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.
Proponents of the slow-food movement, Bibi'z Restaurant and Lounge's proprietors believe that meals deserve to be savored rather than scarfed down. To that end, their chefs ensure that diners have plenty to relish: they use simple techniques to bring out flavors in sustainable and wild-caught fish, grass-fed Black Angus beef, and locally sourced organic produce, dairy, and poultry. The culinary team incorporates those ingredients into dishes such as vegetarian wild-mushroom ravioli with a butternut-squash cream sauce, pan-seared duck breast with a reduction of Asian five-spice, and gluten-free braised short ribs with a parsnip puree. In 2014, Bergen.com awarded the restaurant with the titles of Best Healthy Restaurant and Best Place for Girls' Night Out.
Hand-selected from sustainable wineries at home and abroad, organic and biodynamic wines?more of 50 of which are available by the glass?add their own nuanced flavors to meals. Barkeeps also quench thirsts with complimentary still and sparkling water filtered in house rather than taken straight from the blowhole of a whale. Each leisurely feast unfolds on Bibi'z's airy outdoor patio or in a spacious dining room replete with a fireplace and a lounge full of comfy leather chairs.
Catering to the whims of casual beer lovers as well as enthusiastic aficionados, Green Growler Grocery features options for groups seeking to enjoy a quick pint or stock up their home cellars. The tap room lures passersby with its rotating selection of craft brews available by the flight, pint, and growler. To accompany these drinks, the tap room also offers a small food selection?including shareable platters filled meats, olives, fruits, and local cheeses?as well as a number of New York State wines and ciders. In Green Growler Grocery's bottle shop, the shelves feature hard-to-find releases alongside craft staples, all of which are ready to be taken home and enjoyed. The one-stop shop even features a home-brewing area complete with a diverse assortment of hops, malted grains, yeasts, malt extracts, and the various beer grapes and equipment that dedicated enthusiasts need to make their own fermented elixir at home.
Handpicked fruit lend their sweetness to honey-hued Blue Point Blueberry Ale. A citric bite drifts from Dogfish Head 60-Minute IPA, named for the quick boil that pulls bitter earthiness from the hops. Thornwood Ale House's collection of more than 60 beers includes microbrews and imports that run from sweet to hoppy, from pale Hoegaarden to roasted-black Mother's Milk. In the kitchen, which remains open until 2 a.m., chefs forge a menu of dishes designed to pair with the range of suds. Steam rises from baked mac ‘n' cheese, pouring up through panko breadcrumbs and nuggets of lobster or pulled pork. Oil crackles around beer-battered fish ‘n' chips with the comforting warm sound of a fire engulfing a scarecrow with sneaky eyes, and blenders pour milk shakes infused with sweet spirits.
Indoors, TVs and vintage sconces cast light on orange walls and a marble-topped bar, and outdoors, heels click against a slate patio beneath umbrella-covered tables. The bar fills with chatter punctuated by the sounded of toasting glasses through the week with events including trivia, karaoke, and live bands.
The attentive and knowledgeable staff members at Maratene's help each customer find the beverage of his or her dreams, an infinitely preferable experience to discovering the sulfurous, steaming goblets of their nightmares. Give a moderate nod while excessively enjoying a medium-bodied Castle Rock Pinot Noir ($10), or recite a philosophical treatise to an indifferent partygoer over a rich and complex Truchard Cabernet ($25). The chronically indecisive can sip samples at one of the shop's free Saturday wine tastings or visit owner and trained sommelier Gregg Burke's wine blog for more tips.