Archive for Southern Tier

The Richardson

Posted in alcohol, bars, food, Tom with tags , , , , , , , on October 20, 2008 by criticalreviews

The Richardson

451 Graham Avenue (the corner of Richardson and Graham) Williamsburg, Brooklyn
After last Sunday I was surprised to find myself walking around in Williamsburg again, and possibly headed to one of the same locations. We were on our way to check out Spuytin Duyvil’s No Joke Oktoberfest Celebration, but when we got there is was a little too crowded for our likings…and luckily had a back-up plan. This back-up plan involved heading back north. We walked down Havemeyer from Metropolitan to where it turns into Whithers, and then zig zagged a bit over to Graham Ave. I didn’t realize that there were so many Italian restaurants and delis in the area that is so close to my house…one of which we procured some delicious fresh cavatelli for dinner. The point is we ended up making our way to The Richardson. After the various write ups on Greenpointers (this is the most recent of the bunch), and the reviews on Yelp! (almost all 5 stars) how could we not try it out.

The Richardson is a big place with lots of tables, a huge bar, beautiful wallpaper, and a cozy feel (although it was a little cold with the doors open, it was still a really pleasant vibe). The first thing I noticed was the wallpaper, chandelier, and pumpkins (nice way to set the fall mood). We sat at the bar, and were the only people in the bar for a while but more patrons trickled in slowly. While at the bar klk tried one of their signature cocktails (and a couple fabulous drinks made with Hendricks Gin), while I was in the mood for beer (hence the Oktoberfest as the original plan) ordered a couple Troegs Hopback Ambers, and a Southern Tier IPA. The cocktails were made the old fashioned way, and I was really impressed by the well thought out beer list…this is sometimes a rarity at a cocktail bar (the only other thing I ask for is a stout or porter other than Guinness).

While the bar was pretty quiet we had the wonderful company of the barkeep. He was extremely friendly, and good for conversation…as well as makes excellent cocktails. Sometimes you go to a new hip bar, and kinda get the cold shoulder, but he was genuinely friendly…and this was more or less the icing on the cake. Leah stopped in to meet us for a drink, and had a Manhattan which was also delicious (I can’t pass up trying a whiskey drink when offered a sip).

We ordered some roasted nuts (part of their new menu), but were slightly underwhelmed. This might be because we are more or less experienced nut roasters ourselves. Some of their other food did sound quite tasty.

On top of the wonderful staff, and nice decor the bar keeps a consistent theme. The bartenders all have a loose rocker/greaser theme going on, and the music is all pre-1970 (if not older) rock n’ roll and r & b. A really nice touch that really ties the place together.

This place is perfect for a date or if you have a large group , and they have something to accommodate everyone. I’m adding this place to my regular rotation of drinking spots (and it doesn’t hurt that it is pretty close to my house).

Photos by Marcus in NY (via flickr)

(Tom)

Spitzer’s Corner

Posted in alcohol, bars, restaurant, Tom with tags , , , , , , on April 1, 2008 by criticalreviews

101 Rivington (at the corner of Ludlow). Lower East Side, NYC (Visited Friday March 14th, 2008)

So I am a little late with this review, but I thought the place was note worthy, and wanted to talk about. We were on the Lower East Side just walking around with friends from out of town, and someone pointed Spitzer’s Corner because all of the news about Elliot Spitzer was still fresh in the newspapers. I happen to keep a running list of beer bars in my head that I am meaning to checkout (and this was one of them).

We started off by just looking in the window at the taps, and it was enough to draw us in. They have about 40 beers on tap (see tap list here), and a nice bottle list as well (here). Prices are pretty typical Manhattan tap beer prices, domestic craft beers $6-$7 and Belgians (slightly better priced than most places) at $7-$8. We had a couple SixPoint Gorilla Warfares (a coffee porter made with Gorilla Coffee), and Souther Tier Unearthly IPA (11% abv and it was served in a pint).

It is not your typical LES bar because it is really nice inside, surprisingly so. ..it is really beautify built The whole place is wooden: floors, walls, doors, ect. I think the only things that weren’t made of wood were the taps and the bar itself(both metal). The tables are set up in the front bar in the style of a beer hall, where patrons share long tables with other patrons. The bar is very long (it has to be to have 40 taps, and two or three casks behind it). If you walk back towards the restrooms (which are downstairs and surprisingly very very clean…possibly the nicest bar bathrooms in the city), there is another large bar room. This room has a smaller bar with a bunch of taps as well (my only complaint is that I think it is a waste to have two taps of the same beer…both bars have the same thing on tap at Spitzer’s so there is no walking back and forth for different selections). This room has smaller tables, like a normal bar or restaurant but was not open while we were there (like I said it was the afternoon).

I really like the direction that some of these newer beer bars are going with their food…Although I didn’t try any of it(wasn’t quite hungry at the time), I would be interested in going back to eat lunch or something: Check out the menu (the grilled cheese sounds up my alley). Really gourmet.

Although it was a really pleasant experience on a Friday afternoon there were still some really loud people in the bar, and if the rest of the Lower East Side is any prediction this place is probably awful at night on Friday and Saturday too (I tend to stay away from this part of town on those night…maybe the correct word is touristy?), but I highly recommend for an afternoon pint…it would be even better if they had happy hour.

Photos from Yelp!
(Tom)