Monday, April 6, 2009

Spuyten Duyvil

A Day on the Left Bank

The Wize(ned) Old Sage (WIZ) and Cobra took a beer tour of Brooklyn last week and came up with some stellar tasting recommendations for both food and drink.

After a three-course lunch at the River Café in DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) to celebrate Dine in Brooklyn Week ($23!!!!), we tore ourselves away from the view of the Statue of Liberty and the skyline and headed to the much grittier Williamsburg neighborhood to join dining companion/son.

First stop was Spuyten Duyvil on Metropolitan Ave., named after the Bronx location of the same name, where the large selection of Belgians – including Flemish, Wallonians and Lambics - had our heads swimming. Hell, there were even two beers from Sweden! Cobra kicked off with a Left Hand Snowbound while the WIZ had a Hofstetten Granitbock. Though we were intrigued by the selection of charcuterie and cheeses available at the bar or on the secluded patio out back, we headed across the street for some real Brooklyn barbecue at the same owner’s Fette Sau.

Housed in a converted body shop, the vibe is part butcher shop/part hipster but the food is all good. Pull up a seat at one of the communal picnic tables in front of a roaring video fire. Or do as we did and belly up to the bar on one of the tractor seat stools to get an up close view of the amazing beer selection, complete with taps crafted from butcher tools. Though not as extensive a list as Spuyten Duyvil, we were happy with our Ithaca Smoked Porter which perfectly complemented the smokiness of our brisket, beef cheeks, smoked spiced sausage and baked beans with pulled pork. How many points is that!! 

Other beers we are dying to try on our next visits include Six Point Righteous Rye and Vienna Pale, Cap’n Lawrence Liquid Gold, Goose Island Bourbon Stout and Penn Kaiser Pilsener. Realizing that his parents were paying, dining companion chose an Elijah Craig 18-year-old bourbon from their impressive selection and noted that it went with the food even better than beer. We are claiming him as a dependent on our tax return this year!

Fearing we would be beerlerious before too long, we made one final stop at the Spuyten Duyvil Grocery, known for its selection of rare and obscure ales, lagers and beer-related snacks and nothing else. After stocking up on six bottles of beer from the Pacific Northwest as well as a Saison Rue and Saison Lente, we gave the proprietor a few suggestions (there was no Malheur!) and headed out of the borough.

We'll be back - field trip anyone? 

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