I like suggesting restaurants; why else would I write this blog. I also enjoy restaurant recommendations, a thing people offer less and less the more I write. So when the time finally arrived to get out with other bloggers (Code and O’Groom) I happily let them choose, and their choice was August on Bleecker St.
I know what you are saying, “Um you always write about that neighborhood, and the name of your blog is Augieland, how the heck is it possible that you haven’t written up August?” The simple answer is I hadn’t been in the months since Augieland was started.
I know August as a good room with good food that for me would be more a stop by place than a planned evening place. Although I have never had to wait long for a table, they don’t have a bar so in my mind any wait would be spent standing outside, which as fun as it may be for brunch I shy away from at dinner.
The plan was to meet up one evening and partake in the Oktoberfest dinner special the restaurant was running. I happen to have been at August on the night before they opened visiting a good friend who was one of the opening chefs (a very short tenure, which may also contribute to my seldom visiting) and stood next to the big wood-burning oven while plans for a menu that encompassed all of western European food rather than just a country or area like the Mediterranean, and a glassed in courtyard were described. So for dinner with Code and O’Groom, it felt appropriate to have German fare in the now- finished courtyard.
The deal was from September 11th thru the 17th for twenty-eight dollars two people could each have a cast-iron skillet with a link each of house-made Bratwurst, Bauernwurst, and Bockwurst on a pile of spiced sauerkraut, as well as a plate of black bread and homemade caraway pretzels with a wholegrain and a Dijon mustard. All three sausages were pan fried with the Bock (the most traditional of the three for a Munich Oktoberfest celebration as far as I know) being the most mild, the Brat a little further along the spicy scale, and the Bauern being the most deeply flavored, although more finely ground than I expected. The pretzels were awesome, dense and chewy and liberally studded with caraway and the black bread was exactly as it should be, hearty.
To accompany the dinner two beers were offered, an Ayinger Oktoberfest and a Schneider’s Organic Edelweisse. The Ayinger was malty and dry with notes of spun sugar, great for sipping with the food. The Edelweisse was lighter and a little hoppier, also well suited to the food and better suited to quicker drinking.
For dessert there was Schwarzwlder Kirschtorte, something like an individual black forest cake in a bombe torte shape. I remember the bite I took as being a lot of very good whipped cream with chocolate cake and marinated cherries.
Ok, this menu was a special that is in the past and no longer available, so why write a report on it? That’s easy, the dinner was great; we met and enjoyed fun people in a lively unique space, and had very good renderings of honest simple fare from parts of Europe usually isolated by cuisine in New York. The price was fair and the food was made in-house. I really don’t know what more you could ask for from a neighborhood bistro, except a bar ;-)