Without A Doubt, I Love My Stout!

Frothy. Creamy. Dark, Stout.

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Always a win in my book. Went to Stout for a friend’s birthday this past weekend. It’s super convenient in location. It’s about a 2 minute walk from Penn Station. I made sure to do my research and everyone said to get the Milk or Chocolate Stout. Gosh, I miss my Irish brews. From living in Ireland for 4 months and drinking nothing but whiskey and dark beer… it changes you.

So this place was pretty cool. A very relaxed, hip vibe. And Saturday’s there’s karaoke night so of course we couldn’t pass that up. Let me warn you in saying… I am not a good singer. I mean I am not glass-shattering awful. But I am no Jennifer Hudson. Me and my friends got a nice big table, a few orders of fries and appetizers. Since I couldn’t decide on the milk or chocolate, the waitress was so nice and gave me a sample! They were both so delicious (and a favorite amongst the crowd) but I decided on the milk. The head of the beer was so creamy and the stout was very bold and filling. Just how I love it.

Most of the people come in around 11pm and the karaoke begins. The man who runs it is such a friendly guy and not to mention an AMAZING singer. If you’ve never been to a karaoke bar and are nervous… have no fear. This was my first time and I had a blast. It’s dimly lighted, the atmosphere is casual and with a few drinks… everyone is a superstar. There was such a big crowd… of all ages too. I highly recommend this place and will hopefully be back soon enough.

133 W 33rd St
New York, NY 10001

 

(212) 629-6191

stoutnyc.com

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Well Done, Bien Cuit!

PC: Yelp

PC: Yelp

After visiting Bien Cuit, you’ll never look at pastries the same way again. Is it possible to love something without even trying it yet? That’s how I felt about this little bakery.

To preface this review, I have a short story…
As most of my family/friends know, I hardly ever watch TV. But when I do it’s usually a show about food of some sorts. This brings me to my next point: “Unique Sweets” featured Bien Cuit on one of their episodes and whenever I watch these shows, I make sure to make a mental note to visit ESPECIALLY when it’s close by. Just from the images and descriptions, I knew I had to visit. Their featured item was the elusive Chocolate Almond Croissant… double baked in brandy. I’m such a visual person and was immediately enticed when watching the show. More or less, I was sold.

Bien Cuit, meaning “well done” is certainly appropriate. All of the desserts here are carefully crafted down to the very last bite. Upon arrival, the storefront is simple/minimalist and reflects the rustic nature of the inside. Although its spacious, there isn’t much seating to go around. I was there on a mission. My friend was cooking me dinner that night and I can never go empty-handed. So I asked the girl at the counter for suggestions (she was very helpful) and I ended up deciding on three pastries:

-Huckleberry Danish with Yuzu Curd, Huckleberry Jam: Flaky, tart and very flavorful. Those berries certainly packed a punch. This was my wildcard if you will. It’s hard to describe if you haven’t had this fruit before, so take a chance on it. It’s good.

-Apple Cardamom Danish with Pureed Apple and Cardamom Strudel: Second favorite of the night. I’m a HUGE fan of apple desserts so this was a win-win. The unique pairing of flavors certainly works.

-(The true star of Bien Cuit) Chocolate Almond Croissant/Twice-baked with Brandy: If you have to pick an item, CHOOSE THIS. You can thank me later. It’s everything a croissant should be — flaky, soft, buttery, nutty (from the almond paste)… you get the idea. And the fact that its baked in brandy? Say no more. It’s a true showstopper.

Bien Cuit-Assortment

Yes, Bien Cuit may be a tad bit on the pricier side. But I can guarantee the quality is there within every single bite. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

120 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

(718) 852-0200

biencuit.com

Who? The Ginger Man!

gingerman-front

I feel like I’ve just discovered a treasure map that has led me to the elusive “x” marks the spot –that being, The Ginger Man.

PC: Yelp

PC: Yelp

If you told me a few years ago that I’d be a beer-lover, I’d probably laugh it off. But ever since post-college*, I’m allll about the craft beer. I’m diving into new territory consisting of ales, IPAs, porters, ambers, lagers….you name it. And my favorite, stouts. So when I found a place like this that has over 150 beers on bottle plus 70 on tap, I’m basically in heaven. Dim lighting, comfy couches and large picnic tables make for a very social setting. It can get pretty crowded past 9pm, so plan accordingly and arrive early if you want to nab a spot.

Even if you’re not the biggest fan of beer, you need to check out the Ginger Man. It’s not overwhelmingly loud and the atmosphere is perfect for after-work drinks or catching up with friends. Casual, comfortable and very inviting. (And away from more of the tourist-y places. Yes.)

They print their menus daily, so grab that beer while you can… because once they’ve kicked the keg, you may be outta luck! During my first visit I tried the Vanilla Porter which was excellent. With a $6 price tag and a extremely knowledgeable staff, this place is so so worth it. ($6-10 range) The Ginger Man has been on my “to-try” list for a very long time. I’m in love with it already and can’t wait to go back.** 5 well-deserved stars.
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*In all fairness, I drank the worst beers in college. The many days of Miller Lite and Coors Light, ugh. I’ll never go back.
**Is it too ambitious to say I want to come back enough so that I can try as many of those 70 beers on tap or 100 in bottle as possible? Could be the best/worst idea.

 

11 E 36th St
New York, NY 10016

(212) 532-3740

gingerman-ny.com

Creative Concoctions at the Cortland

Courtesy of @TheCortland

Photo Credit Courtesy of @TheCortland

Cool and unusual flavors of drinks, small intimate setting, sweet snacks, friendly bartenders… The Cortland, you are SPEAKING. MY. LANGUAGE. The hype is totally warranted here.

This is the ideal spot for after-dinner drinks, a date, mini-reunions… you name it. I was immediately enticed by the small yet cozy atmosphere. Dim lighting, chalkboard menus, indie music playing… *sigh* I just love it. There’s quite the selection here: craft beers, their famous Pickleback shots (which I unfort did not get to try since I was the driver that night, but will definitely make it a priority on my next visit), alcoholic milkshakes (only available in the fall/winter) and yes… the infused drinks. My eyes were instantly drawn to the Butternut Squash & Cinnamon drink with apple cider. That just sounds like heaven in a glass to me.

While waiting for my drink, I happened to ask the bartender a few questions about these creative concoctions. I asked them how they came up with these flavor profiles. He (I’m sorry I forgot your name!) was so nice and took the time to give me a 101 on how they do it at the Cortland. As for the flavors… he said that he just thinks of foods that he likes and thinks “hey, why not put them in a drink?” That’s enough convincing for me! I was sold. And well let me tell you… they certainly know how to do infusions here. That was about one of the best mixed drinks I’ve had in a while. I was also able to try the Hibiscus and Plum which was also stellar.

At the bar from time to time they’ll have food — one of them being homemade popped popcorn. What a perfect salty snack. Throughout the week they have events, so definitely check their calendars! Here’s a sneak peak:

  • Tuesdays: Pizza & Trivia Night 8pm
  • Wednesdays: Live Music 9pm
  • Thursdays: Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament 9pm

I could easily see myself coming all the way to Bayshore just for these drinks. The Cortland is a nice getaway from the usual LI crowds and will definitely be back here sometime soon. The spiked shakes… I’m comin’ for ya next time!

27 W Main Street, Bayshore, NY 11706

(631) 206-2220

thecortland.com