Because we can go there with co-workers, friends, lovers, our children, our parents, and everyone will find a lot of things—even the pickiest will find something—they love to eat and drink.
Like American culture itself, almost anything goes, and you’ll never be bored.
Walt & Whitman is named for America’s O.G. poet-hipster, and the generations of rockers, poets, punks and beautiful weirdos he inspired.
In addition to noting the Italian pizza oven, 10-barrel-system brewery behind glass, couch-flanked fireplace and cozy tables, visitors can’t help oohing and aahing over the dazzling array of pop art, photos, small-scale ephemera and snippets of framed poetry by and for America’s most fabulous and frazzled cultural innovators.
The Great American Beer Award-bearing team of brewers has an array of suds for neophytes and hardened hoppers. The Dick Murphy Lite (made with a blend of American and German pilsner malt) is a sessionable, refreshing thirst-quencher that tastes like Bruce Springsteen sounds, while Le Petit Poet (a French farmhouse ale with notes of banana and black pepper) is crushable, but unexpected and weird in a good way, like film noir. Ninety Mile Beach (brewed with Motueka and Waimea hops from New Zealand, it’s a deeply orange IPA exploding with lemon-lime, stone fruit and pineapple) I haven’t figured out yet, and probably never will, but will return to again and again, like PJ Harvey.
The menu was designed around the beer and inspired by classic street market food, so think fun, shareable options, a party for your mouth. Our favorite starter is the Four Fat Fowl whipped ricotta, with lashings of lemon oil, sea salt, slathered on focaccia, after which we move on to the My Italian Grandpa pizza (Detroit-style, square and deep, with housemade Italian sausage, gremolata, Jimmy Nardello Pepper) or the Cauliflower Shawarma (with pickles, garlic sauce, Lebanese pita) or even the Spicy Cold Ramen (soy pickled shrooms, pork belly) if it’s going to be a long night.
It feels like your living room, but cooler, thirstier, snackier, smarter, comfier and honestly, not to hurt your feelings or anything, but the soundtrack is better.
Kathleen Willcox lives in Saratoga Springs with her husband and twins. She writes about the culture and politics of food and wine as well as travel and lifestyle; her work regularly appears in Wine Enthusiast, SevenFifty Daily and Edible Capital District.