The Merry Monk
Taps: 16 / Bottles: 101
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 10 | Reviews: 7 | Display Reviews Only:
4.36/5 rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75 | $$
Nice Belgian beer bar. Good service. Bartender's were friendly and knowledgeable. Suggested some beers to try and gave me a couple of free samples. Mussels were good. Dipping sauces with the fries were excellent. If you are looking for a non-Belgian beer they won't have it.
08-15-2013 19:25:53 | More by Wetenkamp
4.5/5 rDev +10%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25 | $$
Belgian bar. I love Belgian beer, so this place is great. All Belgians on tap and a lot that won't be found elsewhere. Food is great too. If you like mussels, they are very good. Nice cheese plate, good burgers, good stews, good frites with special homemade dipping sauces. Oh and nice soft pretzels! Did I mention the Belgian beer?! Enough said!
04-26-2013 01:26:15 | More by SlainteAlbanyNY
4.19/5 rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
The Merry Monk is a quaint little Belgian bar in a part of Albany that is short on quaint places to get a drink. The atmosphere of the bar is nice. Classy wood grain finishes, nice high top tables and a great view of N. Pearl Street.
Service is prompt and friendly. The bartender I had seemed knowledgeable in helping customers who didn't know what to get.
The selection is nice, all Belgian or Belgian-style beers. However, 5 of the 16 taps were Ommegang beers, which while local and excellent, but are pretty common around here. I would prefer more diversity on the taplist. No lambics, flanders red or oud bruin available. The bottle list is pretty deep, but extremely pricey.
If you're looking to get a meal, the food is quite good. The burgers are great and reasonably priced. There are less conventional options like mussels and wild boar ribs which are equally good. Beer aside, the Merry Monk is an excellent restaurant.
Overall the Merry Monk is definitely worth a trip downtown. My only complaint is the somewhat lackluster draft selection, which though limited, is still quite good.
05-18-2012 01:27:14 | More by vonnegut21
3.88/5 rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Visited for dinner and drinks with a group of friends on a Friday night. The place was fairly crowded, luckily we had made reservations for our large group.
The place is clean, decorated with Belgian signs, flags, empty bottles, and other beer related items.
About a dozen beers on draft, plus a bottle list of maybe 30 or 40 more. All selections are Belgian, or belgian-style breweries like Ommegang and Unibroue. good mix of styles. Draft prices are okay, but the large bottle prices are steep.
Service was fine, our server routinely came back to ask for drink orders. Our group mostly had burgers and sandwhiches, and everyone was happy with the food.
02-20-2012 18:04:20 | More by jmdrpi
4.5/5 rDev +10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I was in town for the weekend and looking for a place not normally associated with the college crowds. The Merry Monk promised to be that place. With a different selection of beers not centered on the typical inexpensive American mass brewers and a dinner menu that didn't look like a fast food joint; The Merry Monk aims high and hits the mark.
Parking is sparse as expected in Albany so I opted to park in the conveniently located lot across the street (albeit for $10). That is no fault of The Merry Monk and its proprietors; just Albany. The bar itself is conveniently located near the Palace and just off the exit from 787.
As I entered through the rightmost door (there is a second door to the left of the storefront that takes patrons through a small vestibule), I was greeted with a well lit, open and spacious bar with just the right amount of advertising decoration. There are two TVs directly behind the well stocked bar and to the right are a dozen beers on tap. The bottle selection is just as plentiful. The atmosphere is obviously geared toward an "older" crowd judging by the patrons and the prices on the beer list. There were a few people at the tables and two or three at the bar with a steady stream the entire night. As one table left, another would come in. It wasn't crowded at all and even if there were more people the tables were obviously spaced as to prevent a claustrophobic feeling.
I started with a flight sampler of 4 beers and received them with a short review from the bartender, Justin. I was also offered samples of draft beers before I ordered a glass and committed to it. There is enough of a selection of beer to fit everyone's taste and enough to compliment any meal.
