The Red Zone

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Effin Gruven
(516) 409-1415, Bellmore
myspace.com/effingruven

Random thoughts when caught in a reverie about Effin Gruven: Chalkboard, hippie peace sign, Gouden Carolus Noël, vending machine. If you have no idea what any of that meant, head over to Effin right now. Like right Effin’ now. Only true brew powerhouse of Nassau County.

R.J. Daniels American Restaurant & Bar
(516) 536-6258, Rockville Centre
rjdaniels.com

Full menu of Healthy Living Entrées (dishes with lean meats, seafood, greens and other high-protein goodies), so you can eat out and still have a well-balanced meal. Translation: Full menu of Healthy Living Entrées (dishes with lean meats, seafood, greens and other high-protein goodies), so you can have more room in your tummy for drink, and more drink. But I didn’t just say that.

The Brass Rail
(516) 723-9103, Locust Valley
thebrassraillocustvalley.com

Gastropub with an antique bar (a visual marvel of marble, brass and wood that possesses a history more interesting than any of your deceased relatives’ furniture) that dates back to the 1880s and The Brass Rail Restaurant in Manhattan. A must see.

SUFFOLK

Brew Haus Pub
(631) 592-0472, Lindenhurst
facebook.com/brewhauspub

Kudos for the addition of, in my opinion, the most aesthetically pleasing tap handle in the beer world: Hobglobin English Ale. It’s just so creepy and awesome. I could gaze at the miniature mythical bugger for hours.

Love Lane Kitchen
(631) 298-8989, Mattituck
lovelanekitchen.com

Monthly beer and wine dinner events (past events have featured Greenport Harbor Brewing Company and Macari Vineyards) supporting local Long Island breweries and vineyards. How can you not show love to that?

Rowdy Hall
(631) 324-8555, East Hampton
rowdyhall.com

Rowdy has a book club (Rowdy Readers) that meets every Tuesday afternoon to discuss selected literature and snack on some food. Literature…in a bar? I think I may believe in heaven now. Recently renovated with a new sound system, refinished floors, etc.