cocktail with this pie.
Knuckle Ball and a Chianti or an Old Fashioned
The Knuckle Ball is our meatball pizza, fresh garlic, provolone, thinly sliced meatballs, hearty marinara sauce, finished with Mike's Hot Honey. This dish calls for a bold red wine. I recommend a Chianti. The Chianti will cut through the fat of the meatballs and the red wine will pair with the red sauce. If your palate prefers something with less bite, you could choose a Sangiovese instead. Chiantis are made mostly from Sangiovese, so they have similar flavors, but the Sangiovese is less bold. (Side note: Sangiovese is our house red wine.)
As far as cocktails go — the Old Fashioned. I make our Old Fashioneds with rye whiskey. The caramel flavors of the rye will play with the meatballs. But, more importantly, Old Fashioneds are mostly liquor, and the alcohol will cut the fattiness of the meatballs. It’s a bold drink for a bold dish.
The Butcher Pizza and a Cabernet or an Old Fashioned
Our Detroit-style Butcher Pizza calls for a cabernet. The butcher is loaded with meats and cheese, and, while it’s not an especially bold dish, it does have a lot of fat. Cabernets will cut through that fat. We have two options for Cabs — a Tamari Cabernet Sauvignon or a Beringer. Come try them both!
An Old Fashioned will pair with the butcher for the same reasons it pairs with the Knuckle Ball. Loaded with sausage, pepperoni, prosciutto cotto and crumbled meatballs, the butcher is another fatty pie that calls for a bold drink.
Gelato and a Moscato or a Moscow Mule
For our delicious, house-made gelato, you can choose either a Moscato or a Reisling wine. Both light and sweet, perfect beside a sugary dessert.
The Moscow Mule is my pick for this pairing, as well. The mule is a light drink that won’t overpower the gelato. Plus, it’s a little bubbly, so it will wash the creamy dessert down well.
These are just a few of the wonderful options we have for dinner and drink pairs. Stop in and give one a try. Or, if you don’t see anything here that suits you, come and see me. I’ll find the perfect pairing for your palate!