The Early Word: Cooper's Craft and Kitchen
Lauren Shockey Macaroni and cheese: What you want to eat on a cold, rainy day
Working in the East Village, we're always on the prowl for new lunch spots. So we were excited to hear that Cooper's Craft and Kitchen (87 Second Avenue, 646-606-2384) had opened in the old Kurve space, just two blocks from our office. Needless to say, we stopped in for some lunchtime grub.
With 24 beers on tap (selections include Meantime London Stout, Goose Island IPA, Harpoon Leviathan, Brooklyn Pumpkin Ale, etc.), the spot is clearly putting an emphasis on the suds, and the floor-to-ceiling-windowed corner space is decked out with a wood plank ceiling and lots of barrels for some rustic pubby charm.
The menu, too, focuses on Anglo bar favorites like fish 'n' chips, pot pie, flatbread, and burgers -- basically, the standard selection of eats you'd want while knocking back a few pints. We quite enjoyed the macaroni and cheese ($10), slicked with melted gruyere and cheddar, served in a skillet. Soft and cheesy, it's everything you want in a big bowl o' mac.
Fish and chips ($14) will also help you reach your calorie quota for the day, but the fish is nicely battered and the spuds crispy. A remoulade-like tartar sauce accompanies the fried fare. Also in the fried department is a Scotch egg ($5). A thin layer of sausage coats a hard-boiled egg before being deep-fried. It was a little underseasoned, but makes for a decent snack.
Lauren Shockey Open wide for this burger.
We weren't as thrilled with the pulled pork sandwich ($11), as the sauce was a little too tangy and the meat slightly too dry, but the namesake burger ($14), piled high with bacon, blue cheese, tomato, onion, and lettuce, more than made up for it: big, beefy, and well-balanced.
While nothing here is really earth-shattering, Cooper's Craft and Kitchen is a nice neighborhood pub with food that's probably better than it needs to be for a beer bar. Go after work and grab some brews and if you work up an appetite, all the better.