Beer and Cookies Make Everything Alright

It's almost impossible to venture into the East Village on a Saturday night without being squeezed into the corner of some obnoxiously loud bar, conversation rendered useless, flailing retro-retards spilling their drinks on your girlfriend. But luckily there's a place that's so down-to-earth it's actually underground: Hidden beneath Burp Castle and Standings Bar on East 7th Street, Jimmy's dimly lit, medieval-looking tavern has an instant calming effect. Archways lead from one small room to the next, candles flicker on wooden tables, authentic beer casks line the upper walls, and ornate mirrors reflect the faces of relaxed, satisfied, comfortably numb couples. There's no liquor or wine here—just beer—but they have many rare, high-quality brews, like Ayinger ($6), a crisp and refreshing wheat beer served with lemon in a tall, gold-rimmed glass, or the hearty but smooth Corsendonk Brown Ale ($8), which goes well with a plate of chocolate-covered strawberries ($5). The bartenders and waitstaff are incredibly friendly (it's not unusual for them to sneak you cookies), and you never have to raise your voice over the music, which ranges from CCR to David Bowie. Why deal with the hell above ground when there's heaven down below?

 
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