Brick Alley Pub has been a Newport dining landmark for over 30 years. From kicked up pub fare to regional favorites, the pub has expanded its humble, restaurant beginnings with an upstairs burger bar and a wood fired pizza catering service. We spoke with owner Matt Plumb about his favorite item on the menu and future plans for Brick Alley Pub.
How would you describe the direction of the menu at Brick Alley Pub?
Our menu covers a lot of ground starting with comfort foods that are reminiscent of family dinners: Mac and Cheese, Pulled Pork, Clam Chowder and Chicken Parmigiana. We also like to push the boundaries of what a typical American pub menu should look like with Ahi Tuna Sliders, Seaweed Salad, Sriracha Honey Fish Sauce Wings and Roasted Bone Marrow.
Tell me about a great beer and entree pairing.
We are very fortunate to have some great little breweries with some excellent beers here in Rhode Island. The beer that stands out above all others is Captain’s Daughter Double IPA by Grey Sail in Westerly. An absolutely perfect pairing for her is our Cajun Fish Tacos. The salty heat of the tacos goes hand and hand with the floral citrus favors of the bitter IPA.
Is it true you make your own house-infused libations?
We started doing some infusing a few years ago with herbs from my farm. I grow a couple thousand pounds of vegetables a year for the kitchen and thought that it would be great if we could work an item or two into our beverage program. Right now we are doing jalapeño tequila and rosemary vodka. They have gone over very well the past couple of years so I think I will expand the infusions next summer. Maybe lavender, lemon marjoram or something like that.
What would you say is the most long-standing, got-to-have-it cocktail on the menu?
In a world where many cocktails resemble science experiments I will stay simple. You’ve got to have a Mudslide, frozen or on the rocks. There are no mixers in ours, it’s simply vodka, dark Cream de Cacao and Baileys Irish Cream. Now that autumn is here we offer a pumpkin one too.
Desert island question: If you could only eat one item off the dinner menu for the rest of your life, what would that dish be?
Practical answer: Salad bar. Food I just can’t get enough of answer: NY Sirloin Au Poivre. I’d order garlic smashed potatoes for my side so I could take the Cognac cream sauce from the steak and pour it on top!
What is in store for the future of Brick Alley Pub?
Plumby’s upstairs burger bar is in its second year and we are extremely pleased with how things are going so far. Less than a year ago we also started Brick Oven Pizza, a mobile brick oven wood fired pizza catering and events concept, that is growing like crazy. Between the pub, the burger bar, Brick Oven Pizza Party and [my farm] ROMA Farms we have a lot going on. Who knows what the future holds for new projects. Maybe we will brew some beer, maybe a brick and mortar wood fired pizza spot, maybe expand the farm. Like my grandmother told my dad and he told me, “do what you’re supposed to do every day and everything will take care it itself.” If we keep on doing that, the future will be bright.
Brick Alley Pub
140 Thames Street, Newport