The BR burger at Brewology in Port Jefferson and Speonk...

The BR burger at Brewology in Port Jefferson and Speonk pairs ground venison with melted Brie, a fried pickle and a whiskey-peppercorn sauce. Credit: Brewology

Beer is the central theme at Brewology, a gastropub with locations in Port Jefferson and Speonk — and it’s a welcome breath of fresh Pilsner for the new executive chef, who arrives from a professional life spent in Italian kitchens.

Chris D’Amico joined Brewology in April after 12 years in the same position at Gemma, the Italian restaurant at New York City’s Bowery Hotel.

“It’s an opportunity for me to branch out and work with an American menu, which I’ve wanted to do all my life,” said D’Amico, who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1999 and also served as executive sous chef at La Bottega in the Maritime Hotel, which he helped open in 2003.

At Gemma, D’Amico helmed a busy bakery and kitchen whose dishes included Italian classics such as pappardelle with oxtail ragu and Neapolitan-style pizza — so it’s unsurprising that he has upped the ante on Brewology’s charcuterie and salumi boards, adding duck prosciutto and pâté to those plates.

Other menu changes so far — enacted at both locations — include a new baked egg dish ($12) during Sunday brunch that layers in sofrito, chorizo, hot sauce and melted Cheddar cheese, and is served on a buttered pretzel roll. D’Amico has also replaced the lavender waffle with an “everything” (garlic, poppy seeds, and pretzel salt) version in the gastropub’s riff on chicken and waffles ($16).

The signature $18 BR burger has gotten gamier: It is now made with ground venison, melted Brie cheese, a whiskey-peppercorn sauce and fried pickle on a poppyseed-onion roll, and served with Pilsner-battered onion rings.

“I’m used to cooking with wine,” D’Amico said, but he has been learning the ways of cooking with beer at Brewology — such as using sour beer to add tang to salad dressing. “I’m trying to bridge the gap from the taps to the plate.”

Brewology, 201 Main St., Port Jefferson, 631-509-1700.

295 Montauk Hwy, Speonk, 631-801-6221,

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