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Apr 22, 2009 02:58 PM

Beer Table--it's a joke, right?

I went to Beer Table last night, very excited to try new beers and to have their Tuesday prix fixe dinner, as I have read so many good things about it. But the whole experience left me feeling like the emperor has no clothes.

The beer list is interesting, sure. But come on, the choices of beers under $14 was miniscule, and very rapidly the prices went up to the $30s, $50s and even one bottle for over $100. How can it not be possible to curate an interesting list in a price range that is at least faintly affordable, especially these days?

And the prix fixe menu was laughable, both on paper and on the plate. OK, it was only $25. But a small plate of string beans that were highly unmemorable (at dessert, when I said it was much better than the first course, all three of my companions said, "What was the first course? I forgot.") and a mound of dandelion greens in bacon grease with two pieces of fatty bacon on top is NOT a meal. I will admit the large lemon square with a terrific salty crust for dessert was good, but I left feeling like it was oversized to make me forget that it was essentially all I'd eaten.

Rarely have I felt so taken in by a place. Is anyone with me?

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  1. Beer Table ain't cheap, neither the food nor the beers they sell, but I've never felt like I wasn't getting what I paid for. Many of their more expensive beers so far removed from the beers you can find even at a place like the Blind Tiger that it seems odd to call them by the same word. Twice my wife and I have ordered a barley wine that cost $28 and was only 275ml, and both times we've split it and had it as dessert - one we could barely finish from being so rich (it drinks like smokey molasses and stays on the palate forever).

    In other words, reverse what you would normally pay for food and drink at a restaurant: at Beer Table, a $15 or $30 bottle essentially serves as your main course, with $8 worth of food as a chaser. It's a completely different experience, but worth it if you're in the right mood.

    3 Replies
    1. re: cjd260

      I felt the same way as the original poster regarding the beer until I saw some of these beers in stores priced more than they cost at Beer Table. And that's if you can even find them. I've not tried the food, but the bottle prices are reasonable, considering the mark-up you see fine wines.

      Given that, it'd be nice if they sold some of their more expensive bottled offerings on a "specials" basis by the glass.

      1. re: lambretta76

        They do offer some of the more expensive stuff by the glass.

      2. re: cjd260

        I've been a regular at Beer Table since the week it opened. It's not a place one should go to "slam back" a few cold ones (which I enjoy doing as well). It's "higher end", (not cheap), but worth it to try beers that one simply will not be able to try anywhere else. He is able to source kegs and bottles that other establishments simply cannot obtain.

        The food menu is limited, but their chef is terrific, and the food is tasty and hits the spot.

      3. First we had wine snobs. Now with the recession in place, we have beer snobs? Yikes!!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Brklynbobby

          Beer snobs have existed for many years but Beer Table takes it to a new level. And I think... that's great. Don't like it? Don't go! They love complex weirdo beers, Belgian and otherwise, and they introduce a whole new level of pleasure to geeks and ordinary pleasure-seekers alike. I admit, though, that I've never tried the food there. I drink my calories!!!!!!!

        2. The level of obscurity and quality of the beer they sell is so far beyond any other beer bar I've been to that the prices are completely justified to me. I recently served a keg at a party and tried to get some of the things they serve through Bierkraft and they quoted me more than 500 for a keg.

          I don't think its for everyone though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: brooklyndude

            It should be noted that I'm a bit of a beer geek and am really impressed with a place where I don't recognize half of what is on the menu. When I get a couple extra bucks, I like to go here for a quiet, tasty, slow sipping brew and just chill. If I'm looking for a normal Friday night few pints, I'm not going to Beer Table. The prices for the beers they carry are much more expensive than you could get at somewhere like 4th Ave Pub or Pac Standard. For their niche, they do it well.