Tuesday, December 20, 2011
So how about that, after all the scheming I turn out to be the only one that goes to the Monk yesterday. I mean that pretty literally, when we got there at around 7:00 they were closing up the shop due to the total lack of customers. Jeremy agreed to stay open for us though and we had the place to ourselves. I had a fleeting worry before we got there that we might need to struggle for a table, I sure got that wrong. Anyway, they treated us great. The chef had just taken a rack of boar ribs from the oven and man were they good. They were slathered in some kind of beer glaze, crispy and tender, just awesome. I had mussels in blue cheese and bacon, a healthy and light snack. The kids both had steak and frites. The steaks have some sort of beer based sauce that the kids loved – maybe I ought to worry about that. We mentioned that we enjoyed the waffles from our last visit and the next thing we knew a plate of steaming waffles, one row spread with a beer and pear reduction and the other a beer and raspberry reduction appeared at our table. Of course there were some damn fine beers along with all that gluttony.
We rolled out of there and all we could say was Wow. Hope no one else finds out about Sunday nights at the Monk
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Eat, drink and be candid
Search for: city beer hall
December 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm by Steve Barnes, senior writer
The City Beer Hall in Albany is hosting two upcoming brewery events:
- Thursday (12/15): Brooklyn Bonfire Party, featuring $4 per pint of six Brooklyn Brewery beers, chili, s’mores, roasted wienies and a bonfire. From 9 p.m.
- Thursday, Dec. 22: Wild Game Dinner, featuring four beers from Wandering Star Brewery in Pittsfield, Mass., paired with a wild-game tasting menu (details TBA). $50 per person; advance reservations required and available at City Beer Hall or online.
Monday, December 12, 2011
The City Beer Hall has a small but very nice menu. No pub grub here. There are only 8
items with 2 specials. The Turducken sandwich with cider bacon mayo is
just great. When 7 out of a table of 8 order the turducken its enough to get the
chef to your table. Chef said the turdcken is made in their kitchen.
He pounds the breasts of each bird flat and seasons each one and rolls
them up and puts the duck skin on the outside of the roll. Then the
whole roll is poached. He then slices the turducken, puts it on a roll
with cider bacon mayo and serves a side of fries for under $10.00.
You also get a free 8" pizza with every pint ordered at the bar. You
might think this a cheapo Sysco frozen pizza but its just a nice little
thin crust with sauce and cheese.
The burger, a smallish grass fed beef burger cooked right w/fries, was
reported as very good.
I will be back to try the Mac & Chesse w/ Truffle oil
A good draft list of ever changing craft beer.
Where else in Albany can you get a four glass sampler that you can do a
Biggie Smalls vs Tupac IPA challenge?
The Club was able to muster 16 for a visit to the Merry Monk on Friday. With 16 Belgian or Belgian-style craft beers on draft and not a Coors Lite onsite how can you go wrong? The room is bright--more of a European-cafe look than the dark, American-speakeasy look. The bar is big with lots of room for the staff to work behind. There are booths and high top tables. There is also a sitting area with leather chairs and a gas fireplace/stove. We had a nice chat with Jerriam who is one of the owners. He seemed to be happy with the response so far. He liked the idea of having a MAS meeting there in the near future. The menu looked good. Mussels and other Belgian-cafe fare. We only had the frites. The dipping sauces are good but the fries were a little too much like standard pub fries and not Pommes Frites. Garden Bistro 24 and Ommagang have the real frites. We ate all of them anyway. The cheese plate was very nice and of a good size. In conclusion I want to be a regular.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Couldn’t resist, had to stop by for a quickie. Mighty awesome beer. Food seemed ok, kind of average. The surroundings are simple and pleasant. Not much of a crowd at 8:30 on opening night. No bad taps, great bottles too. They’re really going to need support to keep up with the costs of having such high end beers. The owners are very friendly, but seem a little worried about whether it will work out. I’ll do my part. KJo’s are planning to go tomorrow @4:30
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
December 6, 2011 at 11:47 am by Steve Barnes, senior writer
The Merry Monk, a Belgian-themed bar and restaurant at the corner of North Pearl Street and Sheridan Avenue in downtown Albany, will open with lunch service on Wednesday (12/7).
Projected hours are 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Draft beers: Ommegang Abbe, Ommegang Witte, Ommegang Adoration, Ommegang BPA, Ommegang Rare Vos, Liefmans Cuvee Brut, Palm, Maredsous Brune, LaChouffe, Lindemans Frambois, Duvel Single, Unibroue Ephemere Cassis, Chimay triple, Saison Dupont, Monk’s Stout by Dupont and Corsendonk Christmas.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
This from the Hops and Barley Blog www.hopsandbarleyblog.com
Tomorrow begins the greatest beer festival of them all: the 2011 Holiday Ale Festival! Here's a look at the beers I'm looking forward to from this year's press release:
- Alameda Brewing Papa Noel's Moonlight Reserve - one of my favorite Holiday Olde Ales ramped up by aging in 'whiskey soaked French oak barrels.'
- Bison Brewing Barry White's Voice in a Bottle - the first time Bison's chocolate stout has ever been aged in bourbon barrels!
- Burnside Brewing Company Barrel Aged Permafrost - I believe this barrel aged winder strong ale is currently on tap at Burnside based on a buddy's report earlier this week.
