Another Restaurant Rut

I haven’t had a good meal in a restaurant in more than a month. That is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed myself, or had an excellent dish (The burger I had at Blue Smoke last night was fantastic), but I would like the total package, and it just hasn’t happened recently. I have been cooking a lot, mostly simple stuff that is nonetheless great fun to eat, but nothing thrilling to write about. Sorry. I write this blog to entertain myself. But, I will be going out to dinner in Manhattan, as close to Bryant Park as possible. Unless no one is going to come through with a great restaurant recommendation, in which case I will expand the territory to include all of Manhattan except the East Side (I am allergic to the East Side). Please don’t suggest Per Se, or Daniel, or something silly that will cost me a mortgage payment and I couldn’t get into anyway. I am thinking more along the lines of Union Square Cafe, or Barbuto. Something fun, relatively casual, and with a bar!

11 Replies to “Another Restaurant Rut”

  1. You mentioned the great burger at Blue Smoke. Being somewhat familiar with your blog, I can only assume that you ordered the BACON CHEESEBURGER, in which I case I completetly concur. You’ve mentioned the DB burger elsewhere, also outstanding but it costs about as much as a meal at Per Se. I want to recommend another very good burger joint in Manhattan: Rare. Mid-town somewhere. Burgers only. Casual place, but not a fast-food joint by any means. Serious wine and beer list. Meticulously crafted hamburgers, over 20 differnt variations on toppings, some of which I have never seen anywhere else.

  2. Rare is on Lexington between 37th and 38th. And the menu looks great! Anybody who offers a Murray’s Cheese Shop topping on a burger is serious about burgers…or cheese…or both.

    And of course I ordered it with bacon. What kind of a savage do you think I am?

  3. Try Mono, Irving Place around 17th.
    The lamb is great, so is the tongue. Eat at the bar if you can, the liquor bar, not the food bar.
    Good luck.
    Also, check out Punch, B’way and 20th-21st. Excellent food and wine. Great cover repros of the old Brit mag.

  4. There is another Rare just off 6th Avenue and Bleecker which my youngest son considers a superb burger place…

    Try Lupa on Thompson between Houston and Bleecker. Superb (Roman) Italian Food with a great downtown atmosphere. I think Batali is a partner but don’t quote me on that. It is certainly one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Its also happens to be next door to Tomoe Sushi.

  5. Lupa is on my (long) list of restaurants to try, but it is definitely not a spur-of-the-moment place. It’s full for tonight.

    Mono looks like fun, but Punch looks great. Nice sounding menu. That might be the winner!

  6. i just don’t like Rare. tried to. wanted to. several times. but i found the burgers bland and dry. i don’t think they compare to Blue Smoke’s, and the level of service certainly doesn’t.

  7. The menu looks intriguing, so I will have to try it at least once.

    Tommy, do you hold all restaurants to the service standards of a Danny Meyer restaurant? Ouch. You are a tough grader. I hope you aren’t a teacher.

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