Tag Archives: gastropub

Flight

Flight is a Thai and Asian-inspired gastropub on York at 78th Street that used to be called Dresner’s until it was completely revamped. The new setup (opened in October) is really beautiful inside, with muted, modern, intimate tones of grey wood and simple, elegant yet cozy accents.

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Owners Dermot (beverage director, front of the house) and Golam (executive chef) did an amazing job with the transformation. Dermot has been in the ownership position of this location for many years, and Chef Golam has an extensive 27 year cooking career.

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We got to sit in the coolest part of the restaurant: an elevated, sidewalk-side seating area that sits about two or three feet above the sidewalk and has long floor-to-ceiling windows/doors that can be opened in the warmer weather.

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The concept of “Flight” is being able to taste many things during your time there. Aside from offering flights of wine and beer, they also offer whiskey flights, as well as food samplings like meat and seafood flights with brunch, lunch, dinner and happy hour menus. I like this idea, because whenever I am excited about a menu, there are always tons of things that I want to try but can’t because I get too full.

I was recently invited along with some other bloggers for a press dinner, where we got to sample a bunch of their signature dishes. Be warned, though, that we received small, tasting sizes of the dishes. Actual menu items are much larger portions.

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My wife plucked her two favorite wine varietals off of their extensive global wine list: a Riesling and a Viognier, which were both really great. Crisp, light, refreshing, slight sweetness and easy on the aftertaste. I tried three of the 16 craft beers that they had on tap: UFO Ginger Land Wheat, Queens Pilsner, and Kona Big Wave. My favorite of the three was the wheat beer. I’m partial to that style. They also have a bunch of bottles available as well.

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We started with some flatbreads on the table. This was similar to a pita, but more dense and much thinner. It was really nice and flavorful. It had a chewy texture as opposed to crisp, but in a way that almost reminded me of naan bread (which I love) or a thick crepe. It was served with a hummus-like dipping sauce. Very nice. I may have eaten more than my allotment for table sharing.

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Next was a seasonal soup that they were offering, made from butternut squash and apple, and garnished with some basil. This was really smooth, not too filling, which I was happy about, and slightly sweet and crisp from the apple. It had great depth.

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My favorite dish of the evening came next: Thai style coconut curry mussels. These were fucking delicious. I could eat this all day. The only negative about this dish was that I wished there was more liquid for me to drink or sop up with bread at the bottom of the bowl. So good. Spicy, light, warming, and just the right amount of seasoning.

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The Thai meatball with dried crispy shallots, sweet chili sauce and cilantro was a really great bite as well. The meatball was a little harder than I had initially expected. Asian style meatballs tend to have more of a snap to them and are more dense. The flavor was great. Spicy.

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In continuing with the Thai and Asian theme, the lump crab cake was dressed with a spicy sauce as well. The cake itself was a great texture: lots of good lump meat, and a beautiful golden brown crust. This rivaled the mussels for best dish of the night, for me.

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The wild mushroom risotto was rich and creamy (marscarpone base), but not heavy. It was dressed deftly with a white truffle oil that really brought out the earthy flavors of the mushrooms.

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The curry chicken was spicy as well, with bright lemongrass and cilantro flavors that made it herbaceous. It came with mushrooms, onions, peppers and eggplant, along with basmati rice. The only down side was that the chicken was a little dry. Perhaps thigh meat would have been better than breast meat for this.

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The final savory dish was lobster ravioli in a butternut squash sauce and topped with a butterflied shrimp. The ravioli stuffing was lobster, basil, onion and shallot, and the pasta was hand made on site by Chef Golam. The squash sauce was similar to the soup course, but a bit more spicy and savory than the apple-infused soup.

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For dessert, three different items came out. First was a brown bread ice cream that was absolutely amazing and, in my opinion, the best of the desserts. It tasted like french toast. The base was vanilla but bits of cinnamony bread were incorporated for texture. It was garnished with a sugar-dusted phyllo dough stick.

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The tiramisu was very light, also with crispy phyllo dough on top. The dish wasn’t too sweet, which is good for me, and it wasn’t soaked in rum either. Not too boozy at all. Really nice, and it is one of their best sellers. This was my wife’s favorite of the desserts.

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One of the other bloggers tried the apple tart. My wife and I didn’t get to try a bite, but it looked perfect, topped with some ice cream and the signature crisped phyllo dough for some crunch.

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That about does it! I will definitely be back here to try a meat flight! They offer a burger, a filet mignon, a NZ rack of lamb and a NY strip, so I think I’ll be in good hands. They’re even going to be starting weekly jazz nights here as well, so I’ll be looking out for that too.

FLIGHT IS CLOSED

Montmartre

NOTE: THIS PLACE IS CLOSING IN MARCH OF 2016!!!

A waiter named Jeremy over at Capital Grille (midtown west) recommended this place when we got to chatting about the city’s best burgers. He certainly knew his food shit, so I was excited to finally get here to try the burger. The same owners are involved with Bar Sardine, which also slings an excellent burger, so I knew I’d be in good hands at the very least.

