Monday, May 7, 2012

Review from the Road: Birreria

As you could probably tell from the last couple of Wordless Wednesday posts, I spent a weekend in New York a few weeks ago with my friend Caroly. Over the weekend most of our dining choices were pretty standard New York fare. Bagels in Central Park, pizza in Little Italy, and cupcakes at Rockefeller Plaza. The one place we ended up splurging on a bit was Birreria (@EatalyBirreria) by Mario Batali and co.

Our last day in the city was a disgusting mess. It was cold, windy, and pouring rain. By the time we got to Eataly, we were ready to be out of the rain for awhile. We headed inside and I was kind of shocked by the crowds. This place is HUGE but it was packed. I guess we weren't the only ones who wanted to get in out of the rain. Eataly is essentially a food hall/market with a million different types of food - breads, pastries, pizza, pasta, produce, oils, etc, etc.

Soggy view of the Empire State Building from outside Eataly
After a little wandering we came across the entrance to Birreria in a back corner. We took the elevator up to the 14th floor and found ourselves in a surprisingly bright (and dry) roof top beer garden. The atmosphere was great. Really laid back but comfortable. The roof is kind of like a greenhouse and it's opened up when the weather is nice. I'd love to experience it like that. The restaurant is also a brewery. A feature that's never a bad thing. 

Given the day we were having, we both started lunch with beer. Carolyn tried the Wanda one of the cask conditioned, house brewed beers. I tried an apricot IPA. I know, I'm weird. I like fruity beer. 

DFH aprihop
Carolyn had the Bistecca con Salsa Verde (skirt steak with watercress, pickled maitakes and salsa verde).

I had the beer and apricot pork shoulder (beer-braised pork shoulder with celery, cucumber, persimmon with mustard vinaigrette). I also had a side of olive oil smashed potatoes. Those things were deadly delicious but, unfortunately, I forgot to snap a picture before they were devoured. Imagine a potato mashed with about half a cup of olive oil. Yum.

Carolyn was kind enough to share so I can confirm that both dishes were delicious. I have to say though, that plate contained the single best bite of pork I have ever experienced in my life. The outside was crispy and charred and the meat was moist and almost buttery. Even though it was a shoulder cut, there was very little of my serving that was sacrificed to fat or icky bits. I ordered the side thinking the main wouldn't be enough but it was a very generous portion. The service and staff were great too. We had a nice chat with our waiter. He'd just come back from Montreal and a visit to Au Pied du Cochon.

When I get back to NYC, I'd love to check this place out on a nice summer day when the roof is open and the sun can stream in. I think the experience would be just that much sweeter. All in all, if you're looking for a nice little spot to sit for a bit and enjoy some delicious food, I'd certainly recommend you check this place out. Even if you don't make it up to Birreria, the Eataly market is something to see. 

1 comment:

  1. Oooh I want to try Birreria - one of my favourite breweries, Dogfish Head, is involved. If I'm ever in NYC on a hot day I'll have to for a pint (and some great food).


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