Sunday, February 8, 2015

Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing: good beer, food, …and pizza too!

Since 1996 Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing has been a key lynchpin in the revitalization of the Court District while consistently brewing some of the best beers in town. Some examples of their craft include the Tickled Fancy, a white wine barrel cask conditioned ale that's bright and dry; a Belgian Tripel Entendré, aged in white wine oak barrels, with a dry mouthfeel that slightly masks its juicy pear-like flavor; and the Iowa Oaks Ale, a nice balance of malt and hops, with some acidity.

CABCo is more than just beer, with extensive lunch, dinner, and late night menus; plus daily specials such as sandwiches, a Graziano sausage laden cavatelli, grilled fish tacos, and CABCo Wings, tossed in a Cajun wing sauce and topped with grated Parmesan cheese. Wings are only 55 cents each all day Sunday.

Other items on the menu include appetizers, steak, chops, fish and seafood, some brew pub favorites, and a decent selection of desserts. Among these include Dr. Z's Meatloaf, topped with a house Zimmerman's Root Beer glaze, with sides of crispy red potatoes and house vegetables; and a Caramel Apple Crisp featuring baked apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, oats, vanilla bean ice cream, and hot caramel.

Another remarkable product from CABCo – though mostly overlooked in the shadow of nearby pizzerias Something Italian and Fong’s Pizza – is their tidy, thin crust pizzas made with CABCo's Two Rivers Light lager. The crust is consistently crisp with some appealing chew. Mondays are Half Price Pizza Nights from 4 until 10:30 p.m., while on Friday and Saturday evenings pizzas are only $5 from 11 p.m. to Midnight.

CABCo’s Margherita pizza starts off with dough brushed with olive oil, then topped with Roma tomato, shallot, basil and mozzarella. Diced Roma dominates in flavor and impart a visual meatiness, while mild shallots lend a background savoriness. The basil influences, but doesn't grab top billing. Mozzarella is consistently melted all the while dotted with spots of tasty browning.

The Graziano Italia takes its name from the Graziano’s Italian sausage used on the build. Add to that pepperoni, mozzarella, and a fire-roasted marinara sauce. The end result is mouthwatering with just enough meat and cheese on that delightfully crisp and chewy crust. A simple build, unencumbered with fancy-ass toppings. Its a perfect little pie!

 The Taco also offers Graziano's Italian sausage, plus guajillo chile and black bean sauces, cheddar jack and mozzarella, and finished with tortilla chips, lettuce, pico de gallo, and a Sriracha sour cream. A delight to eat!

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