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The Ginger Man
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Taps: 52 / Bottles: 80
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
99 Washington St
phone: (203) 354-0163
(Place added by: cjpala on 05-17-2007)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 24
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Let me tell you how this goes. See, if Cindy has invited you to her house within 2 months either way of your birthday, then there's a surprise party there for your ass. So there really aren't any surprises these days, and we don't even pretend otherwise anymore, it just is. This Labor Day weekend gathering would be (her husband) John's not a surprise party, strangely called for 5 on a Saturday, affording me some time beforehand to take in some sights along the way...
So I called Loren to see if he wanted to meet up in Stamford but he said he had to cut the lawn (way to pick up the slack Nate. NOT!) Dared to hunt out a parking spot AFTER the tracks against his judgement and did procure, meter fed & katty to where I want to be, no less. Oooh, swanky, polished, polite even. Straightish wood bar with a copper foot rail seating a dozen+ off to the left morphing into a bar counter extending down past the up front. Barback is a massive wood paneled piece with shelved booze vertically on center over more tiered stuff below, and the taps in rows of 27 alternating handles to both sides on copper back panels being waxed on, waxed off polished. Vertical boards above listing new beers, staff picks, house suggestions; they have some serious artwork to them, and TV's mounted above in both corners of the bar. Shelved glassware end to end below with intermingled bottle coolers and some giant Paulaner ceramic steins riddled about. Small lamps with amber panels along the bar with a single handpump.
Painted yellow beigey wall uppers 2/3 high with blended duct work over smart framed wood panel lowers and blinded windows up front. Wood pillar uprights throughout the room with ornate grape & vine steel pieces atop, some framed ceiling action with random spots involved, and Chandeliers with dangling amber cylinder lamps. 2 pair of tables lie adjacent to the bar wrapped in nooks of framed wood & paneled glass thick & distorted; it's cool. 2 tables in one front corner sharing "L" benchage and 6 on the other side sharing the same. 3 in another patch with 5 square tables adjacent angled, and a small area with leather cushy chairs past there to the rear. 2 bench tables to the rear on center fronting a mostly exposed bank vault with a large clock hopefully not telling the true tale of time. The seating areas are framed with wall mounted amber bell lampage on mirror backed panels and windows with low red curtains matching the seating below along the perimeter. And an outside brick enclosed seating area; potted plant lined silled and viney abound. Nearly a dozen tables there, some umbrella'd up, and a small, currently unmanned bar out there. Vintage beerings in display cases to both sides of the entranceway to the outside seating area and the front vestibule. An old Orval, an '85 John Courage, a '90 New England Holiday Ale, '87 & '90 Anchor OSA's, all sorts of vintage bottles and growlers in the cases, too.
54 taps including a pair of sodas; a little bit of a lot of things. 29 micros, 2/3 of which are New England-Tri State-Mid Atlantic regionals (Allagash, Cisco, Sam Adams, Magic Hat, Long Trail, New England, Captain Lawrence, Southampton, Blue Point, Ithaca, Southern Tier, Victory, Weyerbacher, DogFishHead), with the other 1/3 being local to someone else (Great Divide, Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada, Kona). The remainder is a mix of mostly but not all usual suspect imports (9 Belgians, 6 Germs, 4 UK) and (stop me if you've heard this one before) a stray Mexican, a single crap macro and a cider on a list in a bar... A single cask offering (Blue Point Double Blonde Ale) and they do beer flights.
Bottles, yes, bottles, sure, bottles; 80+ in all. Roughly 2 dozen US craft beers (some Allagash & DogFishHead big bottle offerings), nearly just as many Belgians, and another 30something more, including some pricey pricey Italians & a handful of vintage beers. Wines by the glass and it wouldn't be the Ginger Man without Single Malts, roughly 30 selections.
The plan was one and out, so I could hit that other place I've been meaning to see ridiculously out of the way up Route 8. Ordered a does this taste like the Ithaca Flower Power? We had to count out the taps as the handles were actually removed for the aforementioned cleaning of the back panels, and no, # 21 is La Chouffe, so the mispour is free for me. But it kept me around for a second beer, best laid plans (Flower Power, for real, please). Beer was fresh and I suspect they turn 'em pretty well.
