Thursday, January 12, 2012

Iron Hill Brewery

Hey all! Last night Ashley and I had a date night at the new Chestnut Hill Iron Hill Brewery. There are several other locations in the state, but neither of us have been to one yet. We were particularly excited about this new location because there is a very small selection of places we like to eat in my neighborhood.

There's one local pub that is packed to the doors if there is ever any sort of sports game on TV (and with Philly having a team for all the major sports, that's almost every night). The service there also leaves a lot to be desired. There's also a brewery and flatbread restaurant with a very unique atmosphere, but you can't really show up wanting a big meal, as the food is a little on the lighter side. But anyway, back to Iron Hill.

The first day of business for Chestnut Hill was on Wednesday, January 4. We were thinking about going this past weekend, but figured there would be a long wait on its first weekend open for business. So instead, we made a reservation (they offer online reservations through Open Table) for last night. That was an excellent decision, because when we arrived, the entire waiting area was full and the wait time was almost an hour!

Over the weekend, we took a look at the extensive menu online. Oh my gosh - amazing. I have to say, it was really difficult to choose what to order, especially since there were three meals I really wanted to try: the chicken pot pie, the shrimp scampi linguini and the turkey burger ( can rarely find a place that serves a good turkey burger). I finally decided on the chicken pot pie, and Ashley chose the Hawaiian spiced Ahi tuna. We also had a small order of buffalo chicken wings for an appetizer (amazing buffalo sauce!) and an apple fritter with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. Everything was made extremely well with great flavors and decent serving sizes.

And what about the beer? Well, we were seated right next to a window looking into the brewery (cool!). I ordered a raspberry wheat and loved the flavor. I tasted a light raspberry flavor first, finishing with that classic wheat beer flavor. Definitely not an overbearing or syrupy fruit flavor like some others I've tried, and it was a nice light color. Ashley ordered one of the featured Belgian seasonal brews, the Belgian Pale Ale. It has a great flavor - not too strong and not too weak, not excessively hoppy and a light brown color.

The service was great from the hostess to our server. The restaurant is really nicely designed with several semi-divided eating areas that provide plenty of options for the kind of atmosphere you want - quieter toward the back of the restaurant, or in the middle of the buzz up front by the bar. We were close to the kitchen, and saw the unending rush of servers back and forth all night. I think it was just as busy when we left as when we first walked in the door (our reservation was for 7:30 p.m. and we left around 9).

Overall, it was a great experience and I can't wait to go back again in a few weeks with friends!

Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post, but I was sure to provide lots of links to several different sections of Iron Hill's website. Enjoy! 

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