This joint opened recently and is connected to the 9 Orchard hotel. There’s a lot I want to try here, but on this first trip my wife and I just stopped in for a couple of cocktails and some snacks.
The cocktails are great. I had a Gibson that used basil syrup in the mix. Very herbal and unique.
I also tried their amari-based old fashioned, which was really strong at first. But as the ice mellowed it out, it was perfect.
We had the Oysters Rockefeller, which were quite expensive at $24 for four. They were delicious, however, and reminded us of the flavor profile of escargots.
We also had an order of their perfectly cooked fries, which come with ketchup, mayo, and dijon. I love that they give you dijon automatically. It’s my favorite condiment.
Based on this trip, we will definitely be back to try more of the menu. Stay tuned for updates!
On a second trip, after a LOT of hype in the food media world, I noticed a decline here.
First off, the nice ice cube in the old fashioned is gone now, and they replaced it with a bunch of small regular ice cubes. Bad move!
We started with the steak tartare, which was fairly good although it was very heavy on the onion and vinegar. The parm crisp on top was nice though.
The burger is no longer on the menu. I was excited to try it but they had a steak on special, so I went with that.
$185! Get the fuck outta here for 32oz!
It was just okay. Cooked perfectly, nice crust. But the meat itself was pretty dense and tough in places, and a good amount of connective tissue that was inedible. The best parts were along the bone, and edges, where some aged flavor managed to creep in. 6/10.
My wife’s duck was better, but parts of the dish were insanely salty.
The bread and butter here is fantastic, and complimentary. Get it.
Zafi’s Luncheonette is a small, old school counter-service diner on the lower east side.
They do have some regular seating, but the counter is the best way to enjoy an old school diner like this. If indoor dining resumes in NYC, you’ll be able to pop a squat there with spacing between stools.
I had their burger, which was meh at best, but the vanilla milk shake made it all worth while. That thing was absolutely perfect.
I’ll be back here to work my way through some of their more traditional diner menu items, like a gyro, club sandwich, chopped steak, etc. Hopefully they will all be better than the burger.
500 Grand St
New York, NY 10002
Last year, my buddy and I came up with a concept to rally together NYC’s classiest and most well-dressed folks for a day of martini drinking and fancy-pants conversation. It was a blast!
If you can’t tell, Tux-Con is meant to be NYC’s classy, warm-weather answer to Santa-Con. Think of it like Bruce Wayne throwing a block party / cocktail crawl. This is open invite, so you are all welcome to join us. We are going to start at the Loeb Boat House in Central Park, hit a few other joints along the way with plenty of photos, and then circle back up to possibly end at The Mandarin Oriental. Everything will be within walking distance. The date is this Saturday, April 30th 2016, with a rain date of Saturday, May 14th. Men wear tuxes, black suits, fancy pinstriped attire, etc. Women wear gowns, dresses, etc. If you’re interested, check out the website for updates, or follow us on Facebook. This shit is going to be legit!
Keep an eye out for the invite cards too. We’ll be passing them around any chance we can get.
This is a simple twist on an Old Fashioned that I decided to make with the tail end of a bottle of whiskey and some hibiscus tea that my wife brewed and left in the fridge. Other ingredients include agave syrup, sugar in the raw, lemon juice, lime juice and candied ginger.
I put some ice, whiskey, sugar, lime juice, lemon juice and agave in a shaker and shook the living fucklights out of it. Then I poured it over an ice sphere (because cubes are for pussies) and garnished with a couple of pieces of candied ginger that I had sitting in the cabinet.
The result was a great, sour-yet-sweet, tangy take on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail.
This joint is home to some really excellent cocktails.
I had been eyeballing the place for a while, and when a buddy was in town and staying at a hotel nearby, we decided to go in.
Our bartender, Albert, mixed up the absolute, hands-down best Old Fashioned I have ever tasted. On the menu it is called a Winona, and is made with a few flourishes to the standard ingredients, the most impressive of which is its delivery in a smoke infused bottle.
Watch as the smoke billows out and creates a nose for the drink as you sip it:
I’m not big on the whole “mixology” thing. Mixing drinks is cool but I still call it bartending. Bartending with interesting ingredients doesn’t require a scientific-sounding name. It’s all about pairing flavors, and that’s what any good bar tender should be able to do. Albert is one of those people who takes pride in what he does. He isn’t afraid to try new things and come up with new drinks. I even told him about the Germain Scotsman. His initial reaction was “mixing peaty scotch with anything is blasphemy,” but he embraced the drink with an open mind and found that he actually liked it! It works on many levels.
Anyway, after another visit here for drinks with ANOTHER friend who was in town and staying in midtown, my wife and I finally made it over to try out some of the food.
We started with the scotch eggs. These seem to be made with quail eggs, so the ratio of egg to breading is a bit off. While they tasted really good, had good seasoning and crunch, the egg just got lost a little bit in the breading.
The dry rub chicken wings had nice flavor. If I had to guess, it was some kind of mild jerk spice rub. Very interesting. Good crunch on the outside and nicely cooked inside, and served with a celery and jicama slaw.
We also dug into the pork terrine. The meat was a bit more solid than I expected. When stuff like this is served with toast, I expect more of a spreadable texture. The taste was nice, however, and paired nicely with the mustard and jicama, pepper and cabbage slaw.
Our last savory course was the burger with blue cheese.
I ordered medium, and that seems about right to me on the inside. Perhaps just a bit over?
The pickles, bun, lettuce, tomato and cheese were all on point, but the meat was a little grainy in texture. I think maybe the beef was over worked after it went through the grinder to become a patty. It also could have used a bit more seasoning.
The new version of their burger features 4oz smoked patties and a red onion bacon jam. Way better.
Fries were shoestring style – like McDonalds (a good thing).
For dessert we tried the blueberry upside down cake. This was essentially three small muffin sized cakes served with fresh blueberries (both in the cake and as garnish), tangy orange/lemon curd, whipped cream and basil.
The flavors worked really well together, and the cake was warm and fresh. Even my wife, a baker, gave it her seal of approval.
I’ll definitely be back to try a few more items from the food menu, but it seems like the drinks are really the star of the show here. Nicely done!
UPDATE! IMPROVED BURGER & SECRET BURGER, SAME GREAT COCKTAILS!