Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Brasserie V, part deux

Finally made it there last night and I was moderately impressed. Although it's still rough around the edges (literally), there is great promise. For a Tuesday night, the place seemed to be doing pretty well for itself. The bar had most of its seats occupied, and at least 3 tables were full. The "ambiance" isn't much to speak of yet. The lighting seems a little bright for a restaurant. While most of the walls have been painted, there are spots where they haven't gotten to yet. The bar itself looks nice - real wood and all. And the tables were set up almost exactly like they were in Relish.

I'll admit, I knew about Brasserie V because of its beer. I had no idea they even served food. But, it turns out, they do. And pretty fancy food at that. When we sat down the waitress/bartender greeted us with two menus and a wine list. It took her a minute or two to get to the beer list. Which seems odd; I think, tastefully done, they could leave the beer lists on the tables. But, she was overly friendly and offered us tastes of any beer they had.

Unfortunately, they were out of the Urthel Hop-It. This was very disappointing. In fact, I was rather astounded that they would be out of any beers yet. I eventually settled on a De Koninck. (BA. RB.) My friend ordered the Wittekerke. (BA. RB.) Both were fine. In fact, the De Koninck was exactly what one would expect from a Belgian Ale. Mild and yeasty, with a hint of fruit and alcohol; I was surprised just how "normal" it tasted after finishing the glass. If you were to look up "wit" in the dictionary, you would see a picture of the Witterkerke. Nothing fancy or overwhelming about it. Just a good, white bier.

I will say, this is a nice departure from the modern trends of creating, and serving, "exceptional" beers. If all the beers are "exceptional" (to wit: the Fantabulous Resplendence), then what is "normal." But the tap list is rife with "normal" beers. Rather the list is rife with beers that are excellent representatives of their style. This is a welcome relief to find a place where one can just get a plain old porter, it doesn't have to be uber-hopped, or use some obscure french farm yeast, or be made in the "porter style" using only wheat and rice.

Every beer get an appropriate glass. And, for the most part, they are all glasses from the breweries themselves. Again, a welcome relief from some places, let's call them "Maduro", where sometimes the bartenders get lazy (or overly busy) and just serve everything in a pint glass. The exception being that my De Koninck was, ironically, served in an Urthel glass because none of the De Koninck ones were clean. Also, a fun note: they have the new Sam Adams glassware. Which, I will admit, is a lot different from what I thought it looked like. In my mind, I was picturing basically a mildly tapered English Imperial Pint. But, the picture of the Sam Adams glass doesn't really do it justice, it is a much more pronounced taper than it looks and the bulb at the bottom is more rounded.

We weren't that hungry so we just had an appetizer and an entree between the two of us. Both were really good. As we were finishing, the owner came over and talked to us and he seemed really friendly. I told him that I was disappointed about the Urthel and he informed me that they had run out and were unable to get another keg of it. But, he said, they would be rotating their taps anyway to keep the list interesting and fresh. One has to wonder, though, how long it will take to get a new keg if they don't already have reserves for when the line goes down. And, for that matter, how they will inform customers of this new change. Hopefully, they will print up new beer lists. He also informed me that his favorite of the taps was the Kasteel Chateau Brown (interestingly, I was unable to find this beer, given this description, on either Beer Advocate or RateBeer - now I'm curious as to what the actual name is). This is unfortunate for me. I am not a fan of browns ales or Belgian brown ales for that matter (although I am a fan of THE Browns). His favorite plays out on the list as there are no fewer than 3 brown ales on tap. While I'm not averse to having the same beer twice, if you were to eliminate from the tap list all of the brown ales and the beers that I've had previously, there are only 3 beers left (of 14 on tap) - one of which was off-line. Oh well.

In any event, you can tell the place is new. But, hopefully, the owner has some patience because I think they are doing the right things here.

1 comment:

  1. Okay. I've been reading and reading, but I can't figure out your handle at the Daily Page fora. I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours. :)


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