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Counting Room

The Counting Room may bill itself as a wine bar, but don’t be fooled: beneath that colossal wine list, the new Williamsburg dram shop hides an impressively original take on French Onion soup.

The menu here may be petite — a scant four sandwiches and five “bites” accompany the prerequisite meat and cheese boards — but you should consider this a favor: you’ll want to try everything.

If you do choose just one item though, it should be Chef Robert Crossen’s Knife and Fork French Onion Soup ($10), an inventive twist on the French classic that’s more akin to a melt-in-your-mouth open-faced sandwich, served dry, with a small carafe of broth to be poured on top.

The bread is a thick, crusty slice of French bread, smothered in Parmesan and Swiss cheeses, transformed into a delectably oozy mess when drenched in the sumptuous — albeit vegetarian — broth.

Of course, it also helps that the Counting Room is the perfect place to spend a lazy, warm weekend afternoon. With the windows open and the breeze blowing in, it’s ideal; equally beautiful in the candlelit evening.

The truffled grilled cheese ($12), on pressed French bread with Fontina, is almost equally satisfying comfort food.

We did take issue with one menu item: the Caesar “bites,” which arrived in the form of still wet romaine leaves with a smattering of croutons.

But if you skip that one dud, there is ample satisfaction to be had. Of course, with enough wine most things are. Open Monday-Thursday, 5:00 pm-2:00 am, Friday, 5:00 pm-4:00 am; Saturday, 12:00 pm-4:00 am; Sunday, 12:00 pm-2:00 am.

Where: 44 Berry St. at North 11th Street
Tel: (718) 599–1860
How much: Sandwiches: $12-$14
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Updated Feb. 1, 2012
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