As I was at the bar with others I was able to sample a few different dishes for the night. The night began with mussels in white wine sauce. They were cooked perfectly and were tender and delicious, the sauce was especially rich and we requested more bread to sop up what was left in the bowl. After mussels we ordered hot wings and coconut rice shrimp. The rice shrimp was served on a platter with a chipotle dipping sauce that complimented the sweetness of the shrimp perfectly. The wings though were in a sauce of what tasted like hot sauce and butter. The recipe could use a little refinement but then again it is a Belgian themed bar. The last portion of the meal was beer battered cod and a flatiron steak. The steak was covered in shallots and sauce (I'm sorry I don't recall that kind of sauce it was) and was cooked perfectly. I also don't remember which particular beer they battered the cod with but it was evident in a slight nutty beer flavor the flaky crust. All in all it was a delicious meal. The presentation was excellent and everything was served at the right temperatures to the right doneness.
My experience at The Merry Monk was definitely an enjoyable one and I look forward to returning. The staff was friendly and efficient, the atmosphere was what I would prefer; and the pricing is just about what I would expect to pay for Belgian beer from the local liquor store.
12-21-2011 15:49:39 | More by bryan3091
3.25/5 rDev -20.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
The newest "craft beer bar" in the Albany. Dropped in on a chilly Sunday afternoon. The place was dead. Just another fella sitting at the bar who, from all appearances, was a friend of the bartenter. So down to the dirty...
Appearance: located where the former Big House Brewery used to be, the space inside is large and airy. It's really a nice space, but unfortunately located in an area of the city that dries up come the weekend. Decor is meh, at best, taking a generic approach to advertising the theme of the bar. I.E. Duvel & Ommegang swag on the walls, empty bottles lining the windows (the same 5 bottles, mind you), blah, blah, blah. Nice, clean, but generic.
Quality: Good beers, but pedestrian. All draft offerings from either Duvel or Vendenburg & DeWulf. Fresh & served in appropriate and branded glassware. I suspect that's only because they're newly opened & it hasn't yet been stolen.
service: Good, but unremarkable. My bartender may know beer, but did not offer any recommedations as to either beer or food. Service was quick & efficient, but that should be expected since the place was virtually empty.
Selection: Again, pedestrian, at best. Bottle selection was limited and pricey, but nothing I couldn't get off the shelf of a local beer store.
Food: mussels & frites. And by "frites", I mean frozen french fries. The different mussels selection was nice, but was very disappiunted that the fries were frozen. As a primary offering on the menu, I really feel that could be at least fresh made.
Overall, its an okay place, but a Disney-fied version of a Belgian beer bar.
12-20-2011 15:37:23 | More by Avryle
4.5/5 rDev +10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Walked out the front doors of the Hampton Inn Albany Downtown, looked down the block to the right and something grabbed my attention. The Merry Monk! I had not been to Albany in a year or so, and it was not there before. Sundays in Albany are hit or miss for places being open, so we walked down and pulled on the door, sure enough they were open. It was about 3pm on Sunday. Come to find out they had opened for the first time 5 days earlier. I wanted to add this place as soon as possible, because if I did not see it, I wouldn't have found it. Nice place inside, clean modern, nice bar, high cielings. Over time, I am sure the charm will grow. Twelve taps off to the right of the bar. 2 Duponts, 2 Lindemans, 4 Ommegangs, and the rest I cannot remember right now. All Belgian/Style beers. Nice bottle list as well. What food we saw looked good, kept hearing people talk about the fries. Anyways Nice addition to the Albany area, I am sure once the word gets out, they will be very popular. Went to the pumphouse and the old english pub after which honestly were dissapointing in comparison. My only critisism, I wish there were more American Microbrews on the bottle list, and maybe one or two on tap as I personally can only enjoy a couple Belgians in a session. They could have kept me around longer with something like Flower Power on tap. Again, feedback aimed at helping them succeed.
12-14-2011 14:42:03 | More by NHcraftbeer
The Merry Monk in Albany, NY
91 out of 100 based on 10 ratings.