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Weekend picks: Chew 'n brew

Waterzooi Bistro in Garden City is known for

Waterzooi Bistro in Garden City is known for their its French fries. (March 19, 2010) Photo Credit: Photo by Bruce Gilbert

The season of husky ales and beers is here. These brews are far from the watery ones that sport a wedge of lime or the drinks that count calories first and flavor second ... or tength. Following are three spots where you'll find a taste of autumn cooking and the beverages that suit it.

Moules et Frites does have mussels and fries. But what will keep you coming back is dark beer-and-Cheddar soup; an appetizer of sliced garlic sausage with lentils, finished with mustard sauce; and a wurst sandwiched into a cut of "bretzel," flanked by red cabbage and apple-flecked potato salad. The house also prepares a mellow choucroute, with good sauerkraut and sausages.

Moules et Frites, 4 Berry Hill Rd., Syosset; 516-802-0713.

Waterzooi stands out with a big selection of well-chosen brews. And the food definitely goes with all varieties. The bustling, brasserie-style restaurant prepares a fine lobster bisque, lobster croquettes with vegetable slaw, onion soup, charcuterie and rillettes, braised short ribs, and Belgian BBQ pork-belly sliders. Great fries with mayo.

Waterzooi, 850 Franklin Ave., Garden City; 516-877-2177.

T.J. Finley's primarily is a pub and the food is secondary to the beer and ale. But the bar chow often is good. The brews always are. To go with your pint, some of the better "bar bites" are bottle-cap burgers, chili spiked with stout, and arugula salad with goat cheese.

T.J. Finley's, 42 E. Main St., Bay Shore; 631-647-4856.

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