Jeremy’s suggestion was a good one! This baby, although slapped between two buttery pieces of sourdough toast (as opposed to on a proper bun), was packed with great flavor. The meat is dry aged beef, and it was seared to a perfect temperature: pink center, good crust all around to lock in the juices, and well seasoned. Above and beneath the patty is a bernaise cheese spinach and pickled onions, respectively. Loved every bite. The bernaise cheese brought a little funk to the party (with a nice nod to steakhouse “creamed spinach,” I might add), and the pickled onion was a great twist on the much needed acid. The fried were natural cut, nice and crispy, and well seasoned with herbs and sea salt. Take a look at this shit:

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 UPDATE AS OF 8/25/15

My wife and I stopped in for a quick dinner after a Tabelog event nearby. We kept it pretty basic. First was a nice snack of fresh radishes with country bread, whipped butter and salt flakes. The radishes were actually pretty spicy and had a great pop to them.

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My wife had the mussels. Many of them were pretty small inside the shell. I don’t like them too big, but I also don’t like them too small. The broth had some fresh herb notes to it, like maybe tarragon. I’ve had better mussels elsewhere, but that’s not to say that these were bad by any means.

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I ordered the hanger steak frites. It was perfectly cooked to medium rare and had a good sear on the outside. The sauce with it was garlicky and gave it pop. The texture of the meat was slightly off. It reminded me of some of the odd meats my wife and I used to get in Mexico from the resorts. Almost like it was over tenderized using an MSG type of product. I’m sure that’s not what was done here, but it just had that feel to it. Otherwise I liked it. I’d say its about a 7 out of 10, possibly an 8.

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MONTMARTRE
158 8th Ave.
New York, NY 10011

The Spotted Pig

It was PACKED when we arrived at around 1pm on a Saturday, even after all these years of being in business. Good for them! We were looking at roughly an hour wait unless we grabbed a seat at the bar. So we put our name down on the list to be seated, and headed upstairs to the second bar in hopes of scoring a seat a little faster. To our great fortune, a group of four people were getting up from the bar to be seated at their table. When I went to grab a pair of stools for my wife and I, a woman slid over one seat and was claiming the two bar stools in the middle of the four. I asked her politely if she could move over in one direction so that my wife and I could sit, but the loser wouldn’t move.

Four spots open up and she jumped into the center two, by herself, while waiting for her guest, who wasn’t even there yet? That’s just bad social etiquette. She was nasty, too, and had horrible breath. When I explained that there are four available seats and four people who want to sit, she started to argue “but we are getting lunch.” Newsflash: so are we! And she was getting aggressive and loud! So I alerted the manager. He politely asked her and her guest, “Ken,” who had lightly shoved me at one point after his date called me “scary,” to move. They wouldn’t move . The manager kindly sat us right away when they wouldn’t shift, I assume effectively jumping us ahead in the wait line. We ended up with a much better seat anyway, downstairs, with plenty of elbow room.

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My wife had one of the $14 cocktails called “Novo Mundo,” made with a Brazilian rum type booze (cachaca), egg white, sugar and lemon.

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I had a pair of Naragansett beers, which I like to call Manhattan’s new PBR, because it’s cheap, in a can and because I’ve been enjoying it way before it made it onto the Hipsters’ radar. They always seem take what I like and fuck it up. Whether it is gentleman’s caps, twisty butcher mustaches, vintage graphic t-shirts, bacon, beards or beers. Fucking animals.

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We ordered some starters. The pickles were WAY the fuck overpriced, at $6 for what is typically a free amount at a place like Keens. The deviled egg was a little pricey at $4. Both items were tasty. The pickles were bright and tart, and consisted of carrots, gherkins, radish and green beans.

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photo by my wife
photo by my wife

For the entrees, my wife ordered sisig pork. It had some bits of pig ear and other nice things, topped with a runny fried egg. Essentially this is their English “bubble and squeak” dish, but with Filipino spices and herbs like cilantro. It was good, lots of pork meat, but too salty, and a little greasy as well.

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The burger I ordered was good, perfectly cooked. The bun was great, durable and grilled. The negatives: the Roquefort cheese was a little overpowering of the burger meat, and it definitely could have used a slice of tomato and some lettuce. I’ve had this burger in the past, about 10 years ago. I think it may have cost around $16 back then. It’s $21 now, but since it comes with “fries” the cost is very fair.

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The shoestring potatoes had fried garlic slices and fried rosemary mixed throughout, and tasted and felt, crisp/texture-wise, like the old school potato sticks snacks.

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The banoffee dessert was very good – not too sweet; just right. Essentially this English dessert pie is made from bananas, cream and toffee made from boiled sweetened condensed milk.

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THE SPOTTED PIG
314 W. 11th St.
New York, NY 10014