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    How to Select the Perfect Wine to Pair with Your Seafood

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Though many diners know how to select the perfect Pinot noir to complement their filet mignon or the best Cabernet Sauvignon to pair with their rib eye, some have trouble selecting a wine to enjoy with their seafood. Beyond the general knowledge that red wine pairs with steaks and white wine pairs with fish, diners may not know what to consider when choosing wine to go with their seafood selections. Below you will find pairing suggestions for the fresh seafood dishes on our menu.

    Fried Calamari and Pinot Gris
    Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio grapes, which thrive in cool climates, contain high levels of sugar. These wines tend to be sweeter than other white varieties, which makes them the perfect complement to crispy breaded and fried calamari with garlic and Italian cheeses.

    Olive Oil Poached Shrimp and California Chardonnay
    Our poached shrimp are prepared with garlic, black pepper, sea salt, and chile de arbol, creating a complex and slightly spicy flavor profile. To offset this little bit of heat, a buttery, oak-aged California chardonnay is an excellent pairing choice.

    Dungeness Crab and White Burgundy
    Fresh Dungeness crab has a very delicate, sweet flavor, and you don’t want to overpower it with a sweet wine. A restrained French white from Burgundy with hints of mineral on the finish is the ideal choice to pair with our Dungeness crab salad.

    Oysters on the Half Shell and Champagne
    One of the all-time classic pairings, you can’t go wrong when you select a bottle of Champagne to drink with any variety of fresh raw oysters. Many local wineries in Santa Clara, Sonoma, and Napa also make excellent sparkling wines in the traditional French method, which are ideal for pairing with local oysters.

    Located just minutes from downtown San José, Birk’s Restaurant offers American classics prepared to order by trained chefs, coupled with a carefully selected list of local and imported wines. Our relaxed yet traditional steakhouse atmosphere is perfect for business lunches, dinners out, or private events. To make a reservation, call us today at (408) 980-6400.

    The Classic Americana Menu for the Weekend of 8/30/13

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Appreciating the Uniquely Delicate Flavor of Veal

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Though steakhouse diners are familiar with the bold flavors of steaks and lamb and the more fine texture and mild taste of pork, many have never sampled the unique flavor of a well-prepared veal chop. This gourmet meat is prized in the cuisine of many European countries for its delicate texture and subtle flavor profile. If you are unfamiliar with veal, read on to learn more about this treasured delicacy.

    What Is Veal?

    Veal is the meat of young cattle. It does not have the characteristic red color of mature beef because the animals are slaughtered at about 16 weeks of age. Veal is usually a white or light pink color similar to pork, though the flavor is different. Modern standards promoted by the USDA call for humane housing for all veal calves, including clean veal barns with room for them to stand up and move around.

    How is Veal Prepared?

    Veal is the centerpiece of many traditional French and Italian dishes, such as veal stock, veal piccata, and osso bucco, but if you are unfamiliar with veal one of the best ways to enjoy it is as a fresh grilled chop. The quick cooking preserves the distinctive taste of the meat, and a thick cut allows you to appreciate its tender texture. Like beef, veal can enjoyed at a range of temperatures, from rare to well-done, but most connoisseurs prefer veal chops cooked to medium rare.

    What Wines Pair Well with Veal?

    Veal is not quite a red meat and not quite a white meat, so you can feel free to pair either a red or white wine with it. If you choose a red wine, select one with a lighter body, such as a Pinot Noir, Merlot, or young Burgundy. White wines paired with veal can be sweet or buttery, and Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chablis are good choices.

    At Birk’s Restaurant, we serve grilled bone-in chops made from the finest veal. You can also enjoy fresh seafood, hardwood grilled steaks, and other gourmet dishes when you dine with us in Santa Clara. Call (408) 980-6400 to make your reservation today.

    A Diner's Guide to Oyster Varieties

    Last updated 12 months ago

    Raw oysters on the half shell are a very special delicacy that you can enjoy fresh at Birk’s Restaurant. There are many different varieties of oyster, and the selection we offer varies from day to day and season to season. Some of the oysters you may find on our menu include Kumamotos, Blue Points, Belons, and Olympias.

    Olympia oysters are native to the Pacific Northwest, and due to overharvesting they are now only cultivated in Washington. They are small and they have distinct flavor with hints of celery and a salty seawater finish. More common Kumamoto oysters are also small, but their flavor is very sweet and delicate. Belons, which are native to Europe, are cultivated in small batched on the West Coast. Blue Point oysters are harvested on the East Coast, many in Long Island.

    If you would like to know which varieties of fresh oysters we are shucking today at Birk’s Restaurant, call us at (408) 980-6400.

    Americana Menu Weekend of 8/23/13

    Last updated 12 months ago

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