Proclaiming “Great food, better beer, best times,” Growlers Beer Bistro is back in business with new ownership, the same chef, a bunch more beer taps, and an inventive, arm’s-length menu of refreshing craft cocktails swirled with muddled fruit, fresh juice, and aromatic herbs.
Phil Gasparino and David Scott, the pair of lifelong Yonkers buddies behind Jackie B’s in Scarsdale, threw open the doors late Thursday afternoon to a crowd that clearly had been missing their neighborhood hang for elevated pub grub and craft beer. Every socially-distanced table was taken on the patio by dinnertime and extra setups commandeered three spots in the parking lot (a welcome back gift from village hall) with pint glasses providing the decoration.
“We have 20 taps now and a hundred varieties of craft beer that will change every day,” says Gasparino, noting that most of it hails from U.S. breweries, with many from New York and Westchester in the mix.
New to this Growlers incarnation is a long list of hand-crafted cocktails, infused with fresh fruit, juice, and herbs, like the Tuckahoe mule with muddled watermelon, and 17 Petals: tangy and delicately sweet with gin, lavender, elderflower, prosecco, and lemon, plus a paper-thin slice of rind offering added zing.
Chef Leo still mans the stoves, so the food is similar to what former devotees were used to, but Gasparino predicts that will evolve over time. “We’re working with our chef at Jackie B’s to come up with some different dishes.”
For now, the burgers are still a standout, boasting half a pound of an in-house blend of Pat LaFrieda beef in a soft brioche bun. Big salads, sandwiches, wraps, and pastas populate the rest of the menu, along with all the usual gastropub apps including the big beer pretzel with smoky cheese dip, wings smothered in a selection of high-brow sauces, and avocado fries.
The sliders of beef, pork, crab, or salmon come three per order and so do the Caribbean grilled shrimp or fried cod tacos that are generously topped with slices of fresh mango. And, they’ve still got the smoker out back for brisket cheesesteak and pork shoulder sammies.
Plus, it goes without saying: Growlers of beer can, again, accompany diners home (and they’ll work just fine for curbside pickup, too).