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.
Bitter & Esters brew maestros shepherd beer aficionados 21 and older through the basics of crafting their own libations during the two-hour introductory brewing courses. These knowledgeable instructors sprinkle their lessons with useful tidbits as their students immerse themselves in the process, communally brewing a bubbly batch of hops-laden liquid like witches on Super Bowl Sunday. Classes cover need-to-know facts about extracts, malts, grains, and yeasts as well as common trouble-shooting methods for when batches go awry. The hands on lesson includes all the necessary ingredients and reference materials required to whip up a hearty brew, with starter kits available for purchases if students want to continue fashioning beer in their home or underground speakeasies. Classes conclude with students sampling the fruits of previous home brewed labors, opening their taste buds to all the different possibilities craft beer making affords.
Boasting the largest selection of wines and spirits on Long Island, Young's features fermented grape juice from more than 15 countries and several hard-to-find liquors, from brandies to vodkas. Its abundant supply of French and Italian wines allows vino enthusiasts to choose the pick of the litter from the countries that have protected their vineyards with Tesla coils and deflector shields since the 12th century. Detect the ripe raspberries in the graceful Bois Martin Bordeaux Rouge ($19.99). European dismissers can choose wines from Chile, South Africa, Australia, or the smooth Luna Benegas cabernet ($13.99), produced from 60-year-old vines in Argentina. Celebrate American independence from King Arthur and his ruthless red-coated horses by sipping on the spicy, vanilla-tinged 2003 chardonnay ($11.99) from Washington's Columbia Crest. Imbibers searching for a non-grapey liquid can inspect Young's stock of spirits, such as Bushmills Black Bush Irish whiskey ($36.99), a dark-chocolate and raisin-based spirit, far tastier than mixing raisins, Hershey's bars, and boiling water in a bathtub.
The warm, always affable staff oversees a symphony of clinking glasses at Brew House. They maintain a convivial atmosphere that features plenty of brews, bar food, and flat-screen TVs airing sports. With bottles of Corona or Sam Adams, the staff serves housemade empanadas, coconut shrimp, and Brew House fries topped with cheese, bacon, and green onions with a side of gravy. The kitchen team’s grill also turns out sandwiches, wraps, and a Cowboy burger topped with cheddar, bacon, barbecue sauce, and onion rings. Exposed brick walls, rich wood paneling, and gold-patterned hanging lamps welcome patrons to cozy booths, whereas a seat at the bar affords the best look at the TVs and more liquor bottles than Winston Churchill had in his vault.
Brasserie 214 traces its roots far across the space-time continuum. The original iteration of the restaurant launched way back in 1938, but recent renovations and menu evolutions have brought French, Northern Italian, Belgian, German, and Scandinavian culinary traditions to the fore. Entrees such as salmon niçoise and duck à l'orange, as well as specialty schnitzels, exemplify the kind of elegant dinner, lunch, and brunch fare prepared by the skilled chefs. Imported beers and stateside craft brews pour from the taps to complement that selection. Of course, it wouldn't be a Long Island brasserie or a valid retirement destination without a robust cocktail selection. To that end, bartenders mix together specialty martinis, sangria, and sidecars with Bacardi, Disaronno, and fresh lemon juice served in a sugar-rimmed martini glass.
The Gnarly Vine doesn't have any trouble winning visitors' affections, perhaps owing to its romantic atmosphere, as described by Westchester Magazine, or perhaps because of its abundance of wine. Westchester Magazine ranked the relaxed venue as one of the best bars in Westchester and also named it the Best Chill Bar Spot in 2009. Featuring a menu of seasonal small plates and a wine list that rattles off more than a hundred vintages by the bottle, The Gnarly Vine inspires the sharing of dishes, toasts, and fire-safety reminders across candle-lit tables.