DUSKY MANHATTAN WATERING HOLE ROUSES EAST VILLAGE
Dank basement-level hangout, JIMMY’S NO. 43, makes a strong case for Manhattan’s best watering hole. Located down the street from New York’s famed Mc Sorley’s Old Ale House on 7th Avenue in the East Village and within walking distance of Tompkins Square Park, this diminutive three-room catacomb will satisfy any beer connoisseur, or wine enthusiast, for that matter. Featuring an interestingly diverse (and ever-changing) tap selection of a dozen craft brews to go alongside fabulous bottled beers, prestigious limited edition wines (chosen by wine importer, Neal Rosenthal), and admirable organic gourmet food, Jimmy’s No. 43, opened during 2008, couldn’t be any cozier.
Stale cigarette smoke and mucky compost bring a strange odorous waft to this narrow tomb-like neighborhood joint as the mid-afternoon Saturday crowd settles in, November 2010. These foul-smelling issues would slowly dissipate as the small back kitchen started cooking up exquisite dishes. Since I only came to enjoy a few ‘pops’ while my daughter, Nicki, attended a matinee rock show at Webster Hall a few blocks down, I didn’t get to sample the dinner menu, but needless to say, reasonably priced oysters, oxtails, veal cheeks, and duck confit make exquisite Euro-influenced entrees.
The grungy left side bar with cramped eight-stool area sidled a right side dining space and a smaller section with interesting mounted tap handles donning an apricot-mauve speckled wall. Behind the bar, a 35-seat dining area for parties and affairs completes the score. Fine wines from Argentina, Spain, Italy, France, and nearby Long Island complement the beer ‘carte du jour’ that highlighted four commendable libations I hadn’t previously discovered.
Friendly owner, Jimmy Carbone, a husky Italian-American brew freak I originally met at one of Chelsea Brewing Company’s Cask Ale celebrations, stopped by to say hi as I began consuming a ruthless rye, strong pilsner, German-styled schwarzbier, and two stouts. Carbone takes pleasure watching beer geeks, like myself, get into the handpicked offerings emanating from his busy taps. The antique, unfinished feel of Jimmy’s dingy cellar dwelling provides a centuries-old ambiance true brew hounds will find appealing. And the little porch at the entrance enables smokers and telephone callers to get a retreat.
To make things even more intriguing, bustling Irish-styled sportsbar, Standings, located upstairs, also offers great selected beers on tap and in bottle. These adjoined pubs render a rugged one-two punch that’ll knockout any needy ingurgitating visitor. A few guys from Country-Cajun band, Doc Marshalls, were seated next to me sharing thoughts on beer and music.
My first pint, Long Island’s Barrier Ruthless Rye, had an immediate grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering reinforced by juniper berry, black tea, and white rye illusions. Next, light-bodied Michigan-based Atwater Uber Ursa Imperial Pilsner featured a soft, supple crystal-malted lemon-sugared entry leading to a grapefruit-peeled peach-apricot-tangerine tang with vegetal undertones.
Brought in from the Netherlands, lactic full-bodied De Molen Rasputin Imperial Stout saddled its creamy chocolate-vanilla malting, viscous anise goo, and burgundy tranquility with mild hop-charred oatmeal graining. This rewarding li’l number was given stiff competition from Massachusetts’ Pretty Things Babayaga Stout, a robust ebony-hued full body lacquering molasses-soaked black cherry, black grape, and blackberry notions to liqueur-like anise gluten.
Pudgy-bottled Oregon-brewed medium-bodied schwarzbier, Full Sail Session Black Lager, brought dewy rye-breaded sour malting to dry black-purple grape esters and moldy fig-date astringency (with bourbon hints gaining a late foothold).
POST-SCRIPT: A few weeks later, on Pearl Harbor Day, quaffed four sour ale-related tapped beers and one superfine IPA (reviewed in Beer Index). Barrier’s Belgian Dubble Down Brown and Bulkhead Red Ale plus Allagash Interlude (2010), and Kelso’s cask-conditioned St. Gowanus were worthy. Bear Republic Ryevalry proved even better.
During May ’13, brought a few friends for dinner to Jimmy’s No. 43, consuming fantastic chorizo sausage with broccoli rabbe, lamb sliders and oysters with three sour ales and one cask ale.
First up, Freigeist Abraxxxas Berliner Weiss retained tart Band-Aid-wafted Gose-like lime salting, spiced lemon zest and lightly creamed cotton candied sweetness over yellow-peppered apple, peach, plantain and guava fruiting. Peekskill Simple Sour brought sour lemon-juiced carbolic spritz to lactic brettanomyced musk above rustic corn-dried wheat chaff and vinous grape acidity.
Though not officially a sour ale, Stillwater/ Brewer’s Art Debutante Saison saddled musty Belgian yeat with botanical floral aspects and white-peppered herbal notions, picking up sour fruited illusions along the way.
Check out Jimmy’s No. 43 website for current info: www.jimmysno43.com
Full reviews of each beer could be found in the Beer Index of www.beermelodies.com
One thought on “JIMMY’S NO. 43”
thanks – love the dingy join myself!