100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Birch & Barley

Photograph by Chris Leaman.

At first glance, you might think this beer fanatic’s haven is all about the suds. Greg Engert’s 500-plus brew list specifies not only each lager’s and IPA’s provenance but also its proper serving temperature and glassware. The woodsy dining room’s main visual? A copper “organ,” whose pipes carry beers on draft. Happily, the attention to detail extends to the plate, too. It’s hard not to polish off freshly baked kalamata-olive and pretzel rolls before appetizers even hit the table. You’ll want to save room, though, for a lovely salad of Honeycrisp apples with slivers of mortadella or an oblong flatbread laden with salt-roasted pears and smoked provolone. Bigger plates are unexpectedly elegant. Ever had wolf fish? Neither had we until we tried the meaty, monkfish-like filet here, which paired beautifully with roasted salsify and lentils. And don’t skip dessert—especially the joyfully nostalgic cookies-and-confections plate, featuring miniature riffs on Hostess cupcakes and Snickers bars.

Open: Tuesday through Saturday for dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner.

Don’t Miss: Arctic-char tartare with yuzu gelée; charcuterie board; fig-and-prosciutto flatbread; bratwurst burger; honey-roasted duck breast; peanut-butter cheesecake; fried chicken and waffles (brunch only).

More from Food