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

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

The Little Uglyduckling

Uglyduckling is the newest addition to the many adorable shops and eateries along Smith St. This street is a favorite of mine — so naturally when searching for a nice place to grab a drink/grub after a crazy week at work, my friend and I wandered into Cobble Hill.

inside-uglyduckling

Only 2 weeks old, the Uglyduckling offers a diverse selection of American /Gastropub cuisine as well as a nice wall of craft beers on tap. It has a cool, hip vibe with the mismatch wooden panels on the wall, giant tv screens, vintage lighting and chalkboard artwork to name a few. There’s not a whole lot of seating but for the size of the place, they definitely utilize what space they have. We decided on sitting at the bar for dinner… and much to my surprise, they have bag hooks! Ladies (or gentlemen) your wishes have been granted. But in all seriousness, its a small but important perk.

I thought to myself, “what to choose, what to choose” when glancing at the beers along the wall. And then my eyes fell upon the Left Handed Brewing Co. NITRO MILK STOUT. I’ve been searching for this beer for the LONGEST time. So glad it’s at a bar nearby! And might I mentioned it was perfectly poured and delicious. As for the menu, very interesting items. I ended up choosing the Chicken and Waffles ($16). I was intrigued at the combination of the classic dish but with a side of spicy aioli. The buttermilk waffle was fluffy and equally crispy as the corn-flake crusted chicken. The spicy aioli was a nice touch, although I’m not sure if everyone would like that combination of flavors. But all in all, my dish was great. I would definitely order it again.

chickenwaffles-uglyduckling

tap-uglyducklingNot only was the food tasty, but the staff was personable and welcoming. Most of the staff are from Ireland so I immediately struck up a few conversations about my good ol’ days studying abroad in Limerick. Made for some great banter. Next time… my eyes are on the Pork Belly & Quail Egg Burger. Wishing the staff of Uglyduckling the best of luck! I’ll be visiting again very soon.

P.S. They’re creating a brunch menu and a happy hour which should be finalized within a week or so. So keep your eyes peeled.

166 Smith St

Brooklyn, NY 11201

b/t Wyckoff St & Warren St in Cobble Hill

uglyduckling-bk.com

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon!

Sign-BarBacon

BarBacon is a new addition to the Hell’s Kitchen family. Here, you’ll find several things:
-Not a vegetarian in sight.
-Enough sodium intake as the Dead Sea.
-Unusually delicious ways to incorporate bacon into every item imaginable.
-Lamb bacon. You heard it right.

Having only opened about several months ago… from the looks of it, they’re doing pretty well for themselves! The word has gotten around and it looks like BarBacon is hitting home runs with the crowds. My friend and I arrived at around 6:30pm on a weekday and it was pretty packed. With low lighting and a very nature-y feel, I felt right at home. Whoever was in charge of decorating this place had a knack for an ambiance that really sets the mood. I also really liked the fact that you weren’t bombarded by the smell of bacon like some places. I mean, yes who doesn’t like the smell of that porky goodness? But leave that to the dinner itself. To your left you’ll see the bar which offers plenty of space to mingle while sippin’ on some crafty beers. To your right you’ll find the restaurant area with both high and low tables.

Yes, the menu is concise but it’s surprisingly diverse. From the classic bacon cheeseburger to bacon bahn mi, you’re sure to find something that suits your pork needs.

Bacon Flight-BarBacon

Bacon Tasting “Flight”: (HIGHLY recommended) this app consists of 4 types of bacon, 2 pieces each so you and a friend can share. Here’s the flavors if you will:
-Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon: classic, thin, crispy feel-good taste.
-Father’s Country Maple Bacon: by far my favorite. Why not take it up a level and make it even more unhealthy? Add sugar. *Cue heavenly sounds*
-Nodine’s Peppered Bacon: my least favorite. But still good. I felt like it needed to be paired with a merlot. Too much pepper in that bite for my liking.
-BarBacon Lamb Bacon: most interesting one of the night. Slightly gamey and pretty thick sliced meat. It was a true fusion of lamb chops and bacon flavor in one. Don’t miss out on this gem.

Grilled Cheese and Eggplant Soup-BarBacon

Applewood Smoked Bacon Grilled Cheese with Tomato Eggplant Soup:
Delicious. The thick fontina and gruyere was oozing out of the Toasted Semolina (from Amy’s Bread!). The bread had fennel and golden raisins which balanced and added a sweetness factor to the salt of the bacon and cheese. That was a wonderful touch. As for the soup, it was a perfect pairing for dipping the sandwich. It was tart and hearty.

Happy Hour-BarBacon

Tip: Happy hour is at the bar but for the time being (since they’re new) you may be able to snag that 1/2 off special at your table. The Sixpoint is the recommended pairing that goes well with bacon. And it sure did! What a creamy and delicious light beer. (Thanks to our awesome waitress. You rock!)

If you have a love for pork, unique pairings and a relaxed, casual vibe… BarBacon is your calling. I’ll be returning for sure. Don’t worry about eating like a pig*. It’s all good.

*Too much?

836 9th Ave
New York, NY 10019
b/t 55th St & 54th St in Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West
(646) 362-0622
barbacon.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