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Friday, April 26, 2013

Peachy Picks Draught 55 Our Coverage Sponsored by Hallak Cleaners the Couture Cleaner

Owner Katrina McNamee and Executive Chef Christie Flanagan

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Obviously, anything boys can do girls can do better especially when they are IRISH, and that maxim was just recently reinforced by Katrina and Christie of Draught 55, undoubtedly the hottest Irish gastropub in town.  It boasts a myriad of craft beer options, so if you are into Craft beer, this is the place for you.  If you are not, have no fear as the food trumps even the beer!  As you recall, Draught 55 was first featured in Terrific Takeout:
and it advanced to Tasty Tidbits:
Draught 55 has earned a spot in Peachy's Picks!  It has fantastic cuisine in a jovial atmosphere with top service and a great ownership team (though we have yet to meet the four men involved... but you see the two stars at the top.)  It is hard to believe that it was just opened in December 2012 as it has a strong following and an established feel to it.  Katrina is very dedicated to getting every last detail right and is super-organized we can tell, and also she's meticulous.  We were greeted with House Made Peter Piper's Pickles-a pot of Founders Ale Soaked Pickled Cukes.  They were fresh and it is unusual to encounter such pickles of originality that are also homemade.
You know Peachy tried that other stout on the takeout review, but you really cannot mess with the perfection of Guinness.  Even the toucan says Guinness is good for you and we firmly believe that, in moderation of course.  Details are not lost on us, and if you look closely from above, you can see this Guinness was properly pulled with a Shamrock design:
We will admit as adventurous as we may be with red wines from Italy, we honestly cannot say we've expanded our horizons in beer.  Yet.  Peachy Deegan was fast friends with the Guinness for the duration of the evening, however if you are a beer connoisseur you will find that the beer list has what is on tap with Draught, Style, ABV and Pour listed and on the reverse, you see 
bottled and canned selections.  We challenge you to find a beer that they don't have!
If you looked at that picture standalone from this post, you'd think you were in a fine dining atmosphere.   This is not your average bar at all.  And since when would we be featuring anything average.  This is the Modern Irish Gastropub of Manhattan, and Executive Chef Christie Flanagan has a degree from the CIA and a resume that includes past experiences at 
Chez Pascal in Providence, Larry Forgiones's American place, Gigi's trattoria, Michael Jordan's steakhouse and Michael Jordan's sport cafe.  Above we see the incomparable Slow Roasted Pork Belly, which was just divine.  The outside was crisp and the inside was tender and the autumn maple brown sugar sauce added a supremely decadent touch.  Deep fried pickles added some nice flavor and texture to the delightful appetizer.
If you are munching at the bar and have a sweet tooth, you ought to try the spiced bacon and peanut brittle.  Note that the casual chic gastropub decor inside is tip top and was just renovated prior to opening.
If you are a frequent reader of this column, you know we are an advocate of getting our vegetables in (did you see the Church Brothers hit parade this week)...and we were thrilled to learn of the Kale Salad, which was a special.  This may not sound exciting at first, however, when you learn that there is strawberry balsamic glaze involved, you will be willing to give it a try.  When it arrives in front of you and you discover the authenticity of that glaze and spear your fork into raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries topped off with amazing avocado on top, you'll know you ordered the best salad you've had in awhile!  The kale was sliced smartly in bite-sized pieces and the dressing was not at all overwhelming-it was refreshing.   Also, the presentation was beautiful.
The 8oz sliced grilled pub fillet was calling our name when we saw it on the menu although there is quite an array of convincing entrees to choose from.  You can be assured that these Irish girls know how to do potatoes and they are the foundation on the bottom of this masterpiece-mashed with milk stout and further enhanced with halved roasted brussel sprouts which we adored.  The filet itself was decadently tender and sliced bathing in a luxurious beurre rouge sauce.  The final touch: alder smoked sea salt.  Yes, you need to order this!
If you read the menu completely from the start, all night you will be eyeing that bottom left entry of Guinness and Bailey's Vanilla Ice Cream Float.  Peachy kind of wanted it as an entree...2oz of Bailey's Pour Topped with Guinness Hand Shaken by the Wonderful Bartenders (we quote the menu and agree)
Bartenders Imported from County Tyrone: Justin Sweeney and Ciaran McNamee

With this fantastic float, the bread pudding is not to be ignored and you will be enticed into sharing a bite or two of it with the person next to you that undoubtedly will start helping you with the float.  The bottom line?  You need to eat here several times before you can even start to understand how superb the gastropub fare is, and from the first time, you will love it.
Our esteemed panelist adds:
The service at Draught 55 was very friendly and smiling but not overbearing.  It has a n
ice pub/bar interior with a good variety of seating options, regular tables, high tables with stools and long, group tables plus the bar itself.  
It has a quite jovial crowd and you should be prepared to speak louder than usual if you are in a noisier spot.  Peachy thankfully picked the quietest corner.
The pour in my Dewar’s was average, not generous, not skimpy. Nice alcohol menu, good selection at popular to mid-high price range. Huge beer menu, more than what they list on the web site. Would need a week of drinking to try all of them.  
Portions are for sharing if one wants to order two plates (appetizer and entree or 2 appetizers). It's a straightforward menu with an interesting twist starting with the sweet and vinegary pickles.  
Slow Roasted Pork Belly was delicious. Sweet, sour and salty in every bite. Soft and crunch.
My chili was spicy, close to the edge, but not too spicy. Next time will ask them to hold the cilantro that they sprinkle on top. Otherwise it is full of flavor, very meaty, and it boasts a good balance of beans. It was a sweet corn salsa and the crème fraiche was light.  
My pork tenderloin again mixed salty with sweet. 
The pork was tender and full of flavor. The cider glazing and caramelized fennel added sweetness and another texture to every bite.  
Peachy's pub filet had a great, charred crust. It was tender and tasty. Mashed potatoes could only have been home-made. Plate presentations were appetite-inducing.
Mixed green salad was huge (for 2), very green and very fresh. A couple of split grape tomatoes were floating around (could have put a couple more) and although the balsamic vinaigrette was just right there wasn’t nearly enough of it. I know I could have asked for more but I wanted to eat it as they serve it.  Peachy's kale salad was very tasty, very fruity (with fruit that tasted like fruit) and sweet, offsetting the sour but super healthy kale.  The Guinness and Bailey's 
float is great for someone who’s already drinking, gets a sweet tooth but doesn’t want to stop drinking. If not already with a booze buzz the float will give you one. Lots of alcohol, lots of sugar!! The dessert menu is very simple but with all the drinking and eating before getting to dessert I’m not sure if it’s important.  The c
offee was strong. 
I could try almost everything on the entire menu!
A t-shirt given to Peachy by her Irish Aunt, who also rules:
Peachy Picks Draught 55.
Draught 55 is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know.

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