|February 14, 2008|
I finally had a chance to stop by one of the three new Belgian bars in the Bay Area. After picking up my good friend and colleague, Stephen Beaumont, at the airport, we headed to Monk’s Kettle for lunch. It’s located on the corner of an unassuming block of 16th Street in San Francisco.
With a simple but elegant sign hanging high on the corner, it’s a little hard to see from a distance. But up close it’s a beautiful piece of wood.
The exterior of the Monk’s Kettle.
Co-owner Nat Cutler behind the wooden bar filled with a plethora of beer glassware.
The food was definitely serviceable, tasty with good portions. I had the pulled-pork sandwich which I washed down with the gentle effervescence of the Moa sparkling lager from New Zealand. It cut the slightly spicy barbecue sauce and pork nicely. The frites were more fries than frites, but were excellent in their own right. The aioli sauce was top notch. Co-owner Nat Cutler explained that their main focus was the beer, and that they wanted to create a great beer bar that also served food, rather than a restaurant with a good beer list. In that sense I think they succeeded.
The back bar with chalk signs. The space, while small, is light and airy from large windows on the side and front. If you want more shade, the high granite backs of the wooden booths offer more privacy. Otherwise, there are tables looking out the windows and seating along the front and back bars. You’ll want to stop by the ATM first, so you’ll have a fair amount of cash for all the great beers on their list. Overall, a great place that deserves repeat visits. Obviously they’ve only been open a few months, but I’d say they’re off to a good start.