It’s NYC Beer Week, which means that for the next few days, we’ll all be binge drinking as if our lives depended on it. But why limit your consumption to just drinking it straight out of a glass? Especially since some of our favorite restaurants are using beer as a base for supremely tasty, soul satisfying dishes. We’re talking about the Beer-Brined Pork Chop at Benchmark in Park Slope, the Beer-Battered Barramundi at the Sunburnt Calf in Prospect Heights, and the Beer-Steamed Mussels at Diner in Williamsburg. And you know what’s even better? They all taste great accompanied by an icy cold pint of beer!
Beer Muncheez at Ample Hills Creamery
Everyone knows about the Guinness-infused Stout n’Pretzels at Prospect Heights’ uber-popular scoop shop, Ample Hills. But a brand new flavor is geared even more directly towards the committed day-drinker. It’s called the Beer Muncheez — a sweet cream ice cream flavored with Apple Lambic, and dotted with (believe it), cheddar cheese-dusted pretzels, potato chips, and corn puffs. We think we’re going to need more than a pint to appreciate that one.
623 Vanderbilt Ave, (347) 240-3926
Beer-Brined Pork Chop at Benchmark
This Park Slope eatery is a carnivores delight, with pasture-raised steaks (think a wet-aged, bone-in ribeye and a milk-fed veal porterhouse,) and plenty of hearty, rustic sides, like wild mushroom spaetzle with mustard and arugula, and goat cheese potato puree. The perfect companion to all of that meat? Beer, of course! Ale is put to excellent use on the beer-brined berkshire pork chop, which takes an overnight bath in Six Point Righteous Rye, flavored with brown sugar, thyme, juniper, rosemary, and mustard seeds.
339-A 2nd St, (718) 965-7040
Welsh Rarebit at Longbow Pub and Pantry
Say what you will about their overall, national cuisine, but the Brits happen to be really on point with their immoderate use of beer. This Welsh pub by way of Bay Ridge is suitably free-handed with the stuff. You’ll find beer-battered fried cod, steak and ale pie, and best of all, a seriously rich Welsh Rarebit — melted, aged cheddar cheese infused with beer and spices, on toasted, thick country white bread. Want to really go for broke? Order it poured over the Longbow Burger, and topped with crispy bacon.
7316 3rd Ave, (718) 238-7468
- Photo by Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
The Beer Steamed Mussels at Diner
Beer is the perfect vessel for steaming just about any fish or shellfish, and we’re particularly loving the mussels at Williamsburg’s Diner. Pancetta and cioppollini onions (our favorite, flying saucer-shaped alliums!) help flavor the mollusks, which are then sided with a baguette topped with squid ink butter. We know this item is about beer, but squid ink butter definitely needs to become a thing.
85 Broadway, (718) 486-3077
Steamer Clams at Littleneck
Another standout shellfish and suds combo is the steamer clam dish at Littleneck (if you can tear yourself away from the deep-fried belly rolls, that is). The fat-necked suckers swim in a broth of summery, Narragansett beer, flavored with garlic and fresh red chiles. Sure, this is smelly Gowanus, but if you close your eyes, you might just imagine yourself on a dock somewhere in Newport.
288 3rd Ave, (718) 522-1921
Beer Ganache Chocolates at Nunu Chocolates
It’s hard not to appreciate Nunu’s flagship store on Atlantic Avenue, because, in addition to shelves and shelves of delicious chocolate, they also have beer on tap. Who wouldn’t want to shop the aisles while sipping on a point of Ballast Point Tongue Buckler Red Ale or Snake River Zonker Stout? Of course, the greatest stroke of genius was combining it all in one place — namely — the Booze Box of assorted ganache-filled chocolates, flavored with whatever suds they happen to have on hand.
529 Atlantic Ave, (917) 776-7102
Turmeric Beer Battered Barramundi at The Sunburnt Calf
The preternaturally cheerful Australasian bar and restaurant, the Sunburnt Calf, knows how to get the good times a’rolling. Namely, by greetings guests at the door with a stiff shot of Moo Juice, and keeping them loose by any means necessary after that. Beer sneaks its way into a number of dishes (although pity about the alcohol being cooked out). Still, it adds welcome body and depth of flavor to a crock of beer steamed whole prawns with garlic and lemongrass, and makes a perfect batter for the barramundi with dill over vermicelli noodles — a play on the iconic Vietnamese dish, Cha Ca La Vong.
611 Vanderbilt Ave, (347) 915-1000
The Philly-French Dip at Potlikker
There’s a happy convergence of two of our favorite sandwiches currently on the lunch menu at Potlikker — an ooey gooey Philly Cheesesteak meets the ooey-er, gooey-er, and (not actually French) Dip sandwich. Thinly sliced steak is layered with caramelized onions and bell peppers, topped with homemade beer cheese and sided with au jus. We think we’re in love.
338 Bedford Ave, (718) 388-9808