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Beast & Ale Dazzles Manayunk with Upscale Snacks

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Timothy Spinner and Brian Sirhal didn’t travel far to open their fourth restaurant. But while it may be just a few blocks away from Taqueria Feliz, Beast & Ale is a world away from its elder sibling. Instead of neon and inventive Mexican eats, you’ll find moody blues, stylized taxidermy, and updated American fare.

A surprising number of distinct spaces are tucked into this small spot, which recently housed Bisou. Downstairs, you can pull up a stool and admire the 70-plus whiskey bottles on display behind the bar, or watch the action in the open kitchen. Just up the steps, you’ll find more dining options and an outdoor deck stretching between buildings and overlooking the street. An easy ambiance abounds out­side, with picnic tables, strings of colored lights overhead, and shrubbery planted in 55-gallon drums.

Upscale snacks steal the show here. Don’t miss the fries coated in gravy and beer cheese, the whipped-cauliflower purée, and the tempura-battered pickled green beans. Or try throwbacks like thin-patty cheeseburgers and fried-bologna sandwiches with American cheese.

Portion sizes were a bit disappointing, especially considering the prices. But the relaxed and attentive servers were more than happy to supply extra toasted bread for dipping. The cocktail list is solid, as is the craft-beer menu, which includes stand­out local brewers like the Ambler-based Forest & Main. 4161 Main St., Manayunk, (267) 437-3936, www.beastandale.com

Sandwich

Whipped-cauliflower puree with black olive tapenade, served with toasted bread

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