I walked into the moderately sized, warmly furnished room and took a seat at the bar where Michael, one of B&B's bartenders, greeted me. Michael supplied me with a wine list and the first thing I noticed were the "By The Barrel" wines, served on tap. The wines are locally made in Brooklyn, using grapes from Northfolk, Long Island; being at Burger & Barrel, I decided to give one of the 'barrel wines' a try.
The choices were: chardonnay, vermentino, cabernet blend and syrah. (and nicely priced at just $8 a glass) I opted for syrah, but Michael later informed me that they were out of syrah; in fact, the only wine they had on tap was the chardonnay. I instead went with a glass of their Argentinian malbec ($13) which did not disappoint. Michael then shook my hand, congratulating me as having "the first pour of wine to the public."
As I sipped my malbec, I scrolled over B&B's menu noticing: six different burgers (including the no-longer-a-secret Bash Burger), beef carpaccio, a $10 spiked shake and a salty peanut butter brownie sundae (which I plan to go back for).
After just one glass of wine, I had to scurry back out into the rain to head to DUMBO, Brooklyn for TRANSIT's Corps Exquis show at Galapagos Art Space. The ensemble put on a stellar show and even with the inclement weather, still managed to pull in a full house. At the end, they were all relieved that the five-plus-months-in-the-making performance was finally over and done with.
TRANSIT. Watch a clip of CORPS EXQUIS here.
Post show, we all walked over to reBar for celebratory drinks and snacks. The weather being much cooler than I'd anticipated, I was still in the mood for some red. I ordered a glass of malbec, at the bar, while David opted for a glass of blanc de blanc champagne. Not having had dinner yet, I also ordered a reBar burger with blue cheese and bacon. The malbec was nice and kept me satiated while I waited for my burger to arrive...
When the plate was finally set before me, I was disappointed to find that not only did the burger appear to not be medium-rare, as I had specified, but there also appeared to be American cheese on the top half of the bun in addition to the blue cheese, I had requested, on the patty. That was a combination I was not willing to try. I left the top on the side.
I cut my first bite of the reBar burger and was (unexpectedly) very pleasantly surprised. The burger was full of flavor with a slightly creamy, fully flavorful blue cheese and what seemed to be hand-cut fresh bacon. As I had suspected, the burger wasn't cooked as I had specified, but it didn't diminish my satisfaction.
Also atop the patty were finely chopped onions which added yet another unexpectedly tasty element to the burger. After finishing the burger, I moved on the the "banished bun," deciding I'd give it a try. I topped the bun with a few pickle slices and some burger remnants for the "second course" of my reBar burger. What I'd thought was American cheese, turned out to be harissa mayonnaise. My little pickle sandwich was delicious.
When I ordered my reBar burger at the bar, I had asked for the 'burger only.' But David was ordering a "bag of fries" so we instead decided to order the burger, as is, and David would eat the fries. After a few bites of my burger, I tried one of the fries, then a couple, then a couple more; but with each passing bite (which I kept expecting would be better than the one before) the fries didn't deliver. I told David I found the too-skinny-fries "offensive" and "why [did they] bother making them?" If you order a burger at reBar, don't eat the fries; give them to someone else.
B&B, 25 West Houston Street, Manhattan
reBar, 147 Front Street, Brooklyn