Beer sure has come a long way from bottles of Bud and Miller Light at dive bars. In New York alone, there are over 100 local breweries, producing beverages that are every bit as nuanced, and painstakingly hand crafted, as fine wine. Which means, you’ll generally find at least a small selection of beer at even the most high-end restaurants nowadays, such as Jean-Georges, Le Bernardin and Eleven Madison Park.
But Stanton Street Kitchen — a brand, new Lower East Side eatery — is especially dedicated to the pairing potential of food and beer. So instead of allowing suds to run distant second to vino, or focusing on meaty, greasy gastropub fare, it ably treads the line between the two; offering a beer menu as extensive and thoughtfully curated as any wine list, and composed dishes that wouldn’t be out of place at one of New York’s better restaurants.
It helps that chef & owner Erik Blauberg did eight years at the 21 Club, and is therefore well-versed in transforming humble hamburgers into haute cuisine. So don’t expect jalapeno poppers and chicken wings on Stanton Street Kitchen’s menu. Instead, you’ll choose from Beer Bites, such as a Piperade of Stewed Beans with quail egg, Small Plates (including 12-Hour Cured Pork Belly with apple), Large Plates (Handmade Pappardelle with braised oxtail), Grilled or Roasted Meats (Sous Vide Kaffir Infused Lamb Shank), or even a full Chefs Feast; a lovely progression of off-menu, seasonally-inspired items, followed by dessert from pastry chef Conrad Miller (a vet of Jacques Torres and Vosges, so count on something chocolate, like a dreamy Soufflé).
You’ll want to call upon the house Cicerone — the beer version of a Sommelier — to guide you through the impressive assortment of 100+ bottles, organized from lightest (Kolsch, Saison, Pale Ale, IPA) to darkest (Doppel Bock, Belgian Tripel, Porter, Stout). Or better yet, have him pour you a flight of drafts, designed to suit both your personal tastes and complement your meal. We couldn’t have been happier with our roster of Evil Giant Rye IPA, Barrier White IPA, Other Half’s Cannibal and Sixpoint Beast Mode Porter, which accommodated our preference for summery, citrusy, bitter hops, while still playing beautifully with the refined, wintry flavors put forth by the chef.
While it’s become increasingly acceptable to order beer with your food, at Stanton Street Kitchen, it’s a pleasure to discover beyond-burger food that can truly stand up to the beer.