419 S Main St
Royal Oak, Michigan
Visited on April 3, 2011
I wasn’t planning on stumbling across Bastone Brewery and absolutely loving it, but I did nonetheless. I was waiting in the general Detroit area to pick up my fiancé from the airport and killing time all day by visiting a couple of brewpubs. I didn’t even know this place existed until I started trying to look up directions from the first joint I stopped at. To my surprise, this was only a couple of miles away. And delicious.
I had finished up dinner at the Royal Oak Brewery about an hour earlier when I wandered into this joint. I had another hour or two to kill before picking up my girlfriend at the airport, so I figured why not try some more beer. I’m really, really glad I stopped in because – while I don’t usually enjoy the high class, upscale breweries I’ve been to – this one is a major exception.
White tablecloths, wine glasses, linen napkins, hosts in suits – this place is nice. It seems much to nice for a brewpub, but their bar room brings the snootiness down to an acceptable level. An adjoining dining room might be a bit much for my taste, but either way they’re not too proud to have televisions above the bar nor to sit a single into a booth when it’s the only thing available.
I think I mentioned I had already eaten about an hour before, but the menu looked so good I just had to try something. I may never make it back, after all, so why not at least have a couple bites? Although some menu items are a bit pricy from $15 – $25, the sandwiches are reasonable, so I ordered an open face brewery steak sandwich. “Grilled hangar steak on white cheddar potato cakes with crisp bacon, field greens and mustard crème fraiche.” Holy crap was this good. So good, in fact, I nearly exploded eating the whole thing. But I had to. It couldn’t go to waste. And just to give you an idea, they also have pinot noir marinated hangar steak, mac and cheese with truffled bread crumbs on top, and a waffle topped with pan seared chicken. The food is worth the trip alone.
But it’s not the only reason to come because the beer is fantastic too. They specialize in Belgians and have a ton of high gravity options. But they’ve also got solid pilsners, IPAs and the like as well. Believe it or not, their pilsner was one of the truest, tastiest versions of the German classic I’ve ever had. Everything was very, very good, and I can’t wait to come back. I wish they bottled.
The service was impeccable. They were very kind and courteous even though I was just chilling with my computer working on a short story for an hour. There was no hurrying me out the door and they checked in often. I was very pleased.