OTC is one of the few restaurants in Miami that has given me the same kind of satisfaction I received after having meals in Paris, which is saying a lot when one compares our local burgeoning food culture to that of the perhaps the most important food city in the world (read review here). The order-at-the-counter restaurant has been making waves in Brickell’s dining scene ever since it opened with its honest, flavorful, and reasonably priced à la carte menu that enables diners to create their own meals from a variety of proteins, sandwiches, sides, and salads in addition to its ever-changing selection of craft beers. If you have yet to become addicted to this casual eatery’s cuisine, then now is as good a time as ever as OTC has recently unveiled a brunch menu and is launching its Beer Week this coming Tuesday, January 22nd.
When I went to Paris for the first time, I was most looking forward to eating, and people warned me that the portions would be a lot smaller than they were in the United States. I wasn’t terribly concerned about that detail, and what I found out after dining in Paris was that despite the smaller portions, the food was so flavorful that I left each restaurant satisfied but not stuffed. French cuisine has a reputation for being rich, but French people have a reputation for being thin...at least thinner than Americans. The reason being, I discovered, is that they eat good food in moderation, and trying to find good food in moderation stateside can prove to be a challenge in a country that loves overabundance and has industrialized food to the point that it has lost much of its original flavor. Meals that have the same effect as those I enjoyed in Paris are usually reserved almost exclusively to haute cuisine, but that seems to be changing as eateries like OTC in Brickell make a very European concept of dining something that can be enjoyed at least once a week, if not every day. While the menu is very American in character, a meal at OTC ended with the same afterglow I experienced while dining in Paris.
Postponed from it’s original November 10th date, due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the NYC Craft Beer Festival—Winter Harvest has been rescheduled to December 1st at Hudson River Park’s Pier 57 Event Space. At the Festival, beer enthusiast can enjoy the full-bodied warmth of winter seasonal ales while giving to a great cause. The creators behind the NYC Craft Beer Festival have founded the Sandy Relief Supplies Drive, to aid those affected by Sandy in Breezy Point, Queens, that they hope all attendees can participate in. If you’ve already bought your tickets for the original date, no worries—your tickets are still valid and can only be applied to the original tasting session that you selected for November 10th.
On June 16th, head to the Brooklyn waterfront for the summer installment of Hand Crafted Tasting’s Co.’s beer tasting festival. Held in Williamsburg, overlooking the East River, The Brooklyn Waterfront Beer Festival will feature summer seasonals and specialty beers from across the United States as well as from international breweries. Similar to their event, the NYC Craft Beer Festival, held in March, there will be two separate sessions (12:30 p.m.‑4 p.m. and 6 p.m.‑9:30 p.m.) to ensure that everyone in attendance gets the maximum beer tasting experience possible. Different level ticket packages are also available in order to enhance the festival for true beer aficionados.
As is the wont of select social circles, beer enthusiasts also have a functioning nomenclature pertaining to all facets of the brew-dom. While some terminology has inevitably made its way into the main stream—hops, cask-conditioned, IPA’s—the “growler” has been relegated into the dusty archives of beer dispensaries. Perhaps due to its natural onomatopoeic associations, or simply because it’s not as widely marketed as vintage beer packaging (12 pack, 40 oz, kegs), the growler is sorely under-represented within the imbibing community.
Tis’ the season for brew—plentiful amounts of the frothy ambrosia overflowing! Beer fest season is in full swing, with the American Craft Beer Fest occurring this past Saturday, the Spring Craft Beer Fest happening in the wilds of Long Island on the 10th, as well as a slew of other tastings occurring throughout the month. Perhaps it’s the impending tempest of emerald debauchery known as “St.Patty’s Day” drawing brewers like moths to the flame. Whatever the case may be, celebration is in order!
April 7th is National Beer Day, and even though I don't need a special reason to drink, I will most definitely be crafting this into some sort of excuse come Friday morning. Unfortunately, many people have no idea that National Beer Day even exists, so for the uninformed: National Beer Day marks the date that one of our most hard-drinkin' presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt, brought beer back into legality in the United States. That date was April 7th, 1933, a long 13 years after prohibition began. So Thursday night, get out to one of these bars, tilt your glasses upwards, and try to stay on your barstool.
This past weekend, Get Real NY, a NYC-based festival production company celebrating the best craft beer and local, artisanal food held their “Support Real Ale” to celebrate real ale that is live and fermented in casks naturally and served directly from the same cask.
Joonbug attended the sold-out Saturday night session. Thirsty for beer and hungry for food, we showed up slightly early and were greeted by an out-the-door and down-the-street line. Luckily, the line moved fast and we were led into the historic Altman Building with 10,000 square feet of oak floor and vaulted brick ceiling. Despite the large space, the room was chaotic and filled to capacity with mostly 20- and 30-somethings moving and standing in packs.
In case you haven't noticed, craft beers are gaining popularity in New York City. This isn't just your normal PBR out of a can. Craft beers are flavorful, subtle and carefully crafted to provide your palate with layers of flavor and texture. This weekend you'll learn all about craft beer and sample them at Get Real NY, a craft beer festival. Tickets get you unlimited beer tastings (75+ cask conditioned ales), food tastings from local vendors, restaurants and trucks, and a free tasting glass, all while listening to live music performances.