New York City, as everyone knows, is a non-stop thrill ride of a city. From white-knuckled rides in the omnipresent New York taxi cabs to the noisy crush of humanity known as the subway, New York is a never-ending onslaught of sounds, sights, sensations and even smells. So, where do world-weary New Yorkers go when they want a bit of a respite from the rat race? Many opt for a rooftop in the Flatiron district above the insanely popular Eately Italian market and restaurant complex. At Birreria guests can settle down to a well-crafted beer and a delicious meal while enjoying the skyline of one of the world’s greatest cities.
Birreria is a collaboration on several fronts. First, the restaurant is a meeting of the minds of famed chef and television personality Mario Batali and restaurateur Joe Bastianich through the group they own. the food, as one would imagine from this powerhouse duo, is superb. The menu includes a long list of Italian specialties and even a few German favorites. But, it is the marriage of of Dogfish Head Brewing Company, Baladin and Birra Del Borgo that truly stands out. The three breweries collaborated for the restaurant to brew unfiltered, unpasteurized, naturally carbonated cask ales in a 5-barrel brewing system right on the premises.
The bar boasts 20 taps with beers culled from the portfolios of the three collaborators and local New York breweries. On our visit they were pouring Other Half Brewing Short, Dark, & Handsome Stout, Baladin Nora, Dogfish Head Chicory Stout, Birra del Borgo Hoppy Cat, Black IPA and Empire Brewing Amber.
The three beers produced on site are made with a process combining aspects of both Italian and American brewing methods. The beers are cask conditioned and change with the seasons, but a classic Italian mild chestnut ale named Wanda was on tap and quite delicious.
Because the rooftop is enclosed in a glass structure that resembles a greenhouse, it is open year-round providing breath-taking views of the city particularly at night when the buildings light up like glittering jewel boxes reaching for the sky. In the summer, Birreria is a welcome respite from the sweltering heat of the city and in the winter it is a toasty — thanks to the many space heaters — retreat from the Christmas crowds below.
For any beer-lover who is also interested in outstanding food and unique atmosphere, Birreria is a must-visit. But, get there early, the line at the ground-floor check-in desk grows quickly as the work day ends.
For a look inside Birreria, watch the video below.
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