Walking from my East Village condo to the TapHunter headquarters in the heart of the Gaslamp, I get to witness all of the business coming and going. The latest happens to be on the corner of 9th and Market, where Wolfy’s Place was just one month ago. Behind the brown-paper lined windows, there’s something spectacular going on that’s sure to please craft beer fans, winos and foodies at once: Knotty Barrel Gastropub.
Slated to open later this month, the talented minds behind Knotty Barrel’s kitchen include former executive chef of of Kensington Grill, Ted Witte, and sous chef Eric O’Connor, formerly of the Whisknladle. Proprietor Kenneth Lovi was kind enough to give me the first tour of the space, and I even got my hands on the first public menu.
Knotty Barrel’s American comfort food will have a San Diego flare; I predict top favorites will be the seared Ahi street tacos with corn tortillas and Napa slaw, and the dry aged Duroc pork porterhouse, seared medium with hickory smoked sea salt, and Brussels sprout hash. And what would a hip, East Village gastropub be without a signature ironic dish? I personally can’t stop thinking about the deep-fried Twinkies with house- made whip cream, raspberry puree and powdered sugar.
In true gastropub fashion, food comes first, but attention to drinks is far from overlooked. Knotty Barrel’s corner lot is being redesigned with reclaimed wood, and a 30 foot wrap around bar will feature 16 craft beer handles from around the country from Allagash to Left Coast, and of course locals varieties like Ballast Point and Mission. The impressive bottle list of around 60 picks is sure to please everyone.
Wine isn’t overlooked either. Knotty Barrel’s sommelier Wes Maharas, previously of The Cask Room, will focus on hard-to-find, small batch wines. Classic cocktails like the Sazerac will also grace the bar; don’t even think about asking for Lemon Drops in these parts.
Stay tuned for updates as they come by fanning and following Knotty Barrel on FaceBook and Twitter: