Tag Archives: midtown eats

Carnegie Deli

There are few eating holes as iconic as Carnegie Deli. This joint is known around the world for serving up Jewish style deli sandwiches that are piled high with mountains of meat. I hadn’t been here since around 2000, so it was great to finally go back and really sink my teeth into some classic NYC shit.

My buddy and I split the Woody Allen combo, which is about a pound each of pastrami and corned beef on rye bread, but without the statutory rape. We ordered to go so we didn’t get nailed with the $5 share charge (and a tip) if you eat there.

This place still delivers high level quality like I remember. The meat is juicy and tender, sliced thin but not dried out, and piled high as fuck.


One sandwich can easily feed two, but I have to tell you – I was wishing that I had my own sandwich as I got down to my last few bites. So much meat, but I wanted more!


Now that I live nearby, I’ll be picking up sandwiches a lot more often. This place is totally worth the hype, and there are really only three places that still operate in this classic Jewish Deli fashion now: Katz, 2nd Avenue Deli, and Carnegie Deli. Get here. Even if you’ve gone many times. It still delivers a powerful punch of flavor.

854 7th Ave
New York, NY 10019


Circo is a circus themed restaurant in midtown.


I’d heard they served up a good burger. After scanning the menu there were a few other things that I wanted to try as well, like the braised beef cheek and sun dried tomato octopus. And that’s exactly what I tried.


Oh shit, wait… that’s not the sun dried octopus. That’s some awesome octopus statue. Here’s the sun dried tomato octopus:


It was definitely tasty and cooked correctly. Meaty and fulfilling, like Lexington Steele, I would imagine. I just didn’t get an incredible amount of sun dried tomato flavor.

I tried a bite of my friend’s order, which was the braised beef cheek. It was delicious, and if I go back, I’ll definitely be ordering that. It was big, saucy and tender. Since I didn’t grab a photo of that, I will give you a photo of this Moretti beer that I drank:


Okay so on to my burger. At $24 I was expecting a bit more from this, but it was pretty good. It came with cheddar cheese and grilled onions.


Instead of grilled onions, maybe fried onions would work better, to give it a little bit of texture. It did come with onion rings, which were mighty crisp, so I suppose one could stack this fucker up even higher to get that needed crunch. In any case the lettuce was fresh and crispy (romaine).

The toppings were neatly placed on the side, which included two slices of red onion, some romaine lettuce, two slices of tomato and a pair of gherkins. I think slices of actual pickle would have been the better bet, but hey. The bun was good. Not potato, but strong enough to take some abuse. The patty was cooked nicely. I think it just needed a little salt.


The fries were super crispy. Almost too crispy at times, as were the two onion rings, but I did enjoy them.


UPDATE 3/1/17

I came back here for a press dinner and tried a bunch of stuff.

Shrimp croquettes were amazing. Soft, savory, filled with seafoody greatness.

Pizzas are very thin and crisp. If that is your style, then you are very happy ordering these babies.

Nothing beats a plate of meat.

Far be it for me to say something nice about a salad, but this Caesar was excellent.

Mixed seafood plate:

The big stars of the show, though, were these pasta dishes. Bolognese, carbonara, confit duck ragu and clams.

Of these, I think the pappardelle with duck confit and the chitarra carbonara were the best.

Oh and some sage ravioli too – these were tasty.

Circo is also rolling out some cheese wheel cacio e pepe pastas in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout for shit like this:

A buddy of mine tried the skirt steak. It was cooked nicely, seasoned well and had a good crisp on the outside. However it was served too cold. I give it a 7/10.

I shared a 30oz, 28-day dry aged Creekstone Farms t-bone steak with another friend. We ordered medium rare but it came out medium well to fully well done.

There was very little crust on this, although it was seasoned correctly. I was able to taste that dry-aged goodness here and there, but ultimately they ruined the steak, as the over-cooking rendered the texture dry and grainy. Another pair ordered the steak too, and it was also overcooked – just not as egregiously as ours. 5/10.

