Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Mixed Bag

It was a lovely sunny day and late in the afternoon I got a hankering for a nice Belgium beer. I decided to head to Greenwich Village and hit a place that I had been thinking about for awhile (saving it, kind of).

422) Bruxelles

As you might imagine from the name, this is a Belgium restaurant and bar. It is located at the angular corner of Greenwich Avenue and 13th Street. This makes the place somewhat triangular with a narrow, blunt end at the intersection and then gradually widening as you make your way back into the dining rooms. There is a small window on the very narrow wall with a little table there and windows on the other two walls in the bar area. The bar has a wooden top largely covered by what looks like hammered tin sheeting. It has a brass foot rail. Black bar stools with black vinyl cushions. A large selection of bottled Belgium beer (nothing on draft). Wooden floors and walls that are light green on top and dark green below window level. The narrow wall in front and the walls with the doorways to the dining areas are old brick. A dark wood beam with protruding brass tubes hangs above the bar and serves as a glass-holder. Wine selections and dinning specials are written in white chalk on three small blackboards that hang on the walls. Black shelves, wine racks, and coolers sit behind the bar. There is one large mirror next to the window behind the bar.

I had a refreshing bottle of Vuuve and headed back to Brooklyn.

423) Henry Street Ale House

There were a couple of places in my neighborhood that don't open until a bit later in the day so I figured this might be a good time to check them out. Henry Street Ale House is a narrow, dark place located on, guess what, Henry Street, between Orange Street and Cranberry Street. It has wood paned windows opening onto the street. A dark wood bar with a marble topped foot rest. Dark bar chairs. A large mirror behind the bar with bottles on tiered shelves flanking an impressive pumping station with 16 beers on draft, and a very nice selection of beers, I might add. On either side of the tiered shelves were bookcase like shelves holding a good selection of single malt Scotch, CDs, and glasses. It looks like patterned tin paneling on the walls to about waist height and dark red paint above. Small, orange cylinderical lights hang above the bar and blue lights hang on the walls. Small tables and chairs and a couple of booths in a nook in the back. A tannish tile floor.

The bartender was quite knowledgeable about beers and local bars so we had a nice chat.

There was, as I said, a large selection of beers but I had Belgium type beers on my mind so I had a Brooklyn Weiss, very nice indeed. Shameless plug here, I like Brooklyn Brewery beers.

424) Chez Henry

Well, this is a no-brainer, a French bistro located at 60 Henry Street, On the corner of Henry and Cranberry Streets. The very friendly bartendress engaged me in conversation from the moment I entered so I didn't have much of a chance to take notes. Talking to her was more fun anyway. The bar was copper topped and the walls were salmon colored. Copper pans hung on tile walls and the floors are old wooden planks. There are glass shelves behind the bar and an nice mirror with cut-glass edging. There is a nice selection of liquors. Old style lights hang from the ceiling and copper colored track lighting illuminate the bar. No restaurant on this corner ever seems to last and, given that the owner of this place owned a bar and restaurant just around the corner from where I lived that recently shuttered, I don't hold out much hope for this place. I hope I am wrong but it is a nice looking place with, as I mentioned, a very friendly bartendress.

I had another Brooklyn Weiss and headed on home.

This makes 424 for the year and 576 to go.

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