I came to this cool village joint for a press dinner.
The interior is like an old world tavern, with lots of exposed brick, warm tones and wood beams on the ceiling.
The beer selection is really great, both on tap and in bottles/cans.
Chef Armando cut his teeth at STK and Five Napkin Burger before taking on the executive chef role at both this Malt House location and the newly opened, massive Financial District location.
The bar room is really well apportioned, with an L-shaped stretch that also has some tabletop seating nearby. At happy hour they offer nice food selections and cheap drink options, along with dollar oysters! There’s also a full menu at the bar for the other eats, and they offer flights of beer (four for $10), American whiskey and Scotch whisky.
Here’s what we had on our press tasting:
All the apps came out on a big platter, with the exception of the mussels, of course:
The onion rings had a nice bacon flavor to them. They were fluffy without being too bready, and the onion inside was cooked through.
The baked, fried and grilled wings were excellent – the best of the “fried stuff,” for sure. They had a mild buffalo spiced roquefort sauce on them, but that didn’t take away any of the crisp to the skin.
One of the more unique items on the menu is the fried cheese curds. You just don’t see them all that much around here. They were like small bite-sized bits of “cheese sticks,” only less melty and more airy and bready.
The fried pickles were crispy as hell! They were sliced paper thin first, and then battered and fried. These went nicely with the homemade ranch sauce.
The ranch sauce, by the way, was the best of the three sauces we had (the other two: a house sauce that was similar to thousand island, and a chipotle mayo).
The star of the openers, however, was the crock of mussels that were steamed in a sauce made from roasted tomatoes, chorizo, garlic, herbs (rosemary, for one) and white wine. Delicious.
Chef Armando hits back to back home runs with the burger and the mahi mahi tacos when it comes to the entrees.
The burger is a blend of short rib, chuck and brisket that makes for a tender, juicy and superbly flavorful patty of beef. Topped with onion marmalade, pickles, bacon, lettuce, red onion and cheese, you really can’t go wrong.
The fries on the side, however, were a little bit lacking in comparison to the incredible burger. Not as crispy as I like, and a little heavy on the grease flavor. The truffle fries had a better crisp to them, but I didn’t get much of the truffle flavor, and they were cut a little thicker than I like for French fries.
The tacos are super refreshing, with really nicely cooked fish and fresh ingredients. I’d definitely go back for these.
We seriously tasted an astonishing amount of food on this press event. Next was the open-faced strip steak sandwich on a French baguette, topped with melty gruyere, red onion and arugula.
The steak was pre-sliced but thick, making it good for the open-faced, knife-and-fork format.
The lobster mac and cheese was topped with a generous portion of lobster claw and tail meat, and it had the flavor of truffle oil to bring some earthiness into the dish.
We even tried a salad with grilled chicken. Pretty good. It was nicely dressed and the chicken breast was perfectly cooked.
For dessert, we sampled both the creme brûlée and the chocolate cake. My favorite between the two was the creme brûlée. It was smooth and creamy, nice and evenly textured.
The chocolate cake was served warm, with a scoop of house made vanilla on the side.
The cake was slightly dry, but the ice cream was a good way balance that: eat some ice cream with each bite of cake, and problem solved.
But what can I say: The Cake Dealer really spoils me when it comes to cake and bake.
To sum up: I’ll definitely be back here for some drinks, burgers and tacos. Great shit. Awesome US craft beer selection (like Bourbon County) that rotates out often, and excellent burgers. Most likely I will come for happy hour and indulge in some dollar oysters too.
THE MALT HOUSE
206 Thompson St.
New York, NY 10012