Well respected local cicerone Rich Higgins has had this big brewpub and restaurant project in the works for quite a few months, and Social Kitchen and Brewery (1326 9th Avenue) is finally making its (official) debut on Monday having just gotten the go-ahead from the ABC. Higgins, as you may know, serves as beer consultant at Starbelly and Delarosa, and chef Rob Lam's menu at Social kitchen is even more beer-friendly, with items like Kolsch mussels with grilled bread and toasted malt; Kennebec fries with tomato jam; a mushroom and rye bread pudding with tarragon cream; and a Loco Moco burger with house-made Spam and a fried egg.
Locals may know Chef Lam's work from Butterfly, where he earned the Chron's Rising Star chef honor in 2003. At Social Kitchen, he and Higgins set out to create a menu that not only paired well with beer, but actually highlighted beer-making ingredients like malt and hops. Higgins is inspired by the beer traditions of Dusseldorf and Cologne, and will be offering five house-made brews including a rich, high-octane golden ale and a dark Belgian brew.
The space, which remains in similar shape to its previous incarnation as Wunder Brewing Company, features light fixtures made from bottles, and a mezzanine that will play host to interactive beer tasting and home-brewing events.
Check out our slideshow and look out for the menu tomorrow.
Earlier: Two New Places to Get Your Craft Beer On: Social Kitchen and Public House [Grub Street]