By Hillary Latos
In a neighborhood characterized by perennially ironic hipsters, The Counting Room is like an unpretentious breath of fresh air that has quickly become a neighborhood favorite. Reclaimed wood benches and tables, exposed brick walls and vintage glass pendant lamps, create a stylish ambiance with plenty of shared seating and communal tables that are perfect for conversation or meeting new strangers.
To complement the extensive selection of craft beers, the casual small plates menu has many tempting options for bar food ranging from snacks like Brooklyn brined pickles, assorted sausages, mini meatballs as well as varieties of deviled eggs and gourmet pressed paninis. Sandwiches are stuffed with creative ingredients to give a unique flair on classics such as the Pork al pastor with pulled pork accented with pineapple and cilantro, the Cubano - roasted pork, ham, cheese, whiskey sour pickles and garlic aioli, or the decadent truffled fontina grilled cheese. Leave room for the White Trash crème brulee, which is a caramelized, take on the classic banana cream pie with Nilla wafers, or the somewhat healthy apple and blueberry crisp.
Don’t expect to find any mainstream American beers here, everything served is craft, imported, or otherwise hard to find from the rare Belgian Trappist Ales, to craft ales and hard ciders hailing from New York, Vermont, Maine and California. If cocktails are your vice, their bespoke signature drinks will keep the revelry going at the lounge and dance floor downstairs. Each night there’s something new going on- every Thursday the lounge downstairs gets a little risqué with their ‘Burlesque in the Basement’ series, with performers sporting cheeky names such as Legs Malone, Rosie Cheeks, and Grace Gotham reviving the seductive entertainment of yesteryear. On Mondays join mixologist Max Pazuniak for his experimental cocktail series, “Something Like This,” where you can sample over the top drinks that play on themes from the literal to the abstract that are matched to a curated playlist.
Potent concoctions such as “My Veins Pumped Battery Acid” consisting of rum cynar, honey, salt and soda or “Space is only Noise if You Can See” made with scotch, rum, bonal, dolin blanc, and tiki bitters, are reminders that you are after all still in Williamsburg. For lighter libations try the pale flower with chamomile and white tea infused tequila with crème de cacao and yuzu salt or the la vie de Boehme with gin, lemon, prosecco, and orange fennel syrup.
The Counting Room
44 Berry St.