Place is dead this early Saturday not long after opening; I'm a-hangin' barside with Kevintender and some of the staff. Signage for the welcoming of Stone Brewing to Connecticut, the only state so deprived in the east, probably for its sins. It's a clean, comfortable house, at least now it is; I can't speak for what it's like packed and 3 back to the bar. Good tunes, Pettitte's pitching just now, and I've got my Flower Power on; just how I want to spend my Saturdays.
11-19-2009 18:35:02 |
More by slander
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Another incarnation of the Gingerman, this time in upscale south Norwalk, down by the Maritime center. As soon as you enter you are reminded of the NYC location, the wood, lighting, beer paraphernalia in glass cases, and the familiar looking bar and tap area. This location also has a nice looking out door eating and imbibing area. As you enter the bar is along the left side with the outdoor area to the right. Long bar, plenty of tables to enjoy the varied and good beer accompaniment type food. Cant complain about 60 tap lines and an impressive bottle list. Ah, sure I can, doesnt look many much out the ordinary and usual suspects both on tap and bottles. Not many/any chances being taken here. Howabout Captain Lawrence, Defiant? I dont know something beyond, Harpoon, Chimay, Victory, etc etc etc. Dont get me wrong PLENTY of quality suds to be had, but this is no Barcade, Blind Tiger or Spuytn D, or even My Place, beer list wise. What can I say I'm just a spoiled tri-state beer snob...Prices also kinda steep, cheapest pint was $6 .
05-20-2007 12:38:51 |
More by Billolick
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
I've been to The Ginger SoNo several times but only have I taken the time to review it. This location is owned by the same dude who owns Ginger Man in Greenwich and Cask Republic in New Haven, and you can expect the same atmosphere and space.
Lots of wood, dim lights, coziness, same cool rock music, ample booths and the rocks. It's all good in this department.
The menu, alas, is just simple bar fare with some good items like flank-steak tacos and seared tuna BLT. Mostly sandwiches, we usually get the roasted-veggie-and-goat-cheese quesadilla. It delivers. Desserts looked good but we had a pretty terrible fake strawberry shortcake (tasted like a stale savory biscuit instead).
As in the other Gingers and the Cask, there is a great selection of bourbons and spirits, but only one cask, which was by the way OUT when I visited (Berkshire Brewing Lost Sailor dry-hopped with Chinoook).
The beer menu here is expectedly good, but the bottles are only alright. Go for the drafts! Dogfish 90 and 120 ($16 a pop for this one!!), Southern Creme Brulee, Old Raspy, Harviestoun Oil, Weyerbacher Pumpkin, Lagunitas Sumpin, Chimay and other Belgians, Stone 15th... you know the drill. These guys have it.
Service was OK, not great. Overwhelmed, understaffed, and yet efficient enough. Still, I felt the need to talk to the manager. Prices are high and you know that. I like SoNo and this bar and will keep coming back, despite the issues.
11-01-2011 05:02:04 |
More by DoubleSimcoe
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
A business trip brought me to Norwalk, a dirth of beerfly destinations directed me to the Ginger Man. Luckily it worked out just fine.
Atmosphere: The restaurant area sits to the right of the entrance with the long bar on the left. A scattering of seats near the bar adds to the headcount. Dark decor with attractive rows of taps behind the bar interrupted only by the high-end scotches and whiskeys.
Quality: The restroom was reasonably clean, good service, decent food. Kudos to Connecticut for outlawing smoking, that significantly enhanced the experience.
Service: The bartender was affable and friendly. Follow-up visits were often sparse but when he was around we were the center of the world.
Selection: Tap list to blow your mind. I had LaChouffe, Brooklyn Extra Brune and Houblon Chouffe. The list was segregated by style, making for easy selections. I counted over 20 taps. The bottle list was equally impressive, if not moreso. Lots and lots of bottles, with a nice split between domestic and international. Glassware was fairly specific to the style as well.
