I've long felt that T.W. Food, owned by Tim and Bronwyn Wiechmann, is one of the most underappreciated restaurants in the Boston area. When many people discuss the best restaurants in the area, T.W. Food doesn't often seem to garner a mention, despite being more than worthy for the accolade. Their new restaurant, Bronwyn, though seems to be getting much more attention and press. And once again, I believe they have created a winning restaurant.
Bronwyn, located in the Union Square region of Somerville, features the cuisine and drinks of Germany and greater Central and Eastern Europe. The restaurant has a patio, their biergarten, an inside bar area, and a dining room. Last week, Adam (of Wine Zag) and I stopped there for dinner after a Cognac tasting. It was our first time dining there, but certainly won't be the last. We sat at the bar, sampling several dishes and tasting some of the cocktails and wine offerings. We were both impressed and look forward to checking out the rest of the menu.
They have a full liquor license so you can order one of their special cocktails, priced $9-$12, or a Haus Cocktail, which are numbered 1-9, and priced $10-$12. I began the meal with an Eins Haus Cocktail, which contains Old Overholt Rye, Nux Alpina Walnut, Dolin Rouge Vermouth, Boston Bittahs, and St. Elizabeth Allspice. A spicy and complex cocktail, it was a strong way to start the evening.
The Drinks Menu also contains over 40 beers, from Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, and the US, with plenty to intrigue and please the beer lover. There are around 11 wines available by the glass ($8-$12) and about 34 by the bottle. The bottled wines, with a good portion under $50, generally come from Germany, Austria, Italy, and Slovenia. You'll find Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch, Riesling and Gruner Veltliner, and plenty of other interesting wines.
The Food Menu begins with a Prix Fixe option, 4 Courses for $45 per person ($29 for Beer & Wine pairing). There are then about 10 Starters ($5-$12), 9 Mains ($17-$32), 4 Sides ($5 each), and Haus-Made Wurst (Mini plate for $14 with 2 sausages, potatoes, sauer krat or the Giant plate for $27 with 6 sausages). There are some specials, including their own take on the Burger and Hot Dog. Despite all the emphasis on meat, there are even vegetarian and vegan options. In addition, they serve Brunch on the weekends.
We also had a Mini Wurst Plate ($14) with a couple sausages, accompanied by a side, the Gurken Salat ($5). I actually don't recall which sausages we got, but I remember they both were delicious, though different. One was a more traditional sausage, while the other was round, almost like a mini-sausage patty. The potatoes with the sausages had a crunchy exterior, but were soft and fluffy inside. The Gurken Salat were essentially thinly sliced pickles, and were addictive.
The Dessert Menu has 4 choices ($8 each), and we ordered the German Chocolate Cake, which has almonds, coconut, and a vanillensauce. Sweet and decadent, this is a fine way to end your meal. A nice blend of flavors and textures, it is worth saving a bit of room after your meal to order this dish. And it is large enough to share.
Stickum Uerige, a fascinating beer eau-de-vie, also known as "beer brandy" or "bierschnaps." Bronwyn carries three of their products, the Stickum Uerige, Original ($22), Stickum Uerige, Château d’Yquem Barrel ($25) and Stickum Uerige Plus, Port Wine Oak Barrel ($27). These are very limited production spirits, and it seems they commonly sell for $150-$200 a bottle, which explains the price per glass.
The Château d’Yquem still possesses a flavor of beer, combined with notes of honey, dried fruit and floral elements. My preference was the Port Wine, which had almost no beer flavor, but plenty of concentration, depth and complexity. It does show Port wine characteristics, but you also realize that it is more than Port. There is enough acidity to balance the sweetness, and this may be my new favorite method of drinking beer.
Overall, I had an excellent dinner at Bronwyn, and very much look forward to dining there again. The flavors are compelling, the drinks are interesting, and service was excellent. I think the food is fairly priced for the quantity and quality. Check out Bronwyn for some Schnitzel, Spatzle, & Stickum!