July 12, 2013

July 12, 2013
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The entrance (and some seating) at Mikkeller Bar. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Some of the shiny taps at Mikkeller Bar. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Last night I was rolling deep in the Tenderloin to check out the new ~MIKKELLER BAR~, the first U.S. location of the famous Copenhagen beer bar (it’s a partnership from Chuck Stilphen of The Trappist/Trappist Provisions and Mikkel Borg Bjergsø of Mikkeller). The former Crash Nightclub is nicely tricked out, with plenty of blond wood tables, and a spacious horseshoe bar in the center with room for 30 where you can gaze longingly at the 40 taps (plus two cask handles). Add in some pleasant dim light, brick walls, quirky art, and industrial touches (like antique streetlight fixtures from Copenhagen), and it all comes together for a cool, clean look (by Martin Heid Design/Build). There’s also a room downstairs (the Tivoli Sour Room) with space for 36, where lambics and sour beers are served, which will also be used for events and parties.

I thoroughly enjoyed my glass of the Mikkeller Tenderloin Pilsner, which was hoppy and a bit more full-bodied and chewy than your usual pilsner—it was like a love child of a pils and pale ale. Hearts. (There’s also a Mikkeller TenderBrown Ale, Tenderloin Wit, and Spontanale.) The knowledgeable staff (they are all certified cicerones) has you covered: I was also poured (and educated) on two beers from De la Senne, the elegant Taras Boulba and the tropical fruity Jambe-de-Bois. There will be plenty of rare selections on draft and in the bottle to keep you coming back, like, a lot.

There is an extensive offering of beer-friendly food from chef Michael O’Brien (of Church Key in Washington, D.C.). The opening menu includes some cheese and charcuterie options (of course)—and in coming months, look for the charcuterie to be housemade. There’s also housemade sausages, like bratwurst, mettwurst (smoked pork summer sausage), and merguez (you can get them in a sandwich or as a platter with fries or a salad, $14). Bar snacks (like soft pretzel rolls with beer mustard), check. Appetizers include fish and potato cakes with rémoulade ($12) and Korean-style chicken wings ($12), plus some salads too. Sandwiches include house-smoked pastrami on rye ($13), a Reuben ($16), and a smoked “char siu” tofu bahn mi ($12). You can also tuck into some larger plates, like the Mikkeller steak frites ($25) or ling cod with gremolata over “ratatouille” ($21).

Mikkeller Bar softly opens tonight, with grand opening events scheduled for Friday August 9th and that weekend. Follow them on Facebook for updates and more. Hours are Sun-Wed 12pm-12am, Thu-Sat 12pm-2am. 34 Mason St. at Turk, 415-984-0279.

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