In this week's New York, Adam Platt gets sudsy, dropping in to a pair of new beer-focused restaurants, Hospoda and La Birreria. The former, on the ground floor of the Czech consulate is "a cool, well-appointed room and tables filled with pink-cheeked gentlemen nursing mugs of pilsner served at exactly 44.5 degrees." As for food, while dishes like pork belly and potatoes four way are imbued with a "gourmet lightness," "the servings are bite-size, and it doesn’t always feel like you’re enjoying an entire meal, no matter how many things you order." The spot picks up one star.
Platt also drops in to La Birreria, Eataly's new rooftop beer garden. He finds the setting, "a long, raucously crowded bar and rows of wood tables arrayed under a slightly leaky polycarbonate roof," to feel "jerry-rigged" ... "until the food arrives." Our critic "feasted on platters of fat, beer-hall-style sausages (try the cotechino and the bratwurst), bountiful boards of salumi, and deliciously crunchy, silver-dollar-size shiitake 'fritti,' garnished with frizzled sage," and enjoyed a "soft, sticky pork shoulder" and "butter, crisp chicken thigh." But there's still the awkward setting: another one star.
Speaking of beer, Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite have the latest on a couple of new "added-value" beer shops that don't just sell suds, but artisanal food too. The Robs also found themselves on Hudson Street recently, where the crop of newish and upcoming eateries is booming. There's Caliu, Spasso, and the soon-to-open Redfarm and Frankies 570 Spuntino, among others. The Robs also bring us a recent recipe for fresh summer peaches in a spicy lime dressing, courtesy the Shop at Andaz 5th Avenue pastry chef Charmaine McFarlane. And if you're still craving more dessert, don't miss New Amsterdam Market's "Ice Cream Sunday" on August 21.