Slabs of slate glisten in candlelight atop rustic wooden tables, where white slivers of artisanal cheeses or curlicues of charcuterie fill each stony plate. Nearby, One Stop Beer Shop's tap-pulls and bottle openers unleash foamy rivulets of imported and American beers from breweries such as Hofbrau, Leinenkugel, Rogue, Bellhaven, and Harpoon, whose names and compatible astrological signs are announced on a wall-mounted chalkboard menu. Lively happy hours pour discounted brews and spirited specialties, such as shots of whiskey or vodka chased by vials of pickle juice or borscht, and weekly special events, such as beer-pong and trivia night, test patrons' physical and mental dexterity. One Stop Beer Shop also preps growlers of popular brews for pickup and neighborhood delivery orders.
As clocks strike 5 p.m. across the country, happy hours everywhere celebrate the end of another long workday. Every night from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m., however, Black Swan heralds the dawn of a new day with its reverse happy hour. The late night festivity is one of many twists the New American gastropub puts on the traditional bar format. Along with pub staples such as fish and chips, chefs plate internationally inspired treats including a BLT amplified with farm-raised salmon, veggie empanadas, and chicken wings smothered in a sweet and spicy Thai sauce. Innovation continues behind the bar, where mixologists craft such off-kilter cocktails as the Hot "Bacon" Toddy, a blend of bacon-infused bourbon and maple syrup served with a strip of bacon. An extensive selection of liquor, wine, and beer is also available inside the space that was once an auto-body shop, now transformed into a "sleek hall with a long copper bar, jet-black hardwood walls, and hand-worn tables," according to New York Magazine.
PSbklyn's servers slide dishes from a menu resplendent with burgers and brick-oven pizzas down a polished crimson bar. The aromas of wood-fired pizzas such as the Joey G., which asserts a flavorful presence with grilled chicken, barbecue sauce, and avocado-ranch dressing ($12), twist with the warming scents of the Reuben sliders ($6) in a mouthwatering tangle like an Oompa Loompa's game of Twister. In the lively dining area, patrons dress beef, chicken, veggie, or turkey patties ($10) in one of nine different ensembles, such as The Luca's sartorial armor of avocado, smoked-tomato jam and portobello mushroom (an additional $5). Kids hone their future-foodie instincts without crafting Play-Doh sushi by selecting a foundation for their meal from options including gooey grilled cheeses and pigs in a blanket and pairing it with fries, steamed vegetables, or applesauce ($9).
That's the question one Serious Eats writer set out to answer in 2009, venturing to then-newly-opened Sigmund's Pretzels for the first time. The spot's warm, twisty snacks, crafted daily by lawyer-turned-pastry chef Lina Kulchinsky, inspired an enthusiastic answer: the "plain, simply seasoned pretzels" fulfilled "all my wanton pretzel desires." Today, Kulchinsky continues to woo palates with her soft and pillowy pretzel twists, but has also expanded Sigmund's Pretzels into a full-fledged gastropub with pretzel-bunned sandwiches, gourmet small plates, and craft beer.
In the Press
Sweet, Savory, and Everything In Between
Kulchinsky has mastered classic pretzel preparations that use caraway or simple sea salt for seasoning, but she's also known for more imaginative flavors. Here are a few you might encounter at Sigmund's.
|Truffle Cheddar||Cinnamon Raisin|
|The bite of golden cheddar cheese makes a knockout pairing with the velvety umami of the truffles.||This soft, perfectly sweet pretzel makes it easy to understand why one East Village Vibe contributor wrote that "Sigmund?s pretzels really might be better than bagels."|
|Italian parsley and fresh garlic cloves impart a lightly herbal flavor to these twisted treats.||The fresh, piquant flavors add a Mediterranean twist to pretzels made with feta cheese and olives.|
Dorian Gray, a literary-themed gastro pub bedecked with mahogany and distressed bricks, permits patrons to cozy up to beer and Irish-influenced fare. With one hand toting a pint of Dorian Gray Amber ($5) and the other a glass of Vinvita pinot grigio ($7), guests can use their mouth to graze on Irish cheddar mini burgers ($6) or signature, french-fried curry chips with four in the mornin’ sauce ($6). New Zealand lamb chops share a diner's attention with peas and mash ($14), and the doughy cradle of shepherd's pie bears beef, onions, carrots, and peas ($11).