The Holy Trinity
Often most bars or restaurants will not have “The Holy Trinity” we which refer to as having exceptional food, beer AND wine. We believe that high-quality establishments should focus on all threes aspects and not just one or two of these.
The Gourmet, High-end Restaurant
Usually these places will have the great food and often a very impressive wine list to compliment the menu. Sometimes these places will have sommelier to help you pair your food with the right wine. But too many of these places don’t focus enough attention on beer. Why? Beer pairs just as easily with food and sometimes better. It’s absurd; it drives us crazy because there is absolutely no excuse for it.
The Craft Beer Bar
Great beer is their focus and rightly so. But often the food will be the usual pub faire and the wine list will be underdeveloped or non-existent. Gastropubs with great wine, beer and food are good examples of places with “The Holy Trinity.”
The Wine Bar
Hopefully a good wine bar will have great wine. Not always the case but there are many who do a fine job. The food is hit or miss with these places but sometimes they will showcase a decent limited or small plates menu. Beer is usually not the focus but we are sometimes surprised. Lately we have been finding some wine bars have stepped up their beer menu.
The Italian Restaurant
Probably about as common as the Irish Pub, these establishments often boast a large wine list with great food but as many people know some are good and some are very bad. Beers usually consist of macro-brews from the US and lagers from Italy like Peroni and Moretti which are slightly better than our watery US lagers. With all the new wonderful craft beers coming out of Italy lately like beers from Birrificio Le Baladin and Birra Del Borgo, we find it surprising Italian restaurants aren’t carrying them.
The Irish Pub
Usually, the wine, beer AND food stink at these nearly-extinct establishments. Thank god slamming Harp Lager and creating a shamrock in my glass of Guinness is a thing of the past. Good riddance. However, a few Irish pubs have upped their game by pouring good craft beers. But these places are rare and most have a long way to go.
The Sports Bar
We do love sportsbars and decent hot wings always make us drool. But these bars always serve the same standard beers and only on occasion do you find one with some decent craft beers but its rare. And the food is usually typical pub faire which can vary significantly. And wine? The wine is usually not very good if they even have wine at all.
The Chinese/Japanese/Thai Restaurant
If you don’t live in NYC then you don’t know what it’s like to have 4 Thai and Sushi restaurants within 2 blocks. With that said, these places are hit or miss with food and the wine and beer are usually crap. Be prepared for US macro-brews and Asian macro-lagers produced by Sapporo, Asahi, and Kirin. Like the Italian restaurants, few have taken advantage of excellent Japanese craft breweries like Hitachino and Baird.
What we are finding out is that few establishments have “The Holy Trinity.” But some amazing places do. Some of our favorites include:
Eleven Madison Park
Heidi’s House by the Side of the Road
Kaia Wine Bar
Birreria at Eataly
We are always in search of more establishments with The Holy Trinity. Let us know your favorite spot.