An intimate gastropub replacing the ever-popular Bistro 55 during winter ’13, THE DOG & CASK provides Route 17′s busy Bergen County thoroughfare with its first serious beer-centric locale. Set inside a tan chalet-styled edifice, its high-ceiling interior features vintage reclaimed wood furnishings, a centralized yellow-wooded 12-stool bar, private left side lounge and right side dining room (with lodge-styled hearth). Pristine glass shelving, 6 TV’s and a blackboard beer list consume the pristine bar.
Ambitious gourmet food, homemade desserts, fine wines and high-end liquors complement the revolving 16-tap/ 2-cask beer lineup (and more predictable 20-plus bottled fare). Sure the portions ain’t large, but each menu item is a culinary delight prepared by experienced chef, Jason Ramos. Alongside four fine ten-ounce beers, my wife and I shared appetizing mason-jarred seasoned pickles (dill-pickled sourdough, carrot, onions and anchovies) as well as crostini-breaded Creamy Mozzarella (with fennel-jammed black olive oiling). The dinner selections looked equally as mouth-watering.
During our 2-hour April ’14 stopover, I quaffed two mocha-drenched dark ales, one sour-fruited saison and one amber lager. The latter brew, sessionable Neshaminy Creek Churchville Lager, brought pale-malted grassy hops to lemon-rotted raw honey and went well with our appetizers. Then, Sixpoint Seison brought orange-soured lemon-grapefruit rot to Belgian saison yeast and bold American hop pining.
As for the after-dinner elixirs, busy He’brew Death Of A Contract Brewer Black Ale contrasted stylish dark chocolate-coffee bluster with piney hop-charred grapefruit and pineapple tartness. Better still, exquisite River Horse Coffee Oatmeal Stout flawlessly loaded roasted coffee bean goodness all over sugary chocolate malts and clean-watered freshness. (Full reviews at Beer Index).
A relaxing upscale venue perfect for business meetings, local family functions and craft beer enthusiasts, The Dog & Cask sticks out like a sore thumb amongst its corporate-industrial suburban setting.