Eleven 11 Grille & Spirits
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Taps: 16 / Bottles: 8
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 2 | Reviews: 2
Reviews by madmanjf:
2.51/5 rDev -15.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 2.75 | $$
I’m writing this review after my 2nd trip to Eleven-11. The first was for beers alone, and my second trip was for beers and food. Both times, I sat at the bar which is appropriately segregated from the remainder of the restaurant by a faux-partition giving the bar and restaurant patrons a sense of a cozy separation. Long-time locals will recall this venue under other names such as, but not limited to, Blueberry Hill and North Street Grill. The interior, for the most part, remains charming and unchanged.
The craft beer selection is adequate. There’s approximately 16 taps offering a mixed variety of common-micros and imports, with some notable local crafts. Bottle selection is mostly Macros. I’d put the true-craft line percentage somewhere between 25-30% of the selection and will most likely vary by visit.
This is probably one of the more troubling reviews I’ve had to write, and I honestly contemplated holding off until a 3rd-visit; however, a venue experience is just that, and should be shared for consideration.
Upon sitting at the bar, I was quickly greeted by the bartender who offered to take my drink order and inquired about my intentions to eat. I ordered a Dogfish 60-min IPA and requested a menu. In addition to my beer, I was handed a Valentines Fixed-Price menu ($40 I believe) for three-courses. I indicated I would have preferred to order off the regular and/or bar menu, but I was told it was unavailable that Thursday evening due to the Valentines Holiday. I fully support the desire for restaurateurs to offer limited or special menus on the Holiday Du Jour, but to hand this to a bar patron during happy hour who is not planning on getting a table is, in my opinion, of questionable judgment; especially if that venue is trying to cater to a craft beer crowd.
I re-iterated my desire to order a more simpler fare, but was firmly and politely denied. As a consolation, I was afforded the opportunity to order a small appetizer ala carte from the Fixed-Price Menu at a reasonable fee. Since these appetizers were intended to be a special off of a larger course-flight, I was concerned that the size wouldn’t be adequate and my suspicions were confirmed by other patrons who availed themselves of this opportunity. The $7 appetizers were more aligned with tapas-sized portions which, in my opinion, were over-priced as an ala carte offering. Further banter from my end with the bartender only resulted in “I don’t know what to tell you, I only work here”. I hate it when a server says this, it’s a reflection of a lack of understanding in good customer service. If she wasn’t empowered to handle my issue, she should have brought the manager or owner over to me. Instead, she suggest I go seek this person out --- not my job!
With regard to the beer, the bartender of the evening did not seem to be very knowledgeable about the craft beer offerings that were available. Captain Lawrence Seasonal was on tap, and a gentleman inquired as to which style it was. The bartender replied “I think it’s pumpkin, but I’m not sure” and handed out a sample. 1) Pumpkin in February is WAY off-season if in fact that’s what it was. 2) How about you find out and get back to the patron?!? It’s not enough to just display craft beer, the staff needs to be trained on it as well, and be up to speed with what’s in the keg.
Will I return to Eleven-11? Perhaps I will, but not for a while. There are other offerings in the area that measure up better with both selection and service. After a period of several months, I would hope to return and edit this review after actually being able to order from their everyday menu.
02-15-2013 20:16:17 | More by madmanjf
More User Reviews:
3.43/5 rDev +15.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5 | $$
I didn't get out much during a jaunt to Fishkill but I'm pretty sure Eleven 11 Grille and Spirits has the best beer selection in that neck of the woods. It has 16 taps with no macros--unless you count Yuengling Lager and a Boston Beer seasonal. The choices on hand offered a decent variety of styles. Eight bottled offerings were on hand. I didn't pay too much attention to those, many of which were of the ilk that would be of little interest to the likes of you. I enjoyed two drafts, a Blue Point Winter Ale and an Old Speckled Hen during my visit.
The restaurant and bar are very cozy. The building interior seems to take advantage of its old bones, featuring brick walls, hardwood floors and a painted wood ceiling. Eleven 11 has an ell-shaped 14-seat bar with the obligatory flat screens. What it does not have is a printed beer list, Patrons must rely on a chalkboard that very few bar sitters are able to see because of obstructions.
The average score came from the food which didn't meet expectations. I visited on a Sunday evening. Not too long after I settled in at the bar, a goodly number of wake-goers poured in. I'm pretty sure that the food prep wasn't affected by the rush, but service was. I'm giving the bartender a pass since she was clearly outnumbered by guests and was busier than a one-armed paper-hanger wrangling drink and food orders.
I ordered the Buffalo chicken wings for an appetizer. The "Buffalo" label is something of a misnomer as their wings are not the fried and saucy norm. Eleven 11's version seemed to be baked, maybe with a marinade for flavor. The bartender was far too preoccupied for me to quiz her about their making. I asked for the hot variety and found them to be mild. Not sure if this was a kitchen foul-up or just a peculiar notion about what "hot" is. Someone hankering for Buffalo wings is probably in for an unpleasant surprise. They weren't horrible, just a letdown.
I chose the Tostada Salad for my entree. This was a bit of an oddball, too. The salad came enclosed in a corn shell. The top of this shell had a 3" X 5" opening. Sitting below this small access hatch were toppings of guacamole, salsa, black beans and sour cream. This topping layer served as a roof over the salad bits below rendering them safe from any rain of the dressing that came on the side. To eat the salad in a normal fashion, I found it necessary to demolish the corn shell--which was not at all tasty--and mix things up.
I will not say that the food at Eleven 11 was bad. I think I chose poorly. I saw many other plates pass by my perch that looked pretty good. I would definitely return to Eleven 11 should business bring me back to Fishkill.
01-31-2013 19:11:35 | More by keymcgrip
Eleven 11 Grille & Spirits in Fishkill, NY
- out of 100 based on 2 ratings.