Black Rock has always been a thriving community, but it has grown even more over the past few years with a great variety of restaurants and shops coming in. It has especially blossomed due to the start of the Black Rock Farmers’ Market three years ago. Fresh meats, cheeses, veggies, homemade products galore—the BRFM definitely made a big splash on the scene. Continue reading
Hold tight onto those tusks, Walrus Fest is hitting Black Rock for the first time ever on June 26! This new festival brings together a restaurant, a brewery, vendors, charities, community groups, musicians, and more to celebrate not only the Black Rock Community but also the 3 year anniversary of Walrus + Carpenter. Just stop by the corner of Fairfield Avenue and Jetland Street in Black Rock from 1-6 and get your nom . . . and groove . . . on.
Here are some of the emerging details for Walrus Fest: Continue reading
If there’s one event that you shouldn’t miss as a beer, wine, and food enthusiast, it’s this one: The Taste of Black Rock 2016! It’s always a bangin’ time with lots of great food and drink shared with great people, but this year’s gonna be even more killer. That’s because Harry’s has kicked it up a few more notches with some exclusive tastings of CT’s newest breweries and, in one case, cideries! But, more on that in a sec. Continue reading
After checking out the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Utica Comets game with our friends John and Jenn (we won’t tell you who we were rooting for), we left with a thirst and hunger. We had lots of ideas in our heads with so many restaurants right in the Black Rock area, but since we felt like getting a few good brews, we decided to hit up The Crafty Monk. It’s located where The Field used to be. When we lived in Black Rock, we were regulars there . . . well, before it turned into a night club and a party scene. But, the original owners are back and turned it into a beer-filled gastropub.
Speaking of beer, there was a nice variety of styles, a solid focus on CT beer, and just good craft beer in general with 40 on tap and 30 in bottles or cans. Dan was hoping to get a taste of Firefly Hollow’s Train’s Best ESB that had just won 1st place in the International Beer Competition, but they were out . . . but our waiter (who happened to be Kristien’s former client) came to the rescue by telling us that their Cone Flakes DIPA was on tap. Score!
Okay, onto the food. What you see is what you get: it’s offical pub grub with a variety of apps and entrees. We decided to do a little of both to get a taste of what the food was all about. Up first were the fried pickles. The breading wasn’t too thick and had some nice herby notes to it, while the pickles were nice and juicy with each bite. But, they don’t expect you to eat ’em just like that, nope: you get three housemade sauces. There was a Wasabi which was our favorite with a nice spicy kick, there was the Black Pepper which was light and refreshing, and the Chipotle that was smoky with a nice little kick. They also have Cajun, Curry, and Pesto if you dig that style.
Up next were the wings, which come in buffalo, bbq, garlic parmesan, and orange chili-glazed flavors. We weren’t really sure what to get, but our server suggested we try this new combo that people have been asking for: buffalo garlic. Both flavors worked very nicely together, with neither taking over too much but blending in well. The skin was a bit crispy, but we would have liked more crunch. The meat, though, was plenty juicy which we think is just as important as that crispy skin.
Then our sandwiches hit the table after a few more brewskis. John had the Pulled Pork with an artisanal baguette which he liked, but it wasn’t anything that amazed him . . . just your typical kinda pulled pork sandwich. Dan had the Merry Monk Burger which he ordered medium rare, but it came out a medium well. But, even still, it was pretty juicy with a nice, rich and fresh flavor. The chipotle aioli added a nice smokiness and the egg added a fatty savoriness to it. With those burgers came some, of course, house cut fries. They were plenty crispy, but needed a little more salt to really bring out the flavor more.
Kristien ordered the turkey burger which came out super juicy. The jalapenos that you get to load on to your own delight (or demise) were spicy and added a nice contrast. But, we either didn’t taste the cranberry or they forgot it. Maybe because of this or something else, we felt like the turkey burger needed something else. So, Kristien and Jenn added some of the Black Pepper aioli from before and that definitely helped.
From all our brews and snacks at the game, we were stuffed and ended there. But, we felt like we had a good handle on The Crafty Monk. It’s a solid spot to go if you want to sit at their massive bar, order some nice craft beer, and watch a game on TV. In terms of food, there were definitely some inconsistencies in almost all that we had. We’d say if you go here with expectations of the standard pub grub experience you’ll be fine, but the beer definitely wins out here.
The Crafty Monk
Address: 3001 Fairfield Avenue
It’s fun to make friends in the beer world . . . because the beer world employs some of the coolest, down-to-earth, nicest peeps we’ve ever met. Case in point: Peter Cowles and Tara Kasaks Cowles from Aspetuck Brew Lab (see all the background details in our February post).
It all started with a casual conversation at Harbor Brew Fest 2014 where they were sampling some of their brews. After a little bit of talk about the CT beer scene, we learned about their plans to open up in Fairfield (plans would change when they found a Black Rock spot). Continue reading
Ladies and gents, it’s almost Halloween, so we thought we’d make things easy for ya and put together a nice guide to booze-infused parties that are going on here in Fairfield County and maybe just a bit beyond. We’re all super lucky this year because Halloween is actually on a Saturday, so you can go all out. Here we go, kids.
Date: 10/24 from 5-10 Continue reading
This week, we’re gonna get right down to biznatch and get your going with an awesome list of events, deals, jobs, and CT brew news. Also check out details on upcoming beer fests or last week’s news. Here we go:
6/26 Tangled Vine will be playing at Little Barn in Westport around 9:30.
6/26 If you’re 35 or under and wanna party before the show, check out Westport Country Playhouse. They have their latest Happy Hours with food from The Granola Bar and Shake Shack as well as some great drinks for just $25. Your ticket also gets you into the show (And a Nightingale Sang) too!
This Saturday, June 20, marks the second year that The Black Rock Farmer’s Market hits that sweet spot between Fairfield and Bridgeport. Just a primer: BRFM is held every Saturday from 9-1 at the field adjacent to St. Ann Church on 481 Brewster Street all the way up until October 17. And, it’s definitely more than your typical market with special artisan markets on the last Saturday of every month, talks, cooking demos, activities, and more.
Here’s some more info to get you there, week after week:
American Craft Beer Week is exciting, especially now with the enormous growth of the CT Beer scene. And, while we don’t need any week in particular as an excuse to go out and drink good brews, we love the focus and attention that this week brings. It’s a time to think about your beer, where it comes from, who makes it, and why you love it so damn much. For this year, American Craft Beer Week goes from May 11 until May 17 and we decided to gather up some great events in Fairfield County so that you can make the best of these days*.