Restaurant Review: The Peekskill Brewery
Killer beers and many decent apps, but main dishes that disappoint
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But what about the restaurant? Perhaps the comparison to Birreria is unfair; Chef Sean Corcoran’s menu—by demographic necessity—must cast a wider net than Manhattan’s Birreria (which benefits from population density). In PB’s starters, you’ll find perfunctory pub grub like blah deviled eggs and chicken wings joining several better, more carefully crafted dishes. These include elegant miniature jars of chicken-liver parfait served with onion jam. Also good, fat slices of brawny pork terrine with bacon, pistachios, and whole-grain mustard (we also loved the oniony house-made pickles—the crunchy cauliflower is wonderful). Though skinny and rather blonde, our two soft pretzels with caraway béchamel were snapped up quickly.
At PB, the beer is a main draw, so it’s wise to nominate a designated driver. O’Neil is known for his sour beers, a style intentionally infected with specific strains of yeast that produce a mineral tartness that pairs well with rich foods. Peekskill’s Simple Sour and Amazeballs are good choices for the start of a meal, though we could have wished for more guidance here. One of my guests ordered an impenetrably black Common Ground (cold-steeped with ground coffee beans) that was delicious in its way, but was too titanic for the beginning of a meal—this is a dessert brew. Also look for a short wine list, an on-trend spirits list, and great cocktails. Of these, we loved the Pickleback—C.R.E.A.M. Ale, house-made pickle juice, and The Irishman whiskey.
On each visit, we couldn’t help but think that PB’s kitchen focuses on its starters and snacks at the expense of its mains. A striving main of pan-seared duck breast with farro, coriander, roasted carrot, duck confit, and mostarda was disappointingly spun toward the gloopy and sweet end of the spectrum. Worse, we encountered a dish of rubbery, overcooked mussels in which a solid third remained unopened. Fish and chips, part of the more standard pub fare, was marred by sodden and floppy fries, though its milky fish was delicious beyond a shattering beer-batter crust.
While the second-floor dining room is spare and modern (and offers glimpses into an open kitchen, and, if you’re lucky, sunset river views), a middle section open to the first-floor bar carries loud chatter and the blue glow of TVs into the room. If noise is a concern, request a table located away from the central, open space.
After mains, shareable plates of locally made cheese from Murray’s make an excellent segue while, inevitably, you’re still nursing a beer. To end, homey cookies with a shot of spiced milk are the perfect sendoff. After this (and all those beers), you’ll sleep like a baby.
To pair the perfect entree with the perfect Peekskill Brewery beer, check out Westchester Mag's definitive PB taste test.