- Columbia River Brewing Drunken Elf Stout - infused with Belgian chocolate and Kona coffee!
- Fearless Brewing Mjolnir Imperial IPA - 100 IBUs and I'm a hop-head. Gotta give that one a go.
- Firestone Walker Brewing 100% Bourbon Barrel Aged Velvet Merkin - one of my perennial favorites at each HAF.
- Fort George Kentucky Girl Stout - another great beer from Fort George, last year did not disappoint.
- Laht Neppur Brewing Laughing Boy Stout - another bourbon barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout, but from a Washington brewer that I don't know much about.....
- McMenamins Red Nose Rye - an Imperial Rye Ale with only 30 IBUs, but as the annual 'winner' of Mcmenamins' internal brewer competition to choose their offering for HAF, I'm sure it will be great!
- Seven Brides Brewing Drunkle 2011 Old Ale - 90 IBUs from Hercules hops
- Stone Ruination IPA DDH w/Apollo Hops and American Oak Chips Added - a suped up version of Ruination! This one goes to 100 IBUs!
Looking forward to sharing a quaf or two with you this Holiday Ale Festival Season!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Opening Draft List
Ommegang Rare Vos
Liefmans Cuvee Brut
Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp
Weyerbacher Merry Monk
Talked to the owner and he says:
"Any Day Now they are just waiting on the SLA"
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
What Can I Drink at Thanksgiving Besides Wine?By ERIC ASIMOV Q.
A.Just about any good craft beers will do nicely, if you want to know the truth. But here are some specific suggestions.
It’s going to be a long, filling day, so I would start the party with beers that will energize the taste buds. Good pilsners snap you to attention with a lively, bracing bitterness. Lagunitas, Lakefront, Victory andBrooklynall offer good versions, as do Pilsner Urquell and Jever. An alternative might be a Kölsch, a crisp, clean, refreshing German ale, which I love. American versions are hard to find, but Gaffel and Reissdorf fromGermanyare fairly easy to find.
For the feast itself, you can’t go wrong with mildly hoppy pale ales like Flying Dog or Stoudt’s. I love porters, easy-drinking dark beers with a tangy malt character. Geary’sLondonPorter is terrific, as is Samuel Smith Taddy Porter fromEnglandand Deschutes Black Butte, if you live on the West Coast.
A bolder choice would be a Belgian farmhouse ale like Saison Dupont, an airy, spicy brew that is versatile with foods. Even more intrepid would be sour beers, a somewhat vague category of older styles characterized by great acidity. These would include Belgian lambic beers and especially gueuzes, which are incredibly refreshing and complex, and would go beautifully with the feast, though their unexpectedly pungent flavors can be polarizing. Cantillon Gueuze fromBelgiumepitomizes this style. By the way, I will have a lot to say about sour beers next week.
Brewery Ommegang, of which 50 percent of its property borders land leased to drilling companies, says in a legal filing that it could be forced to move if fracking starts because of concern for its water supply. Fracking has become a verycontentious issue in the greater Cooperstown area. [Oneonta Daily Star] [NYT]
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times
By JULIA MOSKIN
Details & Reader Reviews
It is easy to be happy there on a balmy evening, watching the staff work the retractable roof with ropes like sailors reefing the sails of a tall ship. Heat lamps, so far, have kept fall’s chill at bay.
Birreria, “brewery” in Italian, makes some beers, presumably incorporating whatever wild yeasts float down from the Empire State Building a few blocks north. But while the stainless casks draw in a young after-work crowd, they do little for the house-made ales, which can be undrinkable. Fortunately there are other options: refreshing American India Pale Ales and the rarely spotted Moretti Bionda on draft; fresh, young Italian wines poured by the carafe or quartino; crisp bottled beers from the artisanal Baladin brewery in Piedmont, the Northern Italian region that inspires much of the food.
The cured meats and cheeses ($11 to $21 for assorted plates) are impeccably handled; roasted sausages ($21) are served with what is undoubtedly the best sauerkraut in Manhattan, tender and served in large leafy chunks. The kraut also comes with a succulent pork shoulder ($19), braised in beer and glazed with apricot.
Meat is not the only matter. On the mushroom menu, a pile of fried shiitakes ($15 to $17) is the high point; among salads, it’s a jumble of potato, cauliflower, cucumbers and olives that serves as a kind of Tyrolean niçoise ($13). Skirt steak ($24) and roasted fish fillet (market price) were perfectly cooked, a rarity.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
November 8, 2011 at 9:40 am by Steve Barnes, senior writer
A bar and restaurant featuring Belgian beer is being developed at the corner of North Pearl Street and Sheridan Avenue in downtown Albany.
Called The Merry Monk, the business is projected to open “within a couple weeks,” according to its Facebook page.
The name, photos showing beer signs and management comments on Facebook indicate beer will include Belgian and Belgian-style brews such as Duvel, Orval, La Chouffe and Ommegang.
The building is owned by Konstantinos Moutopoulos and his brother Steven but is apparently being operated under a management agreement by someone else. The corner location — in years past an annex of the former Big House and later a deli — was an ill-fated bar called The Assembly that the brothersshuttered after five months last year when it became a rowdy college joint. An even shorter-lived attempt, called Corner Bar, folded after five weeks earlier this year after its managers, who also own Blue 82, walked away because of differences with the Moutopouloses.