Restaurant Review: The Merry Monk in Saratoga Springs
A couple weeks back for my birthday, Rich and I tried out the Saratoga Springs outpost of the Merry Monk in the old Tiznow location on Henry Street. Henry Street is fast becoming the most hip pub -hopping destination in Saratoga.
According to Ian, the menu is more abbreviated at the downtown Albany location, and I'm glad they expanded it here. In addition to their famous mussels frites selection (there are about 6 or 7 different choices sold by the pound or two pounds), they offer the prerequisite steaks, salads, sandwiches, etc. that you'd expect to find on any good pub menu.
Here's a picture of our mussels frites with the bisque preparation:
After the delicious mussels frites ( the one pound order was more than enough for the two of us for an appetizer), I made a pig of myself and had the steak AND then had the Belgian waffle with ice cream and chocolate sauce for dessert.
All the food was excellent and complimented their extensive Belgian beer list. In addition to having about 7-8 beers on tap, they had about a two page list of Belgian beers by the bottle. It is a considerable list, with most bottles being in the $8.00 - $10.00; very reasonable when you consider what many bars and restaurants charge for mediocre wines by the glass nowadays.
The Saturday night we were there was not overly busy. In fact, there were still tables available when we left at 7:00 pm, prime dining time. However, they seemed a little light on the number of waitstaff in the dining room. Our server was very nice, but she seemed rushed and was not always around when we needed something. The only other down side was the noise level in the room. It is just that - one big room with the bar on the left with some high top tables and the main dining area on the right. Even though they were not full on the night we were there, I found the noise level to be uncomfortable.
We'll definitely be back. The Merry Monk is a serious Belgian pub, not kitschy in any way. And while some may balk at a bar/pub serving only Belgian or Belgian style brews, there's certainly more than enough variety in the Belgian beer canon to satisfy most beer lovers. Plus, the food on the Monk's menu is very beer-friendly, making for a very fun night out in the Belgian tradition.