Brewology

Brewology
295 Montauk Hwy, Speonk
(631) 801-6221, brewologypub.com

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What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this, is the phrase that came to mind at the new Brewology in Speonk. More specifically, to paraphrase, what’s a very gifted chef like Lia Fallon doing in a place that calls itself a pub? (Ok… a gastropub.) Fallon deservedly made a name for herself at the Riverhead Project, Amarelle and Bistro 72.

Brewology, with the first page of its menu devoted to 24 varieties of beer and booze, a rip roaring horseshoe bar scene (that sometimes spills out into the dining room), bare plank tables, dishrag napkins and a booming noise level, is anything but a hushed temple of refined culinary achievement. Rather, it strives to be a fun East End hangout that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Heck, there’s even a picture of Albert Einstein sticking his tongue out. At its one-month mark it’s also a very hot restaurant.

On second thought maybe that gastropub description is accurate. The burgers, steaks, oysters, pickles and cold cuts (charcuterie) found in pubby beer and brew spots are on the menu, but so too are tri-color quinoa and fig-a-licious salads, teleggo fondue, fried frog legs and a scallop BLT. Sophisticated ingredients not usually found in a pub also dot the menu. Among them are wilted bok choy, toasted fregola pasta, torched figs, peppercorn and blood orange mignonette, Pilsner syrup and pretzel crostinis.

The prices are someplace between a pub and a more upscale eatery. There’s a $38 ribeye steak, but a burger that goes for $13; chicken and waffles fetch $28 while that sizeable tricolor quinoa salad is pegged at a modest $10. There are also two safe price harbors ($20 and $22) on a wine list with no bottle of red below the $30 mark and topping out at $75.

Among the menu’s highs and lows are the quinoa salad that offers welcome textural contrast between its topping of marinated giganti beans and its foundation of rough hewn quinoa. The salad of petite bitter greens ($14) is also a go. There’s nothing wrong with the red Caesar, named for its red oak lettuce ($12), but don’t order it for its white anchovies, they are few and far between.

The number one and two dishes sampled were the Brew chowder ($13) and fried frog legs ($18). The first is fortified with a generous load of lobster, shrimp and clams in a mellow, spiced tomato broth. The frog legs, with their crisp pretzel crust, mustard barbecue sauce and Pilsner syrup provided a welcome dining experience.

Less commendable were the hard, dry waffles in the chicken and waffle dish ($28) and the unexciting, nearly flavorless veggie burger ($14).

Both the gooey fudge dream, a chocoholic’s fantasy sporting warm chocolate chip and Oreo cookies and fudge brownie with vanilla gelato ($10), and the deconstructed cheese cake bolstered with key lime curd, rhubarb, fresh berries and an almond nut crunch ($10), more than passed muster.

photo by yvonne albinowski

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richard jay scholem

Richard Jay Scholem practically invented the Long Island restaurant culture through 800+ reviews of the region's eateries both on radio and in print over the last 30 years. He is a former New York Times Long Island Section restaurant reviewer, has contributed to the Great Restaurants of...magazines and Bon Vivant, authored a book, aired reviews on WGSM and WCTO radio stations, served on the board of countless community and food and beverage organizations, and received many accolades for his journalism in both print and broadcast media. He is currently available for restaurant consultation. Reach him at (631) 271-3227.