January 3, 2009

Ross Isaac

The nice thing about going to Ross Isaac without a reservation on a Saturday night is that the bar is an awfully pleasant place to wait. For the uninitiated, Ross Isaac is the restaurant that replaced the old New England Lobster House on MacArthur Blvd next to Baskin Robbins. It is an upscale chef-driven restaurant which tends to have quite a lot of foods you have had in formats you might not have. I am guessing they call it 'contemporary cuisine' but I don't really understand the term well enough. It might be generalized to be similar to Pao, Jimmy Ohs and Indigo and I do mean generalized. I do not cut any of these restaurants any slack when it comes to having a quality beer selection. They invariably have a quality wine cellar but some half-ass it when it comes to beer. It stems from this lack of a Springfield beer culture.

I am happy to say Ross Isaac passes muster and I rate them well:

Ross Isaac: Excellent

Ross Isaac covers the breadth well with your typical mass market beers as well as imports like Becks, Becks Dark and Negra Modelo. However they have a perfectly suitable complement of American craft brewers (plus a more uncommon choice) starting off with one of my favorites.

Rogue Dead Guy (12 oz as opposed to the bombers [22 oz.] some others carry)
Boulevard Pale Ale (Boulevard, the Kansas City brewer. Their pale is akin to an SNPA)
Boulevard Stout (A quality stout for your fuller flavored beef and/or spicy dishes)
Boulevard Wheat (I have trouble telling the diff between wheats. Someone else should)
Arcadia Nut Brown Ale (Arcadia from Battle Creek, MI. Like, no one else carries it.)
Arcadia India Pale Ale (In lieu of the Whitsun, I believe, the barkeep said.)

These craft brew choices really fill in the basic set of the Ales every restaurant should carry. One choice each of: Pale Ale, Stout, Wheat Ale, India Pale Ale and a Brown Ale. This paired with their mass market and import lagers really provides choice for all. So, once again, Good selection, Ross Isaac and owner.

Ross Isaac: Excellent


KB said...

It sounds like Ross Isaac's has improved their beer list since last time I was there. Bully for them! I especially like to see the Arcadia beers. That is a great brewery. Their IPA is one of my favorites.

Gish said...

It still isn't as large as I'd prefer but I think they cover most 'general styles' well enough to garner an excellent, at least in Springfield, where most people think if you have Bud and Miller then what else could you need.