The Old Toad
Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by slander:
4.6/5 rDev +7.5%
As it was necessary to migrate from dinner and drinks to just drinks, the "First Annual Beer Advocate New York State Beer Fly Guide Dinner And Drinks Statewide Review Conference And Regional Beer Sampling" (FABANYSBFGDADSRCARBS) continues it's traveling roadshow. I'm just watching the city go by. I shut navigation off, that's John's gig. Let's see what Rochester's got under the hood...
Very English pubby. Beige walls with a long high shelf trim holding plates and mugs above paneled curtained windows, mounted lamps and framed pictures over "C" shaped booths with shared fabric covered benches and matching stools separated by stained glass panel dividers. Nooks with seating, tables, a dart zone to the rear, Churchill pics & English prints. A smaller room in the front corner holds a few more booths & raised tables and a bar counter on one wall. Framed coaster displays, brewery prints and signage. Somewhat hidden off here is the Victorian Snug; a tiny private lounge carpeted and wallpapered. A pair of leather chairs and a couch, and matching fabric stools around a small fireplace.
A small wood "L" shaped bar seating 9 or so with an enclosure piece above sits to the rear. Shelves of booze & single malts to both sides of center on an arched wood bar back unit. Tap & cask selections listed overhead with hanging glassware wrapping around the bar. 3 taps on a corner tower, 6 on a tower at the other end of the bar and 5 more on a barrel tower on the bar back. 14 in all, mostly house standards (CB's Old Toad Nut Brown Ale & English Pale Ale, Old Speckled Hen, Leffe Blonde, Guinness, Hoegaarden, Strongbow Cider, Heineken) and rotating guest taps (Anchor Liberty, Brooklyn Saison & Pilsner, Konig Ludwig, Entire Butt Porter, Stone Coast 420 IPA). 4 handpumps on the end, 3 of them currently occupied (Brooklyn Brown Ale, Blue Point Pale Ale, CB's Double Dark Cream Porter).
Roughly 90 bottles, some very nice selections here, the bottled menu lists them by style. To give you an idea, there are 4 lambics listed (Lindeman's Framboise, Gueuze & Cuvee Rene and Cantillon Rose De Gambrinus). Putting the Cantillon aside, generally you wouldn't expect to see the Lindeman's Gueuze, and certainly not the Cuvee Rene when you've only got 4 lambics listed. Solid.
I had the cask CB's Double Dark Cream Porter because it's really fantastic. Opted for a second beer, this time the cask Brooklyn Brown Ale. Both were fresh and excellently maintained. They have some sort of an indentured servitude program where they bring over English University kids to work here, I don't really understand it, but they were polite and cordial enough, and let me try things at the bar.
Service was solid and the beers were good, no TV's and no crappy jukebox. I could spend some time here.
12-24-2006 01:14:18 | More by slander
More User Reviews:
4.35/5 rDev +1.6%
One of my favorite places to go in Rochester as I live about a 5 minute walk away.
The selection is always pretty solid. About 10-15 taps or so- 3 different tap stations- one with 3 on the right of the bar, 5 on the back wall of the bar, and 6 or so on the left side of the bar. There are 4 cask lines, but not all of them are always used at one time.
They try to have a few European beers on tap most of the time- Guinness and Fuller's London Pride are practically house beers for the Toad, and are always on. Their house DIPA, OT 20, is always on, and is really freakin' delicious. Always a good choice if none of the taps wow you. Good job by CB's on that one. There's sometimes a second house tap made by CB's, right now it's a brown ale brewed with squash, but I've seen a coffee porter, an "apri-bock", and a few others. Usually one or two Belgians, 3-4 NYS state beers, and then a few other specialty beers from across the country.
The service is hit or miss. They're not always good at handling bigger crowds, so if you're sitting down and want a beer on a Friday or Saturday night, you're gonna have to push through people to get a beer quickly. During the week the service is fine.
The food is good, but pricey, lots of great English favorites. The drunken cheddar soup is to die for, one of my favorites.
The beer is a bit expensive, and they don't generally have any specials that I can find. Beers on cask are never under $6, and usually are in the $7-$-8 range.
The atmosphere is very quaint. I can always get behind a bar that allows you to talk to your friends without shouting over loud music/TVs.
11-25-2013 22:01:24 | More by GreesyFizeek
3.76/5 rDev -12.1%
All furnishings and decor imported from England. All staff are from England as part of a University program. Very authentic, like walking into a pub in London.
Food is very good, lots of traditional English fare. The Scotch Eggs are excellent. Several vegetarian options, however they tend to run out of some things on the menu fairly often.
Huge beer selection, specializing in cask ales. Many vintage and hard to find selections.
Large selection of Scotch, about 80 different varieties.
Located in an entertainment district, which can be rowdy at times. Upon leaving one time, my friend and I were approached by someone who attempted to rob us. Unfortunately for him, the bar isn't actually located in England, where the populace is unarmed. He went to jail after his failed attempt.
11-11-2013 10:10:45 | More by Mediczod
The Old Toad in Rochester, NY
95 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.