High Time in Low Country

Belgian food and an epic beer list work in tandem.

The ever-changing dessert menu might feature a triple-layer tiramisu that's one part rum cake and three parts mascarpone, all of it dreamy, or a wonderfully thick and crunchy Belgian waffle ($6) dolloped in strawberries and cream with a chunk of sugar in the center that melts and spreads its sweetness through the batter as it cooks. There's a brief wine list of eight whites and nine reds plus a few aperitifs and dessert wines, all in the $20 to $30 per bottle range and all available by the glass, but, as noted, you don't go to La Trappe for the wine. Its Belgian suds list is epic, a carefully annotated, ever-evolving compendium of 200-plus beers spanning the entire breathtaking range of the country's brewing tradition. Twenty are available on tap on any given night, several new bottles are introduced each week, and two dozen Belgian-style beers from around the globe are available as well. Breaching the cellar's mysteries, in other words, is a daunting yet pleasurable ambition. A few suggestions: Radermacher's Rader Blonde ($7), a bright golden brew with the unexpected flavor of a bracing gin and tonic; Abbaye des Rocs' Grand Cru, rich, sweet, creamy, and mellow as a fine dessert wine; Lindemans' Lambic Pêche, a sweet-then-tart bellini in a bottle with the refreshing sparkle of champagne. Turns out beer can make a perfectly fine foundation for a restaurant after all, especially if there are mussels and waterzooi on the menu.

Beer is the main event at La Trappe.
Jamie Soja
Beer is the main event at La Trappe.

Location Info

Map

La Trappe

800 Greenwich
San Francisco, CA 94133

Category: Restaurant > Belgian

Region: North Beach/ Chinatown

Details

440-8727, www.latrappecafe.com. Tuesday-Saturday 6-11 p.m. Reservations not accepted. Wheelchair accessible upstairs only. Parking: street, improbable. Muni: 20, 30, 39, Mason Street cable car. Noise level: tranquil upstairs, boisterous downstairs.
800 Greenwich (at Columbus)

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