Another friend tried the lamb chops. These were tasty as well, but also similarly overcooked, unfortunately.

I guess the kitchen needs a little refresher on how to properly cook red meat proteins. But those pasta dishes are amazing.

On the side, we tried creamed spinach, asparagus, mushrooms and potatoes. All were good.

Dessert was nice too. Cannolis, bread pudding, apple tart and bombolini. Also all good.

120 W. 55th St.
New York, NY 10019

Bill’s Food & Drink


I grabbed a Groupon for this place: $55 for a three course meal for two. Not bad. At first I was almost going to include this in my steakhouse reviews page, but after speaking with the waiter I got the sense that their aim was to go for American restaurant as opposed to just steak. They’ve trimmed the steak selection from five cuts to three, so don’t be fooled by the paintings of steaks on the walls – that ain’t necessarily their main aim.

Oh, porterhouse... How I love thee... Let me count the ways...
Oh, porterhouse… How I love thee… Let me count the ways…

I really liked this place. Great atmosphere, cool decor: taxidermy, framed old timey maps, and odd portrait paintings in a grand ballroom type of room with a massive fireplace and ornate mirrors.



bills room

bills wall

The bar was jam packed for the after work happy hour, and I noticed that they even have a piano for live music performances down there.


bills piano

So here was the menu for the three course price fix deal:


We started with drinks, and by far the two best cocktails were the lowlands old fashioned, and the Spanish gin and tonic. Really expertly mixed by the bartender. Then the bread came out – warm and toasty on the outside, soft and hot on the inside, and great smooth butter.


I had the roasted beets and my wife had the fennel and arugula salad with citrus. Both were really great. Mine was hearty, and her’s was light and fresh.



The entrees were both pretty much perfect. I had the peppercorn sauce strip steak. It was very slightly overcooked from how I ordered, but it was delicious nonetheless. The truffle herb fries were some of the best I’ve ever had. The addition of crispy fried basil on top was a great touch.




My wife had the Berkshire pork chop. This thing was THICK, and perfectly cooked. I’ve never had a pork chop like this that wasn’t dried out in some spots. This was juicy through and through.


Dessert was okay. I had a pumpkin cheesecake and my wife had a chocolate cake. The chocolate cake was like a very dense mousse; very rich, almost too sweet for me. It was a very big portion too – like a brick! The pumpkin cheesecake was light and fluffy, with a chocolate-based crust as opposed to graham cracker.



Here’s the total bill:


I definitely recommend this place. I will be back for sure. They have a rib eye for two on the regular menu that needs to be eaten…

On a second trip I tried both the wild Alaskan salmon and the roasted chicken. Both dishes had incredibly crispy skin, tons of flavor and perfect execution in terms of cooking temperature and juiciness. This place is fucking great.

bills salmon

bills chicken

The garbanzo bean soup was a little bit thin and light, but the smoky pork meat in it gave a flavor that reminded me of a split pea soup.

bills soup

Dessert was soft serve ice cream. Simple but really hit the spot.

bills ice cream

57 E. 54th St.
New York, NY 10022

Rosie O’Grady’s Saloon

I popped in here for a quick lunch with a buddy of mine who was in town for a convention. I’d never been here before despite walking by a million times and always being aware of its existence. Perhaps I just assumed it was a standard overpriced midtown tourist trap or something.

So I took down their burger. I had a feeling it was going to be thick, so I didn’t go crazy with toppings: just cheese. I was right. Look at this fat fuck:


It was nice and tasty, well seasoned… and well… done… I ordered medium but it came back pretty much well done.


There’s still a slight bit of pink in there, so maybe medium well.

Anyway, the fries were not my preferred style. I like shoestring but these were steak fries.


The odd thing was that my buddy ordered a chicken sandwich and his came with shoestring fries. Hmm.

Anyway, the burger was still good despite being overcooked, So I may venture back in here for a steak some day, or perhaps the corned beef sandwich.

800 7th Ave.
New York, NY 10019

David Burke Fabrick


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