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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Merry Monk

Scott Lemieux says:

Albany Jane speaks the truth. I'm sure Ms. Garlic will have more, but she brought me back some of those boar short ribs after dining there earlier this week, and despite the disadvantage of spending 20 minutes in the car they were exceptionally good. I don't know what I would have thought of the sour cherry sauce in theory, but in practice is worked exceptionally well. I will need to get back soon to try the mussels, which by Ms. Garlic's account were also outstanding.



Update by Ms. Garlic:

I agree. Actually, they not only traveled the 20 minutes in the car, but also a 5 minute cold run through the snow, and unfortunately probably sat on the counter as my friend and I paid our bill and talked about the Republican primary race for a while  - so the fact that they were still really good after all of that is something!

I was down there because my friend and I attended a lecture by George Rickey's son Phillip about his dad's career. It was interesting to me because we have one where I work, and I remember when the installed it last spring. My friend suggested the Merry Monk because she had been there recently and had really enjoyed it. Apparently it has not been open very long.

We started out with an appetizer portion of the above mentioned wild boar short ribs. Perfection! They were delicious and the perfect appetizer portion for two people who also have huge amounts of fries coming their way.

Here, Steve Barnes has a picture of some of the mussels. I had the beer steamed mussels with Belgian Amber Ale, shallots, garlic, tomato, butter. My friend had the bacon and bleu cheese mussels, which also have baby spinach, fresh lemon, white wine. Check out more mussels from their menu posted on Tablehopping. Delicious! My friend's boyfriend tried the Thai Curry the previous time they went there, those have Lemongrass, curry, fresh lime, coconut milk, white wine, fresh basil, and cilantro. She said he thought those had a nice kick to them. I thought the frites were great, and I am normally not very into fries. You get a choice of two dipping sauces. I had sun dried tomato and garlic & herb. My friend had coconut curry and garlic & herb (they are all mayo based). They were all great.

We had some great beers too. I had the Liefmans Cuvee Brut to start out with. My friend thought it had too much carbonation (it is a little unusual), but I thought it was interesting. She had the Ommegang Belgian Pale Ale, and I finished up with a Ommegang Witte.

I also felt really comfortable in the space. I like the way the televisions are set up, and there is something about the lighting or the vibe of it that makes it feel like an unpretentious but classy place to hang out. It felt like a real find, and I couldn't wait to go back upon leaving. $8.99 for the pound of mussels definitely seems like a good deal. The waiter was also really interested in whether we liked everything or not - "Yes! Yes, it was really good!" I kept saying to him. I loved it!

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