My friend Lior needed a bit of a cheer up. It occurred to me that a tub of Ben and Jerry's may not work its charm on a guy the same way it does on the girlfriends; which is how we ended up nursing some fresh-brewed Moonshine and Masters at Brewhouse, a Rothschild Boulevard staple for the past 11 years.
Heavy natural wood, huge copper-coloured stainless steel vats, as well as pipes running along the ceiling carrying the beer to and fro, lend a manly yet homey pub atmosphere to Brewhouse, known for their 3 unfiltered brews of excellent fresh beer ( Masters, Moonshine and Quantum) available in 5 sizes – from 0.2 litre to a full litre.
We drank, we chatted and eventually the subject of New Year's Eve arose - the holidays being a notoriously painful time for those down-in-the-dumps. Despite the upbeat, familial feel at Brewhouse, Lior was having trouble snapping out of it. I tried to tempt him with descriptions of Brewhouse's 12 dish gourmet New Year's menu which had caught my eye. The spareribs, a Brewhouse classic, got me a half smile.
We continued to sip at the cold and delicious beer – my preference was the Moonshine, a light reddish, 5% alcohol, slightly sweeter beer, while Lior preferred the Masters, a darker, richer and heavier beer at 7% alcohol. The beer was so good, and the earlier 12 course New Year's Menu so tempting, that it was high time to get some solids into our stomachs – in fact, we were famished.
With the concept of variety already planted, we decided to order a bunch of smaller dishes to share – easily done with Brewhouse's plentiful starter list and numerous mains available in half portions. We tried the assorted mushrooms with walnuts (rich mushroomy goodness), the chicken and veggie filled eggrolls (large, crispy and tasty, but I could have done with the red sauce on the side), the spareribs (perfectly tender and sweet), the beef filet with a side of pepper cream sauce (super tender and a sauce so heavenly I wanted to dip everything in it) and a side of rice. In fact, we'd wanted the legendary mashed potatoes instead, but so did everyone else apparently, so by 10pm, they'd run out.
The largely female staff was nice as can be, making us feel welcome and well taken care of. The purveyor of our dessert (an ingenious little ball of coconut ice cream covered in candied pecans) was especially charming, but unfortunately Lior's wounds were still too fresh for him to notice.
As we were leaving, I reminded Lior that it was high time to consult the gang on New Year's plans - and what better way to ring in the New Year than live concerts being screened, a stellar menu and top notch beer? He thought for moment, and finally, with a smile, Lior agreed that, indeed, Brewhouse sure does seem like the place to ring in 2009.
11 Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv