From Chicken Feet to Eisbock

D and I decided to have a night out together to try out a restaurant near our house, then come home to a Raspberry Eisbock.

Mitaka, located at 560 S 29th St in Harrisburg, is a Japanese restaurant that also offers an extensive menu of hot and cold Dim Sum along with an extensive menu of sushi, hibachi, miso soup and  a variety of traditional noodle soups including beef, shrimp, seafood, chicken and vegetable. The sushi was all very nicely presented, and there were several rolls on the menu that appear to be unique for this area.

Dim Sum is not the sort of thing found in Harrisburg, so we approached the menu with enthusiasm and the spirit of adventure. The Spring Roll was a simple choice, as were the Stuffed Egglants with seafood. Spicy Kani Bowl was extremely interesting and delicious – a complex mix of crab, cucumber, spicy mayonnaise and something crunchy (maybe tempura bits?)

Our only disappointment was the Phoenix Claw with Black Bean Sauce (we should have asked…I found a recipe, and anything that starts out , “Wash feet, chop off toenails…” should not be eaten by humans.) I don’t know if they were poorly prepared, or it this is just the way these things come out, but they were stinky and I could not find a piece to eat off. I stuck one in my mouth – more than once – attempting to bite something off, but I couldn’t. We were surprised and pleased that our waitress offered to replace the order with something we could eat, so we opted for the Scallion Pancakes. These were a really nice choice.

As for sushi, we enjoyed all three rolls. Smokie Roll was made with smoked salmon, mango and avocado in a tight inside-out roll. Star Roll was made with tuna, white fish, salmon, avocado and masago (roe)  in the middle of a seaweed roll. And our final choice was the Boston Red Sox Roll, which I can’t even describe, other than to say it was one of the best rolls ever. It was done with the lightest touch of tempura and spicy heat – I should have paid more attention to what was inside.

When we got home, we decided to share a bottle of Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock (2007). This beautiful beer weighs in at 11.9% ABV, and comes in a 187 ml bottle – see the size comparison with a standard 12-oz beer below.

Eisbock - tiny bottle

The back of the bottle states, “Real raspberries abound in this chocolate caramel after dinner treat,” and I’m not sure I could describe it much better than that. The mysterious dark liquid in a tiny green bottle dipped in red wax with a homemade label gives this bottle a sense of mystery.

There is a really fruity nose to this beverage, and flavors of raspberry, molasses and milk chocolate abound. It lingers in the mouth as if I just ate a box of fruited chocolates. The appearance hovers between cough syrup and port as it swirls in the glass, and particulate matter is obvious. We shared the 6.3 oz bottle which was both a blessing and a disappointment. The sweetness and alcohol burn are more than I need in a small glass of beer, but the flavor and aroma are so pleasing, it leaves me wanting more – unlike the chicken feet.


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