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.