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the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
Since opening in late 2010, Flatiron’s massive Italian food emporium, Eataly, has become one of the city’s most tempting destinations. Still somehow, as if aisles upon aisles of specialty items, fresh produce and six full-service restaurants wasn’t alluring enough, Batali and the Bastianichs have upped the ante even further by debuting a 4,500-sq. foot brewery and restaurant on the roof.
Far from your typical brews and brats beer garden, Birreria is a rooftop oasis featuring artisanal house-crafted ales and a menu blending both the locally sourced and imported gourmet foods that Eataly is famous for. After an elevator ride to the 14th floor, large gleaming copper beer tanks give way to a 150-seat deck furnished with wooden tables, a lengthy bar and plenty of room to hang out. A retractable dome kept wet weather from raining on our parade as we dug into a filling red wine vinaigrette-dressed insalata composed of wax beans, roasted onion, potatoes, asparagus and capers.
Detailing farm and purveyor meat sources, the menu boasts flavorful grilled dishes like fat-marbled Donley Ranch skirt steak elevated by salsa verde, and a succulent salt-encrusted Pennsylvania chicken thigh with sweet corn, purslane stalks and olive-almond pesto sauce (the night’s clear standout). If you’re craving more traditional beer garden fare, don’t overlook the housemade sausages, especially a savory and sweet Emilia Romagna-inspired ground pork link spiced with warm clove and nutmeg. Vegetarians will delight in hearty mushroom entrées. We sampled whole roasted maitakes atop a bed of rich pecorino sardo crema, and sides like braised cabbage and pickled vegetables are excellent accompaniments.
To wash it all down, choose from three unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally carbonated ales brewed on-site, nine Italian and American draft microbrews, more than 30 bottled beers and select wines on tap. Plan ahead to snag a coveted dinner reservation, then sit back, relax and say Ciao to a roof-raising good time.