The high ceilings and glassware wall. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.
The towering beer cellar. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.
A view of the main dining room. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.
A report from Dana Massey-Todd: It seems the fancification of beer has come to stay, and I’ve got no complaints if beautiful places to drink it keep popping up. This time, from co-owners and cellarmaster Christian Albertson and chef Adam Dulye of ~MONK’S KETTLE~ comes ~THE ABBOT’S CELLAR~, where beer will be treated with the same reverence as wine. Seriously, their glassware selection is no joke and ensures that the right beer goes in the right glass for optimal flavor and aroma.
In addition to a wall of glasses, the back of the space features a tower—or aboveground cellar—of stone that keeps the beers stored at the perfect temperature. Yep, it’s a beer cellar, and it looks like it’s straight out of Middle Earth. There will be 20 rotating beers on tap and at least 100 bottled options (Albertson curates the selection with co-beer director and cicerone Mike Reis). There will also be a nightly prix-fixe menu with beer pairings, and daily selections of “beer by the glass” from 750ml beer bottles, so sippers can try those suds without springing for the whole bottle. Beer as wine all the way! As for wine, consultant Alex Finberg has 20 wines by the glass available.
The menu will change daily, so come prepared to try something new every time! Some examples of dishes that might appear are beef bone marrow with house pastrami, spicy greens, pickled mustard seeds, and rye; braised goat ragù with gnocchi and pecorino; and ricotta agnolotti with peas, pea tendrils, and smoked lemon butter. All dishes will be crafted to pair well with their beers, and those seeking a true pairing experience can go the prix-fixe route.
The space, as many have noted, is big. Really big. 3,000-square-feet big. The building is built out from a 100-year-old garage (it’s the same building as Craftsman and Wolves) with 24-foot ceilings. The whole space has been updated by Lundberg Design with rustic wood paneling, stone, steel, and skylights, and can seat up to 100 beer lovers. The tables were designed and built by Tyler S. Bradford (a tablehopper reader, woohoo!) from reclaimed wood. Bradford built a magetized cubbyholes into the tabletops that can hold leatherbound menus. It’s a unique storage solution, and the sleek ingenuity of it highlights how much close attention has been paid to details. Speaking of neat details, be sure to check out the bathroom sink, which was custom-poured by Concreteworks to look like a beer bottle.
The bar is long and faces the open kitchen and taps. In front is a communal table, and toward the back is an area that can be made into a semi-private space for groups up to 20. Reservations can be made via the website. The opening date is Wednesday July 25th. Hours will be Sun-Thu 5pm-11pm and Fri-Sat 5pm-12am. 742 Valencia St. at 18th St.