Tag Archives: greenwich village

Minetta Tavern

After coming here a few times for drinks back in the day, the place has taken on new ownership. Now there is a massive buzz about their amazing “Black Label Burger,” so I had to give it a try.

My wife and I decided to sit at the bar for our meal.

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We started with a pair of cocktails. For me, it was the Bull Shot, which was made with vodka, oxtail broth, lemon, and worcestershire sauce. It was really great, and super manly.

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My wife had a spicy bloody Mary with jalapeños, southwest spices, pickled okra, celery, and pickled green bean. It tasted very fresh.

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We ordered the Black Label Burger, which, for $28, comes with a shit load of fries. I didn’t realize, though, that it didn’t have any cheese. That sucked.

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Anyway the burger meat was perfectly cooked to medium rare (even though I ordered medium), and the sear on the outer crust was crispy and packed with crunchy meat flavor. It was topped with sautéed onions and I also put the lettuce and tomato on top as well.

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The fries are the best I’ve ever had. For real. And they give you enough to feed three people with ease. These are so perfectly seasoned and so crispy, that you may be tempted to run to the bathroom quick and jerk off thinking about how good that first fry was before going back for more.

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Speaking of jerk-sauce, they are served up with a really nice house made mayonnaise. Very nice. Contrast with the hellishly disgusting pickle they serve alongside the burger. Thank God it wasn’t already ON the burger. It was a sweet pickle, but flavored with cinnamon or some nonsense. Eww. All in all, a great meal. The Minetta Burger is served with cheese and costs over $10 less. Maybe next time I will try that. Cheese is absolutely necessary on a burger. Anyone who tells you otherwise can go fuck themselves.

SECOND VISIT

On a second visit, my wife and I had a psychotic meal with the man behind The Dishelin Guide and the Dish Envy app, which is soon to be released for public consumption. This was sort of a two-way celebration. First, it’s been four years to the day since I started this blog; and second, for our friend’s app.

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Alright enough bullshit. Let’s get down to business on this fucking incredible food we had. As an appetizer, we shared the black label burger. Our food companion had never tried it before, and I was convinced that my last experience could be better. We added cheddar cheese to it, because every burger needs cheese. It isn’t steak – it’s a burger, people! With that addition, I was correct. This was WAY better than my last burger here. Juicy, perfectly cooked, and really great with the melted cheese. You could still easily pick up all the great beef flavors going on in the grind.

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The three of us shared both the cote de boeuf and the pork shank. Take a look at this fucking delicious chunk of beef. It comes with two hulking marrow bones and a wedge of salad. Who cares about that bullshit? Not me, so I didn’t photograph the salad. Anyway they present it to you like this before they take it back to slice it up:

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Here’s the slice job. Very beautifully plated:

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The meat had a great crust all over and was still nice and pink throughout the eye of the meat. The fat cap was a bit underwhelming and gristled, but the flavor of the eye made up for that in spades. If this was a legit steakhouse review, the score would probably be a 9 for flavor. I’ve had better, but this is just a really impressive dish to pull off on a regular basis. We need to give credit where credit is due. Well done, Minetta Tavern. Delicious.

My wife took down most of the pork shank. Unfortunately the skin didn’t get crispy like we expected, but the meat was fork tender and really tasty.

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On the side we had these really nice potatoes that were described as “punched.” Basically, baked, crisped and flavored with rosemary salt and garlic while being pressed. I absolutely loved them, but I was so focused on the meat that I didn’t get a chance to really savor my portion. I just kinda wolfed it between bites of meat.

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For dessert we tried the cold nougat ice cream pie thingy. It was really nice, almost marshmallowy in texture on top, and with the flavor of a cold candy bar on the bottom. It was topped with a chocolate cherry sauce and some crushed pistachios.

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Here’s the William:

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Oh and I slammed one of these too. haven’t had one in years and it was fucking great. I will need to stock up the fridge at home now:

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MINETTA TAVERN
113 MacDougal St.
New York, NY 10012

Rosemary’s

My wife and I came here with two other couples for a late night dinner tasting on New Year’s Eve. My overall impression was that the food was good, though there were definitely a few missteps along the way. I’d certainly eat here again from the regular menu. Perhaps the tasting menu was just a bit too ambitious, not to mention that it took a really long time to get through (the place was PACKED on NYE). I really liked the decor of this joint. It used to be a stationary store, from what I hear, that burned down and was later reopened as the restaurant. The space is wide open, has a European look and feel with a large rear wine bar, horizontally oriented subway tiles and exposed brick on the walls, and beamed, exposed wood ceilings.