Food: Wings. It's tough to go wrong with good hot wings and this place didn't mess 'em up.
03-15-2008 22:42:51 |
More by akorsak
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I have been going to the Ginger Man in Greenwich for sometime (great spot) and was excited to hear that they would be opening up in South Norwalk.
They are in what was once Amberjacks and then vacant for quite some time.
The atmosphere is nice, but at times is lame when there are too many obnoxious 21 year old brats.
The quality of the beer is high and one of the most impressive elements of the Ginger Man.
The service is very good. Most of the bartenders are well-versed in what they serve and friendly. While I would agree that if you get a table the waitstaff is sub-par.
The always rotating selection is exceptional, go see for yourself.
Food is very tasty, but without a doubt, pricy for a bar.
01-16-2008 23:53:19 |
More by mltobin
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5 | $$$$
We visited this place after spending some time at Black Bear Saloon across the street.
Walking in there is lots of local breweriana in some shelves in the foyer/lobby. Everything is constructed of wood and the bar is too the left with about 20-25 stools and ample standing room as well. There are approx 40 tap lines evidenced by the tap handles scattered on a wall behind the bar. Ther bottle list is impressive with about 55-70 choices, including some cantillon, DFH, Allagash, Thomas Hooker, and Smuttynose, amongst several others. Prices were a little high for the bottles and started at $6 for drafts, except for $5 coors lite.
There are several table chair set ups throughout the open room and dim light fixtures hang from the ceiling. I suspect these are brighter during the day. To the right is a small patio with about 15 table chair setups and also a second bar.
The food is mostly pub grub and is a little pricey $15 for a burger and fries. I had a pulled pork BBQ sandwich and it tasted okay but was not very hot when it arrived. It also took over 30 minutes to get the food to our table, methinks it was waiting and got a little cool before arrival. Our server never asked for a second round of drinks until they were taking away our plates, and my glass had been empty. We didnt get a second round and we simply left the place feelinga little disappointed.
They also gave us a pencil to sign the tab, while probably not trying to rip us off, seemed a little irresponsible.
I do have to give them props for the waterless urinals. I like to see wise environmental decisions.
Overall this bar is an example of how selection alone cannot make a great beer bar. 100+ beers to chose from and if the service is weak folks that care wont stick around.
06-10-2007 16:42:47 |
More by sulldaddy
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
My girlfriend and I spent about 4 hours here on a lazy, snowy Sunday. Great looking place with a really nice vibe.Dark wood, kind of modern, but warm interior with copper or brass tap walls (?), anyway, whatever the correct term is, they were good looking. Nice touch to the 50 or so taps of what has got to be the best selection of taps in CT...are we even in CT ? Just for example : 3 Captain Lawrences....awesome ! De Glazen Toren Saison, Le Balladin Nora, DFH Worldwide , Hitachino White, DFH Fort, t'Smisje Barleywine, Harviston Old Engine Oil...no easy choices. We had the CL Gingerman Ale to start....excellent brew served in a 20 oz imperial pint....most of their reasonble ABV stuff is served in those , so when you look at the prices $5 - $7 per pint, not that bad for Fairfeild county. All beers were served in appropriate glassware. Nice snifters for the big ABVs.
The bartender, Matt is a really nice guy... took good care of us with samples , suggestions and good conversation whenever he could stop. His passion for quality beer and homebrewing was evident. It's always great to meet people in the business that really care about it.
The music was kept in the background so that conversation was easy. They actually had some pretty nice classic blues on ...Muddy Waters, James Cotton, etc
We were also pretty happy with the food there. I had the chicken pannini with portabello mushrooms, peppers and house mozzarella and chips....very good. My girlfreind had the Drunk burger with sweet potato fries and was really happy with it. We took a soup to go; an Amish aged cheddar soup made with CL pale ale and had that later as a snack....excellent.
If we lived closer, we would be in here often. Great time. We will definitely go back. Highly recommended.
