The Back Room at One57

NOTE: THIS JOINT IS NOW CLOSED

NYC restaurant week now includes this joint at the One57 building on Billionaire’s Row, “The Back Room.” They offer a really great menu. The decor is beautiful and vast. It’s a huge place. Tables are wide and spacious. Very different from the usual situation in NYC.

The onion bread with garlic and herb cream cheese is a delicious way to start the meal here:

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We also sipped on some really excellent cocktails.

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The charcuterie board had five different styles of cured meat with some pickled items. I thought this was really generous. The quality of these meats was top notch, too. Coppa, cacciatorini, fennel sausage, soppressata, spicy nduja, lardon. The fat content was so soft and sticky that it was clinging to the bottom of my tongue like peanut butter. So good.

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We also had the reginetti pasta, which are like little squiggly brain shapes that hold the sauce nicely in the convolutions.

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For our main courses we went with the beef cheek and the quail. The beef cheek was braised in red wine to a perfect tenderness that still retained a nice juicy inside. It was served on a parsnip and rutabaga puree, and topped with crispy onions and a red onion jam.

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My wife’s quail dish was nicely cooked and had good flavor, but it was slightly gamey. The quail was in no way bad. It just didn’t hit the same high mark as the beef.

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Dessert was pretty great. Maybe restaurants in NYC are finally understanding that people want to see something different than tiramisu, creme brûlée, chocolate cake and fucking flan. First up was this cocoa toffee pudding with brulee’d bananas, salty cocoa nibs and malted coconut ice cream. Excellent.

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We also had the meyer lemon zabaglione with whipped tea, lemon confit and earl grey ice cream. Very inventive and unique, and a nice bright way to end a meal.

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The waiter, Ivan, was great. He even brought over a candle and complimentary glass of honeyed dessert wine for my wife since they knew it was her birthday (was mentioned on the Open Table reservation).

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On a second visit I tried their two-course lunch for $32, along with a taste of a few other things that the rest of the table had.

First was this delicious grilled octopus.

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The texture was perfect. While the chimichurri-esque green sauce was a bit bland, I did like it a lot with the octopus, and even with the table bread as well.

I went with the skirt steak for my main course.

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The dollop of garlic butter on top really added a great flavor and creaminess to the cut. It was perfectly cooked to medium rare.

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While the steak itself was a bit small, it did pack a ton of flavor. 8/10.

Here’s a look at the lobster roll on the lunch menu. I think it could use a bit more quality, large chunks of claw meat. The bread was solid, but I’ve had better lobster rolls elsewhere.

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The duck leg confit was brilliant. So tender and juicy, and beautifully plated as well.

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And speaking of beautiful plating, this bowl of fried oyster mushrooms with lemon are served with an edible chive blossom.

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For dessert we sampled a trio of eclairs and a chocolate espresso cake, which was super soft, smooth and decadent. The texture was more like soft fudge or a thick custardy pudding.

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Of the three eclairs, I liked the pink and red one the best. All three had great creamy fillings and were beautiful as well as tasty.

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THE BACK ROOM AT ONE57
157 W. 57th St.
New York, NY 10019

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