For the third year in a row, I’m going to attempt to eat every single item on Time Out New York’s annual 100 Best Dishes list. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100.┬áLet the gluttony continue…

Pairing food and beer has become much more popular in the last few years. Fortunately, the food is no longer limited to chicken wings or a slice of pizza. I think that’s clearly evident at Eataly’s realtively new rooftop beer garden. Birreria also has an extensive menu of cheeses, sausages, and meats, but TONY directed us to the section of the menu I would have looked at last: the funghi (mushroom) section. Not usually what I think of when I think bar food.

Since we also came here to sample the beer for my beer journey (check out a separate review here) and dinner was imminent, this was the only menu item we tried. This is a rather small plate of lots of flavor. They roast meaty maitake mushrooms and then place them on mounds of creamy pecorino sardo cheese. Roasted brussels sprouts and olive oil (not to mention the Eataly name) dot the plate.

The mushrooms were unbelievable, with earthy, umami flavors. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought I was eating meat. I found the cheese a little too pungent and strong and while I understand the flavor combination, I felt like the cheese overpowered the spectacular mushrooms just a bit. But that being said, all the flavors were vibrant and the ingredients no doubt fresh.

And I could see how they would pair well with one of their smoky, earthy ales. But this is one dish you’ll never see at your local dive bar, so I don’t think it will be catching on in this country any time soon.

Would Birreria (Eataly)’s Maitake Con Pecorino Sardo make my Top 100 of the year? I really loved those mushrooms which were roasted to perfection, but I wasn’t a fan of the overwhelming cheese bringing this down to an 8 out of 10.

LA BIRRERIA AT EATALY
200 Fifth Avenue (between 23rd and 24th Street),
14th Floor
Flatiron District
(212) 539-0204
eatalyny.com/birreria
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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