The team at Bronx Brewery is determined?maybe to the point of obsession?to brew the best pale ales on the East Coast. Eschewing whimsical names and other gimmicks, the brewers' no-nonsense approach produces year-round beers, seasonal selections, and even limited batches that are aged in oak wine and spirit barrels. Fans can get a sneak peak into the brewery's processes during tours throughout the week, which explain the facility's equipment and finally thwart rumors about a local beer wizard. Before and after tours, groups can relax in the tasting room while drinking limited-selection brews and snacking on food they brought with them or ordered in.
Little Town NYC unabashedly hearts New York. Of its three restaurants, two are located in iconic Manhattan spots: one in Union Square, the other on Theater District’s Restaurant Row. Little Town’s fancy for the Empire State shines through on the menu, too, with homestyle dishes such as the Adirondack chicken pesto and an Angus beef burger topped with crispy Berkshire bacon. The Suburb Backyard BBQ platter is piled high with enough buffalo wings, Nathan's hot dogs, and other locally inspired fare to feed a family of four.
Little Town NYC also takes great pride in its beer list, which features more than 100 local brews, including IPAs and amber ales that hail from breweries in Long Island, Ithaca, and Saratoga Springs. At the Restaurant Row location, you can enjoy a pilsner from Coney Island while sitting in a booth constructed from the beach’s old wooden boardwalk.
Mario and Anna Abitino emigrated from Naples to the U.S. in 1972. Mario quickly found work in the pizza business, and the couple eventually opened a restaurant of their own: Abitino’s Pizza and Italian Kitchen, in Midtown Manhattan. That was more than 20 years ago. Today, the couple and their three sons, Dominick, Mario Jr., and Salvatore, run six New York pizzerias bearing the family name. Each offers an expansive menu of signature pizzas and other Italian entrees, such as gnocchi sorrentino and pasta stuffed with fresh littleneck clams. Their pizzas and calzones use dough made right on the premises, and their tomato sauce is also housemade—with tomatoes from Naples, naturally.
Above the back row of coolers at Heights Beer & Wine Emporium, a long mural depicts pastoral farmland, its fields covered in rows of grapevines. This mural serves as a panoramic reminder of the origins of each of the emporium's fine wines. Bottles line the shelves like extremely fragile bowling pins, their labels declaring their heritage. In another section, there's a huge selection of beer from all kinds of craft breweries. The table at the shop's fore is often staffed by visitors from local wineries and breweries, offering tastes of their wares and as many free corks as you can fit in your pockets.
John Gizzi and Diann Greco, the American Wine Society?certified wine judges at Make Wine With Us, teach wine aficionados to create their own wines using grapes harvested in Californian and Chilean vineyards. At the start of the nine-month process (California grapes in the fall, Chile grapes in the spring), winemakers-to-be assemble with fellow enthusiasts to learn the intricacies of the trade. Patrons learn to crush and destem grapes in a machine called a crusher-destemmer, named after the device's favorite Germanic metal band. Following the crushing process, a hydraulic press forces juice into barrels, where it shall remain until the conclusion of its sweet, sweet metamorphosis.
At the end of the nine-month period, newly minted winemakers lean on family and friends to fill, cork, and custom-label the finished product. Budding vintners then tote home their vintages to share with family, friends, and robot butlers with built-in carafes.
Strategically coupled with delectable nibbles from Nisi in Englewood, Quench's assortment of exquisite international wines challenge and soothe palates of discerning aficionados and novices imbibers alike. As waves of whites and reds lap against taste buds, certified sommeliers detail flavor sensations and ways to tell when a grape is about to explode. Specialty varietals break up sip-based monotony, with sparkling wine bubbling on tongues, rosé wine flushing patrons’ cheeks, and dessert wine topping tongues with sweetness. Tasty Nisi treats plant a solid grub foundation for sips or gulps of each libation. Quench hosts tastings on Sunday and Monday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., permitting a minimum of 6 and maximum of 10 guests or statues built of discarded corks to each sampling.