With craft-beer bars proliferating these days, only a blockbuster like Eataly’s rooftop brewpub could stir you from your IPA-induced stupor. While other newcomers fostered loyal regulars, La Birreria has been a destination drinkery since Day One, practically demanding a pilgrimage to its lofty perch to worship at the altar of Italian brewing. Finally, Gotham’s brewhounds had a direct line to one of the world’s most exciting new beer regions: an unprecedented stash of beers from the Boot, as well as innovative house-made ales reflecting trends on both sides of the Atlantic. You guzzled them all with accomplished rustic eats (fat probusto sausages, fennel-laced quail, gorgeous salumi) that were as satisfying 15 stories high as they would be at a taverna in the Italian alps. 200 Fifth Ave at 23rd St (212-937-8910, eatalyny.com/eat/birreria)
The menu of Southern soul food favorites at this Windsor Terrace restaurant takes inspiration from chef Chris Scott’s childhood. Some of the dishes, like scrapple ($6), a pork loaf that’s seared and served with okra chow chow, are adaptations of his nana’s recipes. Others put a playful spin on beloved classics: The whites of the deviled eggs are deep-fried, then topped with an egg yolk mousse and collard green cracker ($7) while the corn-on-the-cob is dusted in cornmeal, fried, then doused with homemade ranch and bacon ($5). The list of entrees includes a lemonade-buttermilk fried chicken and biscuits ($18), pepper pot shrimp with peppers and onions ($21) and beer-braised brisket with grits and molasses gravy ($22). Order up a side of baked mac n’ cheese ($8) or green beans cooked with smoked turkey neck ($5) if your stomach can handle it, or save your appetite for the banana pudding ($6) or church cake ($7).
Venue says: “Come and See us in the Mac and Cheese Smackdown, hosted by Time Out New York at Berg'n on April 24th!”