Archives for June 2013

Burger & Barrel – Wine on Tap, Barrels of Beer and Great Burgers in SoHo

Burger & Barrel Restaurant Manhattan SoHo New York Bar
Business Travelers: Do you recommend Burger & Barrel for

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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 3.7/5 (5 votes cast)

The chalk sign on the sidewalk prepares you for Burger & Barrel with a quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr: “Wine Is A Food.” Burger & Barrel, B & B by which it is known, has an extensive and impressive wine list along with several very good wines on tap. Various carefully selected Barrels of Beer, along with the Wine, compliment some of the best burgers in New York.

Judging by the name of the place don’t be surprised by what I order, of course another burger. No hating my fondness for burgers and the burger kick I have been on for many recent reviews. This will not turn into a burger review site, I promise. There are too many good burger review sites out there already. I will certainly expand my food horizons next time.

Burger & Barrel Experience: On a hot Tuesday evening in June I stay close to home and decide to try Burger & Barrel in Soho, not able to pass up the combination of good burgers and wine. B & B comes from the people who run El Toro Blanco, Lure Fishbar and MercBar. B & B is a Wine Bar, Bistro, American Pub or Wine-Focused Gastropub depending on who you ask.

I walk in and the place is full and lively. I see immediately that the bar is full with no seats available. I tell the extremely nice hostess that I was hoping to have dinner at the bar but I see no seats available. She quickly scans the bar, confirming no open seats, but says I should not have a problem as their bar seats turn over frequently. She suggests having a drink and to expect a short wait. I use the restroom and again my bar seat luckiness comes through, a couple gets up to leave and I quickly settle into their place.

I’ve scored probably one of the best seats at the bar. The bar faces the wall in the front of the restaurant with 3 seats on the short end, 1 on the corner curve and 10 on the long side with the other short side being a service area. I am sitting in the outermost of the 3 side seats with a great view of the entire bar, most of the front of the restaurant and the bustling nightlife of Houston Street through the big front windows. That’s How-ston not Hew-ston! All of the bar seats are actually good. The nice bartenders were working hard to serve everyone at the bar and in the restaurant.

I order the Bash Burger: onion & bacon jam, pickles, american cheese and special sauce, three-time Food & Wine magazine Burger Bash Winner. Recently the Bash Burger was beaten in Eater’s NYC Burger Brackets but some still consider it the best burger in New York City. It is quite good and I highly recommend. Love the two large tasty onion rings on the top. I order the Merlot on tap which made a very nice complement to the meal.

Business Travelers: Burger & Barrel has terrific food and a great Wine selection making it a terrific destination. Located on the northern edge of Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood (South of Houston – that’s How-ston not Hew-ston!), it is worth the trip from most parts of New York. A great way to spend an evening in New York City with with friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues. The night I was there the clientele seemed to be mostly from the neighborhood so it is a good choice to sample one of New York’s neighborhood hangouts. Allow time to explore the cast-iron buildings in SoHo and experience some of the best walking, shopping and nightlife in the city. Although many of the galleries have moved to other neighborhoods such as West Chelsea, there many still to see and beautiful streets for strolling, people watching and buying. A comfortable place for women traveling on business.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

Burger & Barrel
25 West Houston Street
New York, NY 10012
212-334-7320

Burger & Barrel Menu

Burger & Barrel on Urbanspoon

Burger and Barrel on Foodio54

Minetta Tavern – Old Village Charm, French Bistro attracts a Hip Crowd

Minetta Tavern Greenwich Village Manhattan New York

 

Do you recommend Minetta Tavern for:
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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 4.6/5 (5 votes cast)

 

Finally got in the door. My first trip ended at the door, a wait to get into a restaurant and bar at capacity. As Zagat says it “takes an act of Congress to get a reservation.” Having lived in Greenwich Village for many, many years, I’ve still been a bit shy about going to Minetta Tavern not wanting to deal with its popularity and the crowds, which are well known. Today is the time to do it and I am in luck once again. All the tables are full but I see two seats at the bar and I grab one in the center. I should have done this a lot sooner, it’s terrific and everyone will fit right in.

