Thursday, June 12, 2014

Yard of Ale Gastropub - a pleasant surprise in Clearwater #giveaway

Yard of Ale is no stranger to me. I have frequented their establishment in SOHO quite a few times and indulged in their bar food after a few too many cocktails. When we were invited to a media event for Yard of Ale Gastropub in Clearwater, I wasn't sure what to expect. I can tell you, I didn't expect to leave wowed - and that is what happened.

Our friends Ashley and Ryan were in town who are both are huge fans of craft beer and make at home microbrews. They're moving to Tampa this summer so It was a nobrainer to bring them as my guests to a restaurant who has 30 beers on tap and over 40 bottles of craft beer. They were like kids in a candy store checking out the beer offerings.

We had a multi-course pairing, appetizers paired with wine, main courses paired with craft cocktails and desserts paired with beer. I wanted to highlight some of my favorite dishes from the night and also give one lucky Tampa reader a chance to win a $25 gift card to Yard of Ale Gastropub!
Up first was Maryland Crab Cakes with Lump crab meat, capers, shallot, red pepper coulis, frisee. These were amazing crab cakes full of meat with no filler. These I would order again and again. This appetizer was paired with a delicious glass of Santa Ema Chardonnay.
Thai Chili Shrimp with arugula, thai chili glaze, spicy mayo. This reminded me of bang bang shrimp but with a better flavor profile. Plus it had arugula. Double score. This appetizer was paired with Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc.

The highlight of the evening for me was the Diver Scallops with citrus brown butter, mashed potatoes, arugula, capers. Prior to this night, I was a fan of scallops. I haven't been able to stop thinking about this dish and tried to recreate it the other night. It was THAT good. This entree was paired with the craft cocktail named Foam Flash, made of fresh muddled cucumber, Hendricks Gin, simple syrup, lime juice, egg whites.

Aged New York Strip topped with garlic butter. A side of hand cut fries, arugula salad with blue cheese, apples and candied walnuts. This steak was delicious and quite possibly the best Steak Frites I have had in Tampa. It was paired with one of the craft cocktails we had that night, the Envious Old Fashioned - a take on the classic cocktail made with Angel's Envy Bourbon, house made brown sugar gomme syrup, plum bitters, peach bitters, Filthy Cherry. A bit strong for this girly girl but it was delicious.
We capped off the night with a housemade Ice Cream and beer pairing. I loved every bit of this! I know this visit to Yard of Ale Gastropub will not be my last. They're located in the building which was once known as the Venue. I never patroned the building back when it was a club/sushi bar/steak joint but after a tour of the facility, I was shocked to the size. Adjacent to what is now the Yard of Ale Gastropub is a multi level facility which hosts private parties and special events, including a recent Muay Thai indoor fight.

So here is your chance to win $25 on your next visit to Yard of Ale Gastropub in Clearwater. Since I realized I liked Scallops on this visit, let me know if there is a food you thought you once disliked, only to have your mind changed after an amazing meal. Comment below and make sure you enter through the Rafflecopter widget!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I never liked scallops, until a few years ago. Everything you shared looks SO good! I used to work in the area where the newest location is. If I still worked that way, I'd totally be a regular!

  2. You had me at ice cream and beer pairing. :)

  3. I recently tried baked oysters. I'll be honest, I don't really like seafood that much, so I was apprehensive, but the oysters were great! Glad my bravery paid off.

  4. To answer your rafflecopter question, green peppers. Yep, it's totally crazy, but true. I used to absolutely despise green peppers, but now I love them, though I sometimes shy away from thick raw ones. Also, I don't like scallops so I'm looking forward to one day trying these and actually enjoying the things.