Now this is a place to grab a proper pint! You ever see the outside of an establishment and then wander inside and feel as if you just walked into an optical illusion? I felt like we walked into a movie set or somewhere in another country. Cask Bar & Kitchen is like that. It takes you away and feel as you are no longer in NYC for a few hours. What amazing decor and ambience. Dark woods, wrought iron railings, candles, oil lamps, cool hanging filament lighting, all types of antique radios and articles are placed on shelves throughout. Brick walls adorned with old paintings and barrel tops add to the classic comfort feel of this fine bar/restaurant. The lighting is dark and romantic inside which adds to the overall vibe. Good selection of music playing just tops it off.
I put my name on the waiting list and told it would be a 30 minute wait. No problem as we found some empty seats at the large bar and settled in for a few tasty beers. They carry a real nice selection of craft beers and cask ales. We went for Ommegang Rare Vos which is a terrific creamy amber Belgian style beer. The bartenders are very accommodating here and they gave us samples of a few beers to try, and were actually very knowledgeable in describing them. Very friendly, hospitable, and beer nerds – always a plus.
The hostess came by and told me she had a table ready in the downstairs area. She said if we wanted to wait for another 10 minutes she could hook us up with a better table in the top floor dining area. I thought this was very kind of her and she was so nice about it. We waited and took the better table which was in a nice spot up against a brick wall. Another staff person came by to lead us to our table and offered to take our drinks to it, and even offered to hang our coats on the wall rack. I have to admit, the staff here is really friendly and outgoing! Great job!
Our waiter came by and brought over a half loaf of bread with oil and olive dip, along with a bottle of water for the table. Bread is served rustic style on a wood carving board and a big knife. As it was our first time here I asked for a few suggestions. He said the Philly cheesesteak eggrolls were a good starter so we said “why not”? These evil creations were melt in your mouth fatty goodness. But, oh my, those dipping sauces! One was a chili mayo based sauce. The other was like liquefied smoked bacon! Oh yeah!
We decided to share a few entrees. Baked truffle mac and cheese was rich and creamy. It had a baked breadcrumb top that I love so much. Definitely filling and a lot to eat for one person. Also went with the steak flatbread. This was terrific. Steak sliced and cooked medium rare, red in the middle and moist. On a long flatbread with portabello mushrooms, caramelized onions, red cabbage, and melted gorgonzola spread on the top. It is cut into sections for easy access. Served on a long board with a salad at the end and a light dressing on it. This was just too much food and we could not eat it all. I was waiving the white flag near the end signalling that I had enough. When our waiter came by with the dessert menu we just laughed at him. He was a really good guy and jokingly knew we were done.
Yes, this meal was a cardiologists delight! Oh, the gluttony!
If you go here for dinner try to get a spot in the upstairs area. The downstairs also has a bar and small dining area, not as large or nice as upstairs, but is a cozy place to grab a drink. The upstairs has a long communal table right in the middle of the floor which would be great for a group to dine together. The menu prices are not too bad and are actually very affordable. The selections are what I would call gourmet pub fare. Very good overall. Beers are fairly priced for craft styles. Terrific spot to grab a drink, dine as a couple, dinner with a group, or take a date. Great staff, attentive bartenders and waiters, friendly hostess. Even as we were walking out everyone said thanks and wished us a good night. Will be back just for the terrific atmosphere and friendliness of the staff. We have to sample more of the great beers and food here soon!
(Above photos credit – Cask Bar & Kitchen )
Cask Bar & Kitchen - http://www.casknyc.com/index.htm