Minetta Tavern Experience: Tuesday evening May 21, 2013 I walk into Minetta Tavern about 7:30 P.M. and sit down at the bar. The seating is tight but the other patrons are friendly and everyone makes room. Once again I am fairly sure what I am having, surprise, it might be another burger. Minetta’s reputation as a stellar French Bistro is well known and the menu is terrific. The burgers have a legendary reputation as well, this is what draws me in tonight.

I order a Johnnie Walker Black Label on the rocks from the very friendly and engaging bartender after looking through the menu. The Bartender thinks I am ordering the Minetta Tavern Black Label Burger, the burger for which the Minetta is well known. I tell him I’m still looking at the menu. Of course I will order the Black Label burger but I want to sip my drink a bit.

I order a medium Black Label Burger. This burger is simple: a selection of prime dry-aged beef cuts with caramelized onions and pommes frites. The smaller, and $9 cheaper, Minetta Burger comes with cheddar so I tell the bartender that I’d like to get cheese with that and he says one word “No.” Now the bartender has been very nice and attentive so far, his response was not meant to be admonishing, rather some good advice. I said “but I like cheese” and he again says “No.” Now I am enjoying this and look at him quizzically and he tells me the burger needs nothing, it is deliciuos and best the way it is. I trust him and go without the cheese. The guys dining next to me at the bar hear the exchange, praise the burger and tell me it needs nor wants any cheese.

The scene is lively, moderate sound level and a full, fun crowd. The bar faces the wall with about 15 seats. Seating is close in places but manageable and makes the bar experience enjoyable. Any seat would be good.

My burger arrives and it looks fantastic and perfectly done with a heaping portion of pomme frites. I ask for ketchup, dip a few fries in, then grab my knife and begin to add ketchup to my bun. The bartender spies me and says “you don’t want to put ketchup on that.” I sullenly begin scraping ketchup off the bun while the two guys next to me look on with the bartender approvingly.

Well, they were all right. Take their advice, order the Black Label Burger as is with the caramelized onions. It was great, cooked perfectly, just juicy enough and the meat blend with the onions was missing nothing, one of the best burgers I have ever had.

The scene here is quite entertaining. While sitting at the bar a couple of Investment Banker types came in dropping names to the bartender, names he, myself, nor the others at the bar recognized. I think they were expecting something “extra” but just looked foolish. I had a terrific night without dropping anything except the ketchup from my bun.

The seat next to me opened up during my stay and a guy sits down and quickly orders the Black Label Burger. His burger arrived quickly as did mine and he ate it very fast then left. During our brief conversation I learned he was a chef in a Midtown restaurant and had never had a Minetta burger. I think he was on a spy mission.

Business Travelers: Minetta Tavern is a classic Greenwich Village institution updated into a fantastic French Bistro attracting lively, entertaining and fun crowds. A great way to spend an evening in New York City with with friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues. Reservations are not always easy so plan ahead. The bar seats do turn over fairly well so walking in and eating at the bar is not a bad option. Minetta is worth the cab trip from wherever you may be in New York. Take some time to walk around the area streets (Thompson, Sullivan, MacDougal, W 3rd, W 4th and Bleecker) which some call the heart of Greenwich Village. This area is full of bars, restaurants and an eclectic collection of businesses. Washington Square Park is about a block away. New York’s legendary Blue Note Jazz Club is right around the corner on W 3rd Street. Walk west on Bleecker Street across 6th and 7th Avenues into the West Village and you will find yourself surrounded by high-end shopping. A comfortable place for women traveling on business.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆

Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012
212-475-3850

Minetta Tavern Menu

Minetta Tavern on Urbanspoon

Minetta Tavern on Foodio54