Bar has a great atmosphere, I like the chalk tap list that is constantly updated, I had a pint poured and it was the end of the keg and the bartender noticed, let us know that we should get something else, which was a plus. Very friendly staff, an beer advocate in the buffalo area should take a stop here.
Visit 1: Bartowel bus trip. Saturday afternoon it would not have been that busy otherwise, but dumping 50 people in there at once overwhelmed the waitstaff who were quite friendly, and doing their best to keep up. Tried a couple of new to me drafts, an old favorite, and an awesome bottle of Ithaca Brute. Burger was pretty solid, the duck frites are better than the just okay house made chips, though most of the entrees are big enough that you won’t necessarily need the extra bulk of the frites. Grilled cheese was good but if you are averse to blue cheese like me you may want to ask them to go easy on it. Poutine was pretty tasty, I’d personally prefer it without the creamy sauce but it is pretty good as it is. Downstairs table was bloody cold with the side door opening frequently.
Visit 2: Busy Saturday night we had to wait 45 minutes to an hour for a table at prime dinner time, but grabbed a corner downstairs an enjoyed a couple of lovely pints while we waited. Waitress was fantastic, and knew her beer quite well. (I believe one of the girls referred to her as "adorable"...) My braised short rib sandwich with au jus on the side was a revelation. WOW! Unbelievably tender meat. Delicious. Blue Balls were pretty good. Highly enjoyable dinner.
Overall I really like the place. I like the décor which balances a bit of eclectic kitsch with a bit of class, and succeeds imho. Staff is friendly. Service is a bit slow when there is a crowd (not surprising) but is well within tolerances. The environment is warm, even if the temperature is not. Highly recommended. It gets crowded but that’s because people realize its a pretty nice place.
Jesus, some people are hard to please. Beautiful interior, awesome beer list, delicious food. I haven’t had any issues with the service. I found the service to be attentive and accommodating. Big emphasis on Belgian beers, but still a bunch of other stuff to quench your thirst for something else. The tap list is of very high quality and is constantly changing with plenty of beers that have never been available in the area being offered. The bottle list is a little more steady, but still plenty to choose from and seasonals being thrown in the mix as well. The food I had was great, and I particularly liked the duck reuben. You can tell a lot of time went into making this a high quality establishment, and that’s exactly what it is. Highly recommended.
Sammy (712) Toronto, Ontario | December 5, 2010| Updated August 18, 2014
The Blue Monk s a convenient place for locals, a tiny bit harder to get to for Canadian visitors. It is to me a small version of Monk’s in Phildalephia, perhaps better because of a dedicated menu and better lighting, but certainly smaller in all respects. A must go place for people moving up the beer sophistication curve from the area, and a few really good bottles. I like the draft selection on a good day at Cole’s better, but maybe I am on a dry day. a younger crowd, but also a more noticeable pretentious pre-Yuppie crowd. I had a hard-to-get Jolly Pumpkin wild ale, and there was no other beer I hadn’t tried. As Mike told me today, he needs twice to three times the room as Buffalo is eating up the place in terms of demand. It took a while to get a beer, the bottle was served way too cold. Bottom line: a place to watch for potential.
DerWeg (45) Toronto, Ontario | November 21, 2010| Updated November 23, 2010
Well on its way up, The Blue Monk is the work of a practiced and thoughtful hand. Mike Schatzel is an Elmwood veteran of the equally impressive Coles just up the road. Great micro/imported draft list is constantly refreshed with the new and exciting. Really the best time I had at Monk was dropping in weeks ago and sidling up to the bar on a day that wasn’t so busy. Meal then was not great: Carbonnade Flamande with tough meat and an odd-tasting concoction of a sauce.The delicious Beef on Weck from yesterday’s BarTowel trip was much more the high standard I would expect of Mike. Maybe the intended ’European’ menu options need to be worked out - I may try some mussels next time - but I’m sure they will get it right with Mike’s dedication to the art of enjoyment. Overall excellent for a work in progress. Yesterday we packed the already-busy place with 50 additional patrons - and the service choked (about 45 minutes of sitting before we got our first beer.) Hardly a normal day for them so don’t go by that. ** additional notes ** please a few coat hooks, this is not South Beach Miami and people’s winter wear was falling onto the floor. Also, the right hand exit should not be used (other than for emergency) in winter - we all thought it was getting insanely cold and drafty in the front room for no justifiable reason.
Mike has done a terrific job here - I love the bar, the decor, the use of sawed-down hardwood interior doors as wainscotting, the ultra-clean bathrooms; the effort he is putting in to bring in amazing beers from the West Coast, Belgium, Cigar City, BrewDog ... the food was fantastic, our server very friendly and eager to learn even more about beer (not from me, obviously) - and my sister loved it too. Cole’s or Blue Monk? I think Blue Monk wins the race by a longish nose.
RyanBflo (20) New York | October 8, 2010| Updated January 3, 2011
A new Belgian beer bar which is only going to get better with time.
Newest establishment in Buffalo. Mike has done a great job with over 30 taps, a ton of belgians along with both local and domestic craft beer.
The place just opened 3 days ago and not yet serving food, but once that happens expect finding a seat to be even tougher. Should be the *first* stop on any beer geeks list while in the Buffalo area.