2016-02-17 / Restaurant of the Week

The Brewery

The Brewery Bar & Kitchen is a New York style Irish pub that you will want to return to again and again. It has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, amazing acoustics that filter out noise, and best of all, food and drink of the highest caliber. In addition to its long, ever-evolving list of quality beer, wine, and mixed “combos” such as “Guinness & Irish Whiskey Shot,” the Brewery offers an extensive and varied menu, a choice of daily specials, and outstanding homemade desserts. Portions are generous. And each dish is prepared with care, beautifully presented, and astoundingly delicious. The meal my friend and I had at the Brewery was the kind of meal you would expect to find at an ultra-expensive restaurant where you have to wear your Sunday best and uncomfortable shoes. I want to give Chef Anthony special mention for his exceptional savoir faire. He is a true culinary artist.

The Brewery is casual. You can drop in any day of the week without dressing up. Happy Hour runs from 3pm to 7pm Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), and you are invited to come as you are. During Happy Hour, you can have reduced-price beer, house cocktails, and wine, and you pay only $5.00 for a Killian’s Red & Shot of Irish Whiskey. Not a drinker? Not a problem. Order something non-alcoholic if you prefer. Complement your drink with a choice of “Small Bites” like Spiced Mixed Nuts ($4.00), House Cut Chips ($3.00), or a Warm Pretzel ($4.00), and for less than the price of a movie, you can relax, refuel, regroup, and who knows what else? Maybe meet someone interesting. Also check the boards or ask your server about the Brewery’s drink and food specials of the day. There were some tempting homemade soups on the list the night we were there. Or if you’re particularly hungry, consider one of their delicious “Small Plates” or Burgers.

We had a great server, Ana, who was gracious and low-key, and who served us with a kind of professional flair that made us feel well cared for. Our eating adventure began with a shared order of Steamed Mussel Pots in a garlic white wine sauce ($9.00) that was enough for four people and better than any steamed mussel dish I’d had anywhere else, ever. We also tried one of Chef Anthony’s newest creations: Reuben Spring Rolls, which were awesome. Other “Small Plates” at the Brewery include Sticky Hot Wings ($9.00), Spicy Calamari ($9.00), Baked Mac & Cheese ($8.50), BBQ Ribs with coleslaw ($10.00), and hummus, mozzarella sticks, baked stuffed clams… each for $8.50 or less. Your Burger choices include angus sirloin on a brioche ($8.00), veggie topped with red pepper tomato chutney ($7.00), and 3 Pulled Pork Sliders (good to share, with barbecue sauce, pickle, and buttermilk fried onions, $9.00). And if you’d like any add-ons such as fries, cheese, mushrooms, onions or bacon, they’re yours to order.

Whether you come to the Brewery to enjoy a drink and socialize, watch your favorite sports on one of the big TV screens above the bar, or have a sit-down meal, you will always be a welcome guest and go home content. Sports fans, you can rejoice at the Brewery where you will find all the big sports stations. And for those of you not interested in the games, there are intimate groupings of tables and chairs here and there, as well as cozy, quiet booths where you can sit and chat comfortably with your companion(s).

For our main course, my friend ordered the Pork Medallions from the list of daily specials, which she just loved. They came with delicious mashed potatoes, and the spinach was perfectly cooked, she said. Truth be told, I was tempted by everything and had a hard time deciding. Did I want an Entree Salad? Maybe the Brewery Cobb? The Pasta of the Day? Or steak, ribs or salmon? No, I would choose something distinctly Irish. The Baked Shepherd’s Pie ($14.00), Beer Battered Fish & Chips ($15.00), or Bangers & Mash ($13.00)? They all sounded so appetizing. But I finally went with the Gaelic Chicken (sauteed chicken cutlet in a Gaelic whiskey mushroom cream sauce, $16.00), which I had with mashed potatoes and fresh, mixed vegetables, cooked just right. It was superb, and the portion quite large. In fact, both my friend and I brought enough leftovers home to have them for lunch the next day. We still had to indulge in some dessert, though, and conclude the evening on a sweet note.

And indulge we did! We sampled the Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse, which was light and fluffy with just the right amount of sweetness. The Chocolate Lava Cake, which was rich, dense, and chocolaty. And the Grand Marnier & Chocolate Cheesecake, a light and delectable treat with a delicate mixture of flavors. Yum! Then, our meal complete, instead of getting up and going home as we normally would, we felt like sticking around in our comfortable booth a while longer. And we enjoyed a chat with Patrick, the Brewery’s young, enterprising proprietor.

Patrick hails from County Cavan, Ireland where, he told us, he “grew up in the business.” After leaving home, he furthered his self-education, first by working as a bartender in Australia for a number of years, and then moving to New York where, in 2007 when he was only 28, he opened his first restaurant at 21 Waverly Place in Greenwich Village. There, he honed his skills as restaurateur, until in 2014, he decided to take his business to Queens.“I’m a neighborhood guy” he shared. He lives two minutes from the Brewery and is invested in the community.

There is just something about the Brewery that makes you want to hang out there. With a congenial, hands-on proprietor who likes to be out front getting to know his patrons, and a friendly, competent staff, you just feel at home. Like Patrick, the Brewery is still quite young. It opened its doors in September of 2014, less than a year and a half ago. Yet, it took no time at all for it to become a neighborhood standout. Within six months, in fact, it was reviewed on TripAdvisor's website and received a five star rating. Located at 49-18 30th Avenue, between 49th Street and 50th Street, near the Woodside/Astoria border, the Brewery Bar & Kitchen brings a little bit of Irish (and a lot of good cheer) to Queens. If you haven’t been there yet, I suggest you stop in. Or even if you have, you’re bound to find some additions and improvements. That’s the nature of this team. They possess a kind of creative energy that keeps them moving forward.

The Brewery is open 7 days a week, serving lunch Monday through Friday from 11am to 4pm, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am to 3pm. Dinner runs from 4pm to 11pm daily, and the bar remains open until late into the night. There will be a special Irish menu on Saint Patrick’s Day (March 17th) with Irish music, green beer, corned beef and cabbage, soda bread, Patrick’s mum’s special cheesecake, and much, much more.The Brewery also offers take-out and delivery, catering services, and gift certificates. Questions? Just give them a call at 718- 777-8007.

49-18 30th Avenue

(Between 49th and 50th)

Woodside • 718.777.8007

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