Active Beers: 8
Beer Ratings: 81
Beer Avg: 3.76
Taps: 13 / Bottles: 15
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 26 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by slander:
4.7/5 rDev +24.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
Slander, who pushed through the market of crazy and came out clean the other side. Elevator, operator, me to the 14th and then a flight of stairs to the 15th floor; I feel like there should be clues along the way or I should be gobbling up fruit for bonus points or something. The reception desk and the brewings behind glass, and out, but in; the rooftop enclosed...
A white marble topped bar runs a length off to the left with seating for 18ish on non-backed Randy stools. Cask box of 3 on the bar and a 10 tap tower a few feet down. 8 short barrels on their sides holding wine selections tapped on the barback split 4 & 4, with slight tiered boozings in between. Glassware tucked in there, too, and shelved below and tucked barside, with stemmed stuff hanging above. Awning piece over the bar with mounted spots, and through the slight windows atop the barback, you can see the top of the Empire State Building in all her awesomeness.
Out on the floor, there are about 5 dozen 2 seat paper placematted tables in rows, many solo and pushed together in pairs and pairs of pairs, and ½ a dozen or so larger round tables here or there. Shared benchings along the perimeter, and I see a sea of red metal chairs. Large sign letter BIRRERIA on the building side, with their 3 collaborator (Baladin, Del Borgo and DogFishHead) logos below. Lino wood looking floorings, and glass walls and roof top; some of which retract somewhat. The rear windows slide open and the rooftop, too; starting with the center panel pushed with a long pole. Hot air for a cool breeze, traded.
Phil’s BBQ at 2, I am afforded some time for a few beers and am underway sampling before Sunday sales noon. 3 house cask beers on at a time. I’ve had at all of ‘em. ‘Gina’ (Thyme Pale Ale, fantastic, amazingly quaffable, a good thyme beer), ‘Ruby’ (American Wheat with dried fig & mustard seed, very nice), and a beer called ‘Wanda’ (Chestnut Mild, good roasted nuttiness). On return visits, I’ve also had ‘Nigella’ (a highly drinkable session IPA, excellent), ‘Barista’ (Robust Porter with Guatemalan coffee, tasty), and ‘Pina’ (Brown Ale with pine nuts and honey, does not suck). Their beers are really quite good. I don’t know about $10 a pint good, but they are well done. ABV’s ranging as low as 3.5% (Nigella) and as high as 7% (Barista).
In addition to the house cask beers, they’ve got 10 drafts; a good mix of regional American craft and import fun with offerings from all 3 collaborators. Across my visits, I’ve drank the Baladin Isaac (holy fucking coriander!), and the Grado Plato Strada San Felice (roasted chestnut lager, excellent), and have sampled the Del Borgo Genziana (a saison with Gentian root, really nice), the L’Olmaia Karkade (spring Ale with hibiscus, sour but not unpleasantly so), and the Loverbeer Madamin (Italian Flanders style sour brown seemingly more full on sour than an Oud Bruin). And nearly 30 bottled selection; 1/3 of them from the house collaborators, and the remaining 2/3 a mix of 2 to 1 American craft to import ratio, plus nearly a dozen wines.
We split the meat plate for 2 ($21), the winners being Cacciatorini (spicy), and Sopressata (garlic & black peppercorn goodness), and we ordered up 3 cheeses ($11), Asiago Fresco (winner), Robiola Bosina (solid), & Provolone Madarone (did not suck); all cow with a little sheep. It came served with a hazelnut & honey accompaniment of awesome. And lest we not forget the broccoli rabe ($5), which was goddamn stellar, just amazing garlic love there.
My subsequent revisits have been all about the pork shoulder (beer & apricot braised, served with a celery, cucumber, and persimmon slaw of sorts, and a mustard vinaigrette) for a mere $19. One of the most amazing foodings of my life. This pork shoulder literally melts; I could eat it with a spoon. I had to sit back and ‘holy shit’ for a moment there. Just stellar. Was dealt 3 slices of homemade spent grain bread with a small plate of olive oil. Menu absent is the broccoli rabe; as such I am forced to slum it with the carrots (baby ones, all honeyed up). They were solid, but I feel robbed of the rabe this day.
Brucetender again; he let me try a few things, has good opinions on what’s what, and just knows his game. Great food and drink here. Pricey, but just don’t care and then don’t. It’s Sunday, and I’ve got a warm happiness rolling over me, a pretty good day this be. The drink is a sizable contributor to be sure and I’m still trippin’ from that pork shoulder. Nice breeze and good tunes rooftop today, Lots of tourists, of course, but I do like. Just 2 hours in, the place is 2/3 full, tablewise. So know that the game here is to be on their doorstep at Sunday opening, get your snack and drink on, and get out before it fills in around you, which it will.
04-10-2012 17:31:12 | More by slander
More User Reviews:
3.54/5 rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | $$$
A rooftop brewpub with walls like a greenhouse in downtown Manhattan? Yup, they’ve certainly got the location part down.
Not much beats this place in terms of atmosphere and restaurant location. On the first floor is this massive Italian supermarket that also has a half-dozen small counters to buy freshly made food to eat at one of the numerous tables scattered about. I’ve never seen anything like it. Then again, I’ve never been to New York City before.
The only problem is that Birreria is a little bit difficult to find. There’s an elevator tucked into the back of the massive space if you know where to look, and I didn’t, so it took several minutes of wandering. Maybe that’s just how they whet your appetite?
Once upstairs, the views are amazing, and the beer ain’t bad either. They focus on cask ales freshly made (I believe on location) to provide the best flavor possibly. On my visit they had three of their own casks on tap – a Christmas ale, a thyme pale ale, and a chestnut brown ale. I was on an empty stomach and only tried the latter two, but both were fantastic. I give kudos to not overdoing anything and letting subtle complexities rule the beverage.
While the menu looked tempting, I had my eyes set on another gourmet prize in town, so I did not partake. That will have to come another day.
My only criticism would be that the bar area isn’t big enough for the late afternoon work crowd. Much of the restaurant was empty while the seats at the bar and standing room was densely populated. I’m sure that ratio flips during dining hours, however, so that criticism doesn’t have much to stand on.
04-03-2014 18:36:20 | More by bigkingken
4.1/5 rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Good cask beer and bottle selection. If you are coming for a specific beer, call first.
A collaboration between Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione and the Bastianich family. The rooftop restaurant/bar is awesome in the summer.
I had the Ruby and Gina cask beers and some of the unique DFH taps.
10-28-2013 23:09:07 | More by Porter
4.13/5 rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5 | $$$
La Birreria, ask the servers how to pronounce La Birreria.
This place may have a limited selection on tap, but when it's fresh you won't be disappointed with the cask brews available. Your best bet is to gander over the bottle list, which can be pricey, but you are sure to find something nice to split between a few friends.
The food is excellent, I love eating here but the only issue is the price. If I'm a little low on funds, this place is definitely out of my price range if I want a few beers and a nice dinner.
The atmosphere is amazing, imagine having a near 360 degree view of the manhattan skyline that surrounds he rooftop. You can see the empire state building as well as many other structures that are nice on the eye.
My favorite part about this place is that Sam Calagione visits from time to time to host a beer dinner or a beer and food pairing event. It just so happens, the last one I was at he was seated next to me for the dinner. I can tell you this about Sam, he's a cool guy who loves to talk beer and he really wants to know who he is serving beer to.
Overall, one of my favorite midtown places to visit.
10-28-2013 16:03:58 | More by Buller38
La Birreria in New York, NY
87 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.