Victoire Belgium Beer Bar
What: Beer Bar featuring Belgian imports and Belgian-style beers.
Where: 120 East Avenue, Rochester NY, 14604 / tel: 585-325-3663
When to go: Open 4:00 pm – 2:00 am. Regular hours start Monday, July 9th: Monday – Friday 11:00 am – 2:00 am
A new addition to the East End district, Victoire (pronounced Vic-TOH-ree) offers an impressive selection of authentic Belgian imports along with Belgian style beers from breweries like Ommegang, Victory, Stone, & Unibroue. They feature 20+ taps along with an impressive number of bottle conditioned beers. The Belgian people take their glassware seriously, so it’s also nice to see that Victoire serves much of their beer in the corresponding specialty glassware from the breweries. I ordered a Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe (Belgium), and a Liefmans Fruitesse (Belgium)… both of which, I adored. JD started with a Hennepin from Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY) and finished with a Delirium Tremens from Brouwerij Huyghe (Belgium).
The atmosphere at Victoire is great. The dimly lit interior features multiple rooms, plenty of private seating areas as well as a few large wooden tables well-suited to large parties or dining alongside other guests (make new friends!). Perhaps their most endearing feature, is the outdoor seating area. Located a few steps below street-level, the sunken beer garden offers the perfect spot to enjoy a warm summer night in the city… JD and I agreed, we felt like we were in a different city.
When we went, they had yet to release the full menu (available starting July 5th), but we ordered the charcuterie plate, which was huge! A perfect pairing for those looking for something to snack on with drinks and enough to serve as a small appetizer for a table four. For $12 we got 4 cheeses, 4 meats, 4 fruits, tapanade, pepper jelly, mustard, and a sliced baguette… my only critique was that our server didn’t explain what was on the plate so we were left to guess what would pair well with what. (I’m hoping this is one of the “start-up kinks” that will be worked out as the staff gets the hang of what’s on the menu.) The table next to us ordered one of the 8 varieties of moules & frites (mussels & fries) and they said it was delicious, I’ll definitely be back to try those!
I stopped back in last night for a quick beer after work and I tried the mussels… I paired a Delirium Nocturnum (Belgian Dubbel) with the Victoire Moules & Frites – white wine, cream, bacon, caramelized onions, scallions, & organic herbs. It was a great pairing and MAN, those mussels were delicious! The hand cut fries were also quite good, served with both a pesto and a garlic aioli for dipping. I gotta hand it to them… they’re doing a great job. Definitely adding this to our list of favorite beer spots in the city!