NOTE: THIS JOINT IS NOW CLOSED
Okay so listen up. I saw this awesome photo on Chef David Burke’s Instagram feed. I showed my wife and we immediately decided that we needed to go.
We made a reservation for an hour or two later, psyched as all hell to dig into that incredible looking hunk of beef.
When we sat, the waiter brought out a little shot of strained cold gazpacho; tomato with melon. Very refreshing.
I had the “rabbit hunter” cocktail: bourbon, lime, ginger beer and mint. It was good; like a bourbon mojito.
My wife had the “antica Manhattan,” which was made with buffalo trace bourbon, antica carpano, maple syrup, bitters and brandied cherry. It was excellent, except for the fact that later on during the meal we found a gnat floating belly up in it. Doh!
We started with a pair of apps. First was the “skin and bones,” which was essentially chicken liver pate sandwiched between two pieces of crispy chicken skin, and served with chicken dumplings drizzled with vindaloo sauce. The cool thing about these dumplings was that they were “bone-in.” The chicken bones were little handles to grab the dumplings. Observe:
Next was octopus tacos (can we call them tactos?) with guacamole, chipotle sauce and salsa. These were excellent. The octopus was nice and charred but tender inside, and the sauces were great. Maybe a few jalapeno slices or some lettuce would have made this dish perfect.
We ordered a side of chic pea fries to go with our steak too. These were interesting. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. The dipping sauce was more of the chipotle cream from the tacos.
So now for the big fucker. The Bronx filet for two, with bone marrow. The presentation is gorgeous, isn’t it?
Even that first slice up front. Looks delectable, no? Hmm… Maybe just a little too much grey on the edges?
Oh FUCK. After that first, nice looking piece, it looks like whoever sliced this puppy was trying to hide the incredibly overcooked portions!
I kid about the hiding. But, yeah… It turns out that the rest of the steak was really well done. We ordered it medium rare. I guess with these big hunks, lots of chefs have trouble getting an even cook across the meat. The bone still had blood on it. It certainly was an awkward size and shape. What a shame. When it’s done properly it is probably an incredible meal.
When the waiter came around to ask how everything was, I mentioned that it tasted good but that it was severely overcooked. He grabbed a manager and she agreed, though she relayed what the chef said, which was that the edges are over but the middle is okay. Unfortunately that just wasn’t the case. There were about 3 or 4 bites of medium rare combined from all slices, and the rest was hockey puck. The manager generously offered to have the chef fire up another for us, which would be ready in 25 minutes, but we declined because we had to get back home to field some interview calls for a New York Times story that is being written up about the two of us. The steak normally takes 40 minutes to cook, and we were already pushing it on time. So we put on our big-boy pants and ate the dry, grey meat as best as we could. It was still yummy, but really dry and over done. I imagine it to be a great item when properly cooked. 5/10.
The manager was kind enough to send out some free desserts for us, and we were not charged for the overcooked steak. For dessert we had the “Burke-n-bag.” This one is great for photo ops. It is essentially a really amazing candy bar dolled up to look like a purse, and served with a little scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
We also had the frozen yogurt banana split. This was pretty good. The fro-yo was actually delicious, and the pink stuff you see is the sauce that was poured over and then hardened into a shell. Magic Shell!?! Total blast from the past. The banana was just so-so; maybe a little under-ripe. The brownies weren’t really needed, I don’t think.
Last are the cheese cake pops with bubble gum whipped cream. I wasn’t a big fan of these, but I can see how someone could love them. When it comes to all-things cheesecake, nothing can compare to my sister’s cheesecake. MY sister’s cheesecake is so good that it’ll make you want to murder YOUR sister.
So anyway – moral of the story is this: beautiful pics of food can be deceiving. Also the table next door had a wrong item taken to them. Red snapper instead of tuna. So maybe this place was just having a bad night. Our steak was ruined, there was a gnat in my wife’s drink and the table next door had the wrong item delivered to them that apparently no one at any other table had ordered. Ehh, whatever. We all know David Burke is an amazing chef. It’s just too bad he wasn’t actually there cooking for us this evening.
Archer Hotel New York
47 W. 38th St.
New York, NY 10018