At Chicago's New Moody Tongue Tasting Room, There's Truffle Beer on Tap
“I want people rubbernecking in there,” says Jared Rouben, of his new bar Moody Tongue Tasting Room. Moody Tongue debuts tomorrow in Chicago with an abbreviated menu ofchocolate cake and seasonal oysters, and beers made with Oaxacan chocolate, grapefruit and, yes, truffles.
The Internet lost its mind over Rouben’s first iteration of the truffle pilsner two years ago, when he bottled it and sold it for $120 a bottle. In the next couple of weeks, he’s putting the much-blogged about beer on tap, too.
“That had to be one of my proudest moments, and a defining moment for Moody Tongue,” Rouben says, of that first run of brewing truffle beer. “My love for this ingredient goes back to culinary school, and what makes this beer so special is the truffle’s aromatics.”
He shaves black Australian truffles by hand multiple times in the mix and at a low heat during the brewing process to extract the flavor and the aromatics. But this isn’t a gimmick for the Culinary Institute of America grad; he wants the Tasting Room to be the equivalent of a Michelin-starred restaurant. (There is one brewer dedicated to the sparkling and still water on tap, and Rouben serves his brews in hand-blown glasses from Austrian craftsman Mark Thomas.)
Rouben’s thought a lot about the menu—so much so that he’s distilled it down to simply two items.
“Dining society tells us that dessert comes last, but when we experience that final course we’re too full, too intoxicated to try it,” he says. “I love desserts and want people to have that first, plus those salty and sweet components won’t exhaust the palate.”
For oysters, it’s whatever is in season—recently it was Wellfleets from Massachusetts—and for the cake, it’s a thick chocolate cake with a chocolate Chex Mix and graham cracker crust, and layers of espresso cheesecake, dark chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream and chocolate ganache. That’s it.
“We have so many decisions to make in life,” Rouben says. “This is about hospitality. When you come into Moody Tongue, we take care of you.”