A whisky bar, beer garden and restaurant in one, Buffalo Bar is the American dream of restaurateur Simon O’Brien (Mighty Mighty). Appropriating the well-tread floorboards of the old Belgian Beer Cafe, the venue was remodelled to reflect different highlights of North American culture.
There’s the cool California beer garden, where Brooklyn Ale, Acme Lager and 23 other beers flow on tap. Hank’s Lounge offers a slice of Southern comfort and one of the city’s most well-versed selections of small-batch and barrel-aged American whiskey. Imported labels include Hochstadters Slow & Low, Sazerac Rye and Pappy Van Winkle.
Bar food is fried, messy and moreish: mozzarella sticks, buttermilk pan toast and overstuffed hoagies. Chef Adam Herbert (who splits his time between O’Brien’s two restaurants) has 18 recipes for both wet (served sauce-heavy) and dry (rubbed with seasoning) Buffalo wings. Try the quintessential Dr Pepper Ketchup on the wet team; and bacon, cheddar and chive or chipotle and garlic salt on the dry.
New York chopped salad with Dutch carrots, smoked duck confit with Boston baked beans and blackened corn jambalaya are flavour signposts on the sit-down menu, designed to take diners on a proverbial road trip across the continent. But whichever route you take, the journey should always culminate with an all-American slice of warm apple pie with spiked eggnog custard and sweetened whipped milk.