The new Café Ommegang at the Ommegang brewery here in Cooperstown, NY, is not what you would expect from a restaurant that is attached to a brewery. Just newly opened, I ventured up recently to check it out and see what it is all about. You enter the restaurant through the Ommegang store. Which is stocked with all sorts of Ommegang paraphernalia as well as a selection of local goods and wares and of course, a large selection of Ommegang’s delicious beer. The eclectic nature of the store in essence gives you an idea of exactly what you are in for when perusing the menu in the café.
I would have to say that I made a glutton out of myself upon ordering, trying a wide sampling of the items on the menu (for research purposes purely of course). I started out with the Duck Confit Crepe, the Witte Mussels (or Moules Witte) and an order of the Café Frites with two of their delicious accompanying aiolis. The Crepe was wonderful, the delicious duck flavor wrapped in a light, perfectly done crepe and topped with a shitake and porcini mushroom cream sauce that ties all of the flavors together. The mussels were the only slight disappointment for me, not for lack of flavor but more for lack of the ever so coveted broth at the end to soak my bread in. Other than that one minor oversight the dish was quite delicious. The frites were good, you can’t really expect too much from what is essentially french fries. However the really great part of the frites was the accompanying sauces. I had the truffle-soy aioli and the spicy chili aioli and can safely say that these two sauces made the experience of the frites a very pleasant one.
For my “second course” I decided to go dessert loco. In this course I sampled the PB&J Waffle, the Liege Waffle with the Slickpot hot fudge sauce and the Liefmans Cuvee Brut Strawberry Sorbet. The waffles were outstanding, the hot fudge on the Liege waffle was very deliciously decadent. The standout of the two however was the PB&J waffle, the peanut butter mousse being one of the best I have ever tasted and mixing with the fresh preserves just made for a great taste experience. Finally the Strawberry Sorbet. This is by far the best strawberry sorbet I have ever tasted, I was completely blown away by this. I am usually somewhat apprehensive about ordering things like this, they are always too sweet which in turn makes it very hard to eat the whole thing. But this was perfect, not too sweet just a perfect strawberry flavor, which is kept in balance by the addition of the Liefman’s Cuvee Brut. The flavor of the cuvee is almost completely non-existent, but in tasting you can tell that it’s purpose is to keep the sweetness in check, simply amazing. If you go to the café please trust me and finish your meal with this, I promise it will be one of the best decisions you have ever made.
To conclude the Café Ommegang at the Ommegang brewery is a true treat to both foodies and beer aficionados alike. Warm, friendly atmosphere, coupled with great food and drink, what more could a person ask for. I highly suggest trying this out to everyone. But as always, don’t just take my word for it, get out there and try it for yourself. It never hurt to have a day along the philosophical path of Eat, Drink and be Merry and this is what this establishment provides. Enjoy!