As the stock market ping-pongs lamely around this season and the financial doom-and-gloom casts shadows even on a good, old-fashioned night of heavy drinking, we see but one quick fix: beer that's strong, dark and cheap. Easier said then done, right? Some of the fancier American concoctions that fill the "dark" bill--Baltic Porters, artisanal, hand-numbered flasks of Scotch barrel-aged Stouts--can be just as heavy on the wallet. Lately the $3.99 bombers from Firestone Walker--especially its "Robust Porter"--have been drawing us away from the glitzier beer-fridge all-stars. Paying less than $4 for a thick, 650-milliliter bottle of roasty, toasty, squid-ink colored beer nowadays is more satisfying than many finer pleasures.
Walking into Farina is not unlike walking into my own ego. It's shiny and rough at the same time, all angles and pragmatic, utilitarian lines. Modern sophistication is the dominating aesthetic. Yet it’s also playfully submissive, as evidenced by a flat screen TV hung above the bar. It's a total dream.