Update : 4/13/09
After a few more visits and a beer dinner( Capt L), I have to say that this is the BEST beer bar in CT ( I've raised my ratings to 5's) and if you are within driving distance, you must stop in. Consistantly great taps, food and passionate beer people working there. JUST GO !
01-19-2009 18:09:27 |
More by Hautacam
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2 | $$$$
This place epitomizes everything I despise about the current day craft beer bar: service with an attitude, exorbitant prices, overpriced food, and douche-y patrons.
Visited for the 2nd time last week after a disappointing visit a few years ago.
Yep, indifferent hipsters are still employed here since my last visit. I wasn't in the mood for anything tick-tastic or boozy since I had a long drive ahead of me and ordered a Brooklyn Lager. You would've thought I ordered a Hamm's Light with the reaction of my server. Service was f'ing slow and terrible...like what I'd expect at Boston beer palaces. Servers were much more interested in striking up conversations with each other or regulars rather than asking if I was satisfied.
For a weekday early evening, the music was too loud. I like me some indie-rock, but the music was just obnoxious.
Against my better senses, I ordered the cheese plate....what a joke. Measley portions of underwhelming cheeses and standard crackers. Awful.
To top things off, I witnessed a manager berate a customer for trying to return a beer they weren't satisfied with. I wasn't privy to the details, but I just noticed the cavalier attitude of this guy lecturing a paying customer. Having worked in the service industry for several years, I thought the actions of the G'man employee to be reprehensible.
I will never return here.
05-15-2011 03:43:10 |
More by SunDevilBeer
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
I've visited this particular location several times now and thought a review was in order. There are 2 sister bars (with the same name) in Greenwich, CT and New York City. Haven't been to either of those locations, but hope to one day.
The bar itself is located in downtown South Norwalk (SoNo). Outdoor seating, 1 or 2 HDTVs in the corner ofthe bar and plenty of seating for diners. The left hand side of the place is the bar while tables are setup on the right hand side.
The food is reasonable but not extraordinary. I would recommend eating at any of the local restaurants walking distance from the bar including: Soup Alley, Burger Bar Bistro, Coromandel.
The beer selection is impressive; 50+ taps and a good assortment of bottles. About 1/3 of the tap selection is dedicated to imports (Old Speckeled Hen, Bluebird Bitter, Fullers, Leffe Blonde, etc). Pints are reasonably priced and served in the proper glassware.
Definitely recommend stopping in if you're in the area; worthwhile.
08-05-2010 02:05:18 |
More by jaluria
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Having been to the one in Manhattan, I was excited to see on in Norwalk when there recently on business. Parking is a pain, few street stalls available. Parking in back is $6. Tip, coming from 95, drive past, turn right at next corner. Better luck for street parking & only costs $1/hour.
Nice wood bar with poor lighting. 52 taps, almost all of it quality stuff (very few wasted on macros), cask & OK bottle selection. Taps are heavy on the domestics, bottles, heavy on the imports. Business was brisk both Tue & Wed when I stopped in. Music is not too loud, so can carry on a conversation, without having to shout.
Now onto the beer. Taps have a good selection of NE beers, Blue Point, Brooklyn, Victory, Magic Hat, Allagash, Weyerbacher, Captain Lawrence, Cisco. Others include, DFH, Stone, Oskar Blues, Chimay, Pauliner, Franzkanar. Beers are a little pricey by Florida standards, but we're about 45 min from NYC. Most $6-7, some others $9-14. Did have some hard to find bottles like Brooklyn Black OPS
Some of the beers sampled were Blue Point Fresh Hops on cask, Victory Prima Pils, Cisco Dark Woods, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy & Weyerbacher Insanity.
Did have a Cesar salad, which was decent. Have typical pub fare, not too unreasonable in the prices.
Overall, it lived up to my expectations. Beats the one in Manhattan, not nearly as crowded. I think it would be hard to find a better place in the area.
03-06-2010 17:07:42 |
More by FLBeerGuy
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The Ginger Man in South Norwalk, CT
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