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Belgian Beer & More?

My friend and I are visiting NYC in a few weeks. He's a bit of a beer snob and I'm looking for a restaurant (not a bar) with a great beer list (on tap and/or bottled) and delicious food. He's a big fan of Belgian beers (Maredsous, Duvel) and German wheat beers (Paulaner, Hoegaarden) but not a fan of pilsners and/or most American microbrews. We're staying near Grand Central but would happy travel to any neighborhood!

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  1. Cafe d'Alsace on the Upper Eastside is your place. 80+ beers plus a beer sommelier to guide you through the list. Your friend will not be disappointed.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cortez

      The Belgian beer bar is on west 4th street. Although it is primarily a bar, they serve some limited food (like delicious pomme frittes).

      1. re: zoeterry

        It's called Vol de Nuit, if you're looking it up. Other bars with lots of beer (though not sure about the food), are the Ginger Man on 36th street, or the Spuyten Devil if you're up for a jaunt to Williamsburg.

    2. Resto - a new Belgian restaurant in the Murray Hill area.

      1. For Belgian beer and Belgian food: Cafe de Bruxelles or Petite Abeille

        I haven't yet been to Markt (going in a couple of weeks). I've been to and been underwhelmed by Resto.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Lucia

          Markt has a good beer selection (including dessert beer) and decent food. I would just recommend ordering the mussels. The service was very friendly too.

          1. re: Lucia

            Based on the overwhelming good reviews Resto is currently receiving, I am not surprised that you were underwhelmed. Seems like once expectations are that high, nothing ever lives up.

            1. re: elizabeththinks

              That wasn't really the case for me. Some of the food was very good, but when a Belgian restaurant makes mediocre moules frites, it's not a good sign.

          2. Two places as already mentioned are Mrkt and Cafe des Bruxelles. Both places are great, Mrkt is a bit hipper.

            On a side note, why is it in America whenever anyone likes to enjoy something of high quality, he is automatically labeled a snob?

            5 Replies
            1. re: nokitsch

              So true. I guess I am a beer snob then! Best choices are Markt and Vol de Nuit. Also though Gramercy Tavern has a Great Beer list including some vintage Belgians and German beers that are pricey but amazing. Their normal beer list isn't too shabby either. Then you could also have food there in the tavern room.

              1. re: roze

                The only thing is that Vol de Nuit is not a restaurant, it might mislead the OP. They do serve mussels and fries, but sometimes they don't have mussels, so fries only.

                1. re: nokitsch

                  And a Belgian beer "snob" will not be very impressed by the selection at Vol de Nuit. The Belgian Room at Hop Devil Grill or Spuyten Duyvil are much better. But these are not restaurants. I was looking forward to trying Resto until the Times review (= impossible to get in for three months). Disappointing to hear about the moules, but it was the meaty stuff that Bruni was rhapsodizing about so i would still give Resto a shot.

                  1. re: kenito799

                    The Belgian Room has food, as it's connected to Hop Devil Grill through a door in the back (currently staff only). It's your best bet in Manhattan for Belgian beers, and they have some Belgian food (frites, moules, etc) along with Hop Devil's menu of reasonably tasty bar food.

                    Tap and bottle selection: http://www.belgianroom.com/

                    1. re: Andrew P.

                      Yes they have food but the place is really a bar, not a restaurant. The food is not bad but nothing special (haven't tried the moules, based on fries and sandwiches I am not too hopeful). I love the Belgian Room.

            2. While it's not the best Belgian restaurant in NYC (Resto for food and Cafe d'Alsace for beer selection), what Petite Abeille has is 50% off beer Mondays.

              That way you can justify the insanely priced $55 Deus into a .... slightly less insanely priced $27.50 Deus...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Nightspect

                Second that! When we first discovered that deal (after fortunate jury duty) last summer we were there pretty much every Monday for 3-4 months -- and got obsessed with Deus ^-^

              2. For an amazing beer selection, try the gingerman-its a pub but has 65-70 beers on tap and over 120 bottles. The food there is ok though it is limited to sandwiches and salads (and a cheeseboard designed for beers).
                For restaurants, nothing really comes to mind, but you may want to try B.Cafe on the upper east...

                1 Reply
                1. re: scanditrash

                  I'll second Petite Abielle. The place is great ( I've only been to the Tribeca location) and has one of my fav. beers: Tripel Karmeliet.
                  They have some kind of a deal mon-thursday but the 1/2 monday beer is great.