Okay so on to the good shit, the shit that matters. The food. The joint is Italian, but there is definitely a more northern influence to the style, and even some American twists.

Here’s the menu we were served:

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First I will show you the table breads. These assorted rolls came with a sweet honey butter that was likely mixed with ricotta.

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The “assaggi” was essentially a fried rice ball made with faro grains instead of rice. It was really nicely executed. Juicy and earthy inside, crisp and light on the outside.

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Next were the veggie offerings. I liked the beet dish. It was fresh and had a citrus pop to it.

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The sunchoke soup was delicious, though I tasted more of a potato leek type of profile as opposed to the distinct, unique sunchoke that I love. A portion of the cup was crusted with pistachio nuts.

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The rabbit/carrot/maple dish threw me for a loop. I couldn’t taste the rabbit or find a meat texture, although I definitely tasted something salty/savory. It was more of a foam or airy puree dish than something solid. The carrot was nice and the maple made it shine as the star of the plate. The stick looking thing coming out the left side is a dried crispy carrot shaving or slice.

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The next plate contained both seafood selections; an oyster with a grapefruit foam, and some thinly sliced octopus atop a crisp, flatbread made from chic peas. I liked these both very much, though I may have preferred to taste JUST the oyster without any added citrus.

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For the meat and cheese selections, we started with a burrata beggar’s purse filled with caramelized tomato jam and basil puree. This was pretty good, though I may have just rather had a blob of burrata with a little honey and olive oil. When people start taking that wonderful cheese and turning it into a vessel for holding other shit, they ruin the texture and deliciousness of the cheese.

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The beef tartare with egg and caviar was more like a mini-burger with the bread involved. I would have liked it better if it was on a single, thin slice of toasted bread as opposed to being on a bun. Otherwise it was good.

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The fois gras was excellent. The pomegranates probably were not needed. Perhaps maybe some caramelized onion jam or some pickled items would have been a better choice to pair with it.

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The baby bow tie pasta with rock shrimp and lemon was good, but there was a bit of a bitter aftertaste due to the lemon. Otherwise it was a nice dish.

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The gnudo (a pasta-less raviolo), however, was probably the best item of the night, and it came with a nice helping of shaved truffle to really give it that earthy depth. Awesome.

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Next came a shot of chilled kale juice with blood orange to cleanse the palate.

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The first of the main dishes was bay scallops with mushrooms and a sea urchin sauce. The urchin was a little overpowering, so I wasn’t too much of a fan. The scallops were cooked perfectly though. I just wish they used a sea scallop rather than bay scallops.

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Another favorite of the night was the porchetta. While my wife had a few dry slices, mine was excellent, and the center piece was dark meat that had a real great crisp and flavor to it. Good fat content as well, and it was even served with what is one of the best pork rings I’ve ever had.

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Desert was somewhat of a letdown, although it did have its moments. First was a chocolate ice cream soda with devil’s food and candied orange. I liked the soda/ice cream portion, but didn’t like the devil’s food and orange bit. When you live with The Cake Dealer, you get spoiled as far as baked items go.

brownie choc icecream drink rosemary

The other dessert, which was intended to be creative and skillfully prepared, was pretty much a disaster as far as everyone at our table was concerned. The cake portion beneath would have been fine on its own, or with a more normal, natural topping. The blood orange item was a chemically induced film that had an awkward texture – like the skin that forms on top of jello. Ugh. It was sort of a shitty way to end the meal.

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However, an even shittier way to end a meal is seeing this whopper at the end. Yikes! Too many bottles of wine (they don’t serve hard liquor).

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In sum, I probably wouldn’t go back for a tasting menu, but I would certainly try some of the more traditionally prepared items. The stuff where they tried to be Richard Blaise just fell short.

Corner Bistro

Corner Bistro has long been hailed as one of the best places in NYC for a burger. About 12 years ago I sunk my teeth into a burger here, and only just recently had the chance to come back and try it again.

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Most beers are under $4, and the bloody Mary was $7.

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The hype is well placed. It IS a great burger and a very fair price (Bistro Burger for under $10). It was nicely cooked, but could benefit from slightly fewer raw onion circles and perhaps a second slice of cheese.

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The fries were nicely golden, but lacked a little salt. Nearly perfect.

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CORNER BISTRO
331 W. 4th St.
New York, NY 10014