Complete Game Night: Above and Below

We admit it: we really like putting pear slices in our cocktails.

Darlings, we are a little in love with Above and Below right now (art and design both by the talented Ryan Laukat.) It is a peaceful, beautiful game of building a (hopefully) cheerful village and adventuring under the earth. You can watch our playthrough here!

For this month’s Complete Game Night we’ve based our meal on commodities from the game — namely mushrooms, fish and pears (which is what the fruit looks like to us). We’re very excited to share our delicious, summery treats with you!


Pear-Apple Sour

This is a variation on the pear martini we did for our Mysterium Complete Game Night. What can we say? We’re loving pear vodka cocktails right now!

IMG_5359What you will need:

2 oz. Ciroc Apple 

2 oz. Absolut Pear (or your favorite pear vodka) 

1 oz. sour mix (remember: homemade sour is always best!) 

A happy pear (and/or apple!) for garnish



What to do:

Pour your vodka and sour into shaker over ice.

Shake & strain.

Add your happy pear (and/or apple!) garnish!


Your crisp and delicious beverage achieved, let’s look at what’s for dinner.


Snapper w/ Mushroom Tartlets and Pear & Walnut Salad

The snapper is optional. We grabbed it for extra protein, and because fish are not only part of the game, but they also played a prominent role in our playthrough. So it seemed appropriate.

So grab fillet(s) of your favorite white fish. We used snapper, but cod would work well too!

mushroomsWhat you’ll need:

Puff Pastry (2 sheets works great) 

16oz mushrooms (we used 8 oz. criminis & 8 oz. baby bellas) 

1 onion + a couple cloves of garlic

grated cheese (we used asiago)

1 egg

Salad greens (we used baby spinach & beet tops) 

1 pear + 1 apple + chopped walnuts

Thyme, salt & pepper to taste


What to do for your Pear & Walnut Salad:

Simply chop your fruit and assemble it w/ your greens and walnuts as fancily (or efficiently) as you like!

Note: We ate this sans dressing, but most light vinaigrettes would work quite well.


What to do for your Mushroom Tartlets:tarts

Thaw your puff pastry sheets as directed by the package 

Finely chop the mushrooms, onions and garlic

Sauté your onions and garlic with a little olive oil for a few minutes, and then add the mushrooms. Spice to your tastes with the thyme, salt and pepper.

Remove your mushroom mixture from the heat

Add a handful or two of your grated cheese

Cut puff pastry into whatever shape/size you like and top with mushroom mixture. (If you desire, sprinkle extra asiago on top of tarts.) Coat the exposed edges of the pastry with an egg wash.

Bake the tarts at 400* for about 25 minutes — look for a golden brown pastry on the edges.

For the fish:

Seared your fillet(s) in a skillet until white all the way through — we just tossed our fish into the pan we used for the mushrooms.

IMG_5471 IMG_5510

We’re not going to lie. We’re pretty proud of this one.



We like the Shire theme from The Lord of the Rings — there’s a 10 hour loop of it on YouTube that works rather well. But if you think that would make you a crazy person, anything cheery and pastoral will do.

You can also download forest and meadow sounds for the White Noise app and use that as the backdrop to your village.


Other Suggestions:

We’re partially drawn to this game because we love Tales of the Arabian Nights. That’s a bit long to be an opener, but if you enjoy the light adventuring mechanic in Above and Below and you somehow haven’t gotten to Tales of the Arabian Nights then we would be remiss not to mention it.

As to an opener: Dingo’s Dreams is a charming tile game and Ryan Laukat (the designer & artist behind Above and Below) did the art. The style certainly pulls you in.


Here’s a condensed version:

The Game: Above and Below

The Food: Mushroom Tartlets and Pear Walnut Salad

The Drink: Pear-Apple Sour

The Background Music: The theme from Hobbiton in the Lord of the Rings

Suggested other games: Dingo’s Dream, Tales of the Arabian Nights