427B Seventh Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 965-1196

Last week, when lighting storms and tornadoes threatened our fair burg, I zipped off to Brooklyn with Bro to try out Beer Table, the Park Slope restaurant that features artisinal, imported, ultra-small batch brews. The staff are like sommeliers, describing their menu with terms normally bandied about at wine bars. Hints of honey, bubblegum, fruit, chocolate, nuts, earth, etc. The menu is large and changes daily.

The food menu at Beer Table is very small and changes frequently. In fact, by the time you read this, it may have shifted. There's a small variety of bar snacks, and then a handful each of appetizers, entrees and desserts. For $25, you choose one of each. None of them are very big (in fact, Beer Table could classify as a small plates restaurant), but believe me when I say that you'll wind up licking your plates clean.

Beer Table's one flaw, and it's a big one, is it's space. It's claustrophobically small. There are a handful of long tables where everyone sits medieval style. This wouldn't be so bad if the stools weren't crammed so tightly. So you're guaranteed to have your neighbor's elbow squarely in your ribs. Bro and I were lucky in so far as we had our own table at the back near the kitchen and the tap.

Before we ordered appetizers, Bro and I ordered some snacks. Cheddar Pennies with Ham and Gerald Peppered Beef Jerky. The beef jerky was extremely good. Moist (very peppery) and filled with flavor. Sometimes you order jerky and it's like eating strips of leather that had been left soaking in beef broth for a week. Not the case here. And don't associate beef jerky with Slim Jims. It's like associating Mexican food with Taco Bell. The cheddar pennies were less than fantastic. They were sorta like eating fancy Combos. But they were good to nosh on while sipping a microbrew and deciding what we wanted from the menu.

From the menu, Bro chose the Pickled and Fresh Watermelon with Cayenne and Basil. It is as it's described. Spicy-assed watermelon. Bro ordered a glass of milk to temper the heat. You'll either love it or hate it. My starter was the Arugula with Pickled Ramps Bacon and Parmigiano Reggiano with a dash of sea salt. It's a small salad. Tasty. Ramps, for those not in the know, are basically a wild onion that grow upstate. In fact, my friend's dad's girlfriend's son (I know, confusing) picks and sells them here in the city. He may have well sold these.

Bro ordered the Beef and Pork Chili, made with jalapenos and red onion. I felt that it was a little bit on the bland side, but he thought that it was just incredible. It was not a spicy chili, should those of you be wondering. The jalapenos were on top and only if you chose to take a bite with one on your fork would there be any burn. My entree was the Caramelized Bacon, served over roasted potatoes with chives. The caramelizing was helped in large part by having the bacon drenched in the golden deliciousness that is honey. Lest there be confusion, this isn't bacon like you get in the supermarket. This is heavy, smoky, very thick. The flavor has seeped so deeply into wherever this pig came from that even the fat, which you normally would eschew, becomes something you would gladly chew. The potatoes were excellent as well, and yes, I may have run my finger along the base of the plate a few times after it had been finished. If dessert wasn't coming, I might have ordered another round.

But dessert was coming and Bro and I both chose the Butterscotch Pudding, topped with apricots and sea salt. Like a creamy Werther's Original, this was a pretty good dessert on its own. It wasn't bad but I wouldn't write home about it. Suddenly, you take in a bite with a grain of sea salt and it's an entirely new animal. The salt makes the dish, and the next thing you know, you're finding yourself running your finger along the bottom of the bowl to get the last bits of a dessert that started off as "just okay".

Dinners are $25 for an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert. We ordered two dinners, but also two snacks, two glasses of beer, and a 750mL bottle of La Bavaisienne, a sweet dark French beer that was recommended by our beer sommelier. He did a good job, lemme tell ya. All this cost us $134.

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