New Restaurant - The Blue Monk
The Blue Monk is a "Gastropub" in Buffalo NY that serves good food and beer. Their name references delicious Belgian beer made for centuries by monks which is their overarching theme, but they also respect all craft beer styles. This is our second trip out to Blue Monk to do a post but unfortunately the first time their kitchen was closed, late on a Sunday, something their website doesn't mention in their hours. Oh well, the second trip out was much more successful during the dinner time hour.
We've been experiencing some crazy hot weather in western NY, so there was no way I wanted to sit in the sun on the patio out front but when presented our table on the second floor we realized that since it was an open air concept there wasn't much in the way of air conditioning. We were determined to relax with good beer and good company so we tried not to let it bother us.
Mike ordered Frank by Community Beer Works which was was a clean pale ale and I wanted a pick-me-up so I got Elysian's Split Shot, which is an espresso milk stout out of Seattle. We enjoyed both with our Duck Confit Poutine starter. The chunks of duck were amazing with fries, duck gravy, and cheese! Confit (which I had to looked up) is a salt cured meat that is then cooked in its own fat. That fat is also used to fry the fries! Shared among the three of us, it was surely an indulgence we will remember.
As my main dish, I ordered the Grilled Pear Salad that had dried cherries, spicy pecans, and blue cheese. It was very good with beautiful greens but only had four small slices of cold limp pears. You can't even see them in the picture! But I enjoyed the salad nonetheless because it had lots of dried cherries and wasn't overdressed with a beer dressing. I don't like delicate greens weighed down in dressing, so that was good.
Mike got the Ommegang Abbey Braised Short Rib Sandwich with caramelized onions, cheddar and fresh horseradish. He really liked it but if anything the horseradish might have been a bit too overpowering. His second beer with dinner was Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge that he loved because it was a sour. The waiter was funny because he was afraid he wasn't going to like it and offered him a sample. I'm sure he's gotten puckered faces and questions in the past about what they were drinking but we know sours and insisted to bring it on over.
My sister-in-law, Kelly, got a special that look yummy, spicy tuna sliders. She seemed to really enjoy the food and beer at Blue Monk as well.
The atmosphere at Blue Monk is fun, rustic, and inviting. I love the old door chair rail upstairs and other quirky design choices. Service was much better the second time around as well, probably because we weren't getting tired people at the end of their shift, which I have to admit is understandable.
If you're in the Buffalo area and want to try gourmet pub food with great beers to pair, I highly suggest Blue Monk.
You just read one of Upstate Crumbs' monthly New Restaurant posts. Each month, Mike and Heather will make it a point to eat at a restaurant they have never eaten at before and post about it. Want to follow us on the local journey? Check out our Foursquare List
Heather on July 7, 2012 at 10:48am EDT
the blue monk