Boulton and Watt – Lower East Side Gem: Terrific Food & Service with Fun, Energetic Crowd

Boulton and Watt American Gastropub Restaurant Manhattan New York

Business Travelers: Do you recommend Boulton and Watt for

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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: 4.1/5 (3 votes cast)

The Lower East Side of Manhattan has become a hotbed of activity over the years, from trendy shops to both excellent and lousy restaurants and a hopping nightlife. Boulton and Watt is one of the excellent restaurants with an energetic, bustling, happy and professional crowd.  No matter where you may be in the city, if want to explore some new neighborhoods, make the Lower East Side (LES) and Boulton and Watt a first stop.

The Boulton and Watt Experience: Finally, bright sunshine and temperatures in the 50’s, a welcome relief after weeks of cold and snow. Everyone is out on this Saturday afternoon. I decide to walk the LES and remember the good things I’ve heard about Boulton and Watt and decide to check it out.

About 1:45 pm on a Saturday I walk in to find the place full and bustling, everyone is having a good time. I go to the bar looking for a seat, nothing available. Bartender immediately comes over to ask if I want to see a menu. I say that I was hoping to find a seat and eat and he says I’ll get you your drink, just wait here, there are two people ready to get up in a few minutes. Sure enough I was soon sitting down looking at the menu. The bartender is terrific, attentive and personable all afternoon while I am there, making this meal very enjoyable.  

My seat is to the left of the long side of the bar directly in front of one of the two televisions with the Sochi Olympics on. The long side of the bar has about 12 seats with additional seats curving around the two shorter sides of the bar. The bright sunshine is streaming into the corner restaurant from the large windows on Avenue A, East 1st Street and Houston Street (pronounced “HOW”ston, not like the city in Texas). This is adding to the great vibe inside.

I’ve seen some online photos of the Chicken Pot Pie which was my intended first choice to order now that I finally got to come here. Unfortunately it was only going to be available at dinner. So I went to my backup choice, Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon. Now this dish was delicious, big on flavor, creamy with big chunks of bacon. Now I normally don’t take food pics to include here but this was so good I could not resist.

Boulton and Watt Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon NYC

Business Travelers: Boulton and Watt is a great way to get out of the ho- hum of Midtown Manhattan and explore some of Manhattan’s neighborhoods.  This place is terrific for Business Travelers and anyone who wants to entertain clients, colleagues, friends or coworkers. The noise level might be a little higher than usual but certainly manageable. Crowd seemed professional on my visit. Not a place for a quiet dinner. Start here and leave yourself time to walk around and explore some of the small shops, bars and restaurants both new and old throughout the Lower East Side. The spot is centrally located putting you within an easy walk to other Manhattan neighborhoods like The BoweryLittle Italy, Soho and Greenwich Village.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆

Boulton and Watt
5 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
646-490-6004

Boulton and Watt Menu

Boulton & Watt on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Information

 

* Restaurant Name
Boulton & Watt
* Overall
★★★☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
East Village / American New
* Street Address
5 Ave. A (Corner of Ave. A & 1st St.), New York, NY 10009
* Phone
(646) 490-6004

Smithfield – Great Sports Tavern and Soccer Mecca in Chelsea with Food to Match

Smithfield Sports Restaurant & Bar New York Manhattan Chelsea
Business Travelers: Do you recommend Smithfield for

UA:D [1.9.22_1171]
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 (7 votes cast)

Here at BarTaste we are continuing to beef up our reviews of Sports Bars, especially now that we are at the midpoint of the baseball season. The MLB All Star Game 2013 was on Tuesday night so I decided to head out to watch the game and have a meal at the bar. A friend recommended Smithfield and the Smithfield Burger which comes with foie gras and truffles! Of course I did not pass up the opportunity to order another burger, I know I promised no more burgers but foie gras and truffles! It did come recommended and I was not disappointed.

Smithfield Experience: In the middle of a heat wave I venture out into steamy Manhattan to watch the 2013 MLB All-Star Game. I was considering attending the game in person since it was played at the Met’s Citifield in Queens, an easy subway ride. With the oppressive heat it looks like I made the right choice to skip Queens in favor of the cool air conditioning of Smithfield in Chelsea, a recommended place which has been on my radar for a while.

I walk in just after 7 P.M. giving enough time before the start of the game to find a good seat. It looks like all the tables and bar seats are full with a very energetic and boisterous crowd having a good time. My luck comes through once again and I find a seat towards the left at the bar. I order a drink, ask for a menu and settle in.

Smithfield is focused on Soccer (Football anyone?). Yes, plenty of attention is given to those other minor leagues like the NFL and MLB, but be prepared for a soccer emporium. Of the many large TVs everywhere, at least half were showing the CONCACAF Gold Cup ‘13. From my seat I could see two large televisions, one with the Gold Cup, the other NFL Network. I saw Cuba beat Belize in the quarterfinals and the beginning of the USA vs Costa Rica match which USA won.

The bartender was extremely nice, friendly and attentive. I was very impressed how the channels were changed to FOX right as the national broadcast began at 7:30. This shows attention to detail from Smithfield, managing their televisions, understanding their customers and treating them well. Read my rant on places not managing their TVs here. The pre-game and game came on right in front of me without a hitch, I was happy. In too many places I’ve had to ask that channels be changed to events which should have already been on, sometimes the channel on has been Lifetime, at a sports bar! Not at Smithfield. The sound of the USA vs Costa Rica soccer match was on throughout the place, making watching the All Star Game a little different, but this is after all a Soccer Mecca, and they know their customers and keep them happy. I knew plenty of baseball fans were around because of the very loud groans when Robinson Cano of the Yankees got hit by a pitch on the knee. It looked bad but he is supposed to be okay. I really like Joe Buck but he looked like an alien coming in for a landing on that platform FOX built him for the game at Citifield.

The Smithfield Menu is several steps above a typical sports place and delicious. The Smithfield Burger with foie gras and truffles was tremendous. I will be thanking my friend many times for recommending it. The Thursday Short Rib special looked very good but alas it was Tuesday. The bar faces a wall with 5 large TVs with about 18 seats on the long side and 3 on the short side. Plenty of TVs throughout the first floor. There is also a second floor and mezzanine. Sit anywhere for a terrific view of the action.

Business Travelers: The crowd seemed to be mostly an after work business crowd mixed with locals from the neighborhood really enjoying themselves. A great place for friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues. Be prepared to speak up if you are getting serious about conducting business here. Smithfield is in the Chelsea neighborhood, not far from Flatiron and, being at 28th Street, a quick trip from most of Midtown and about a 5 minute walk from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, great for pre or post game. Some consider the location part of Midtown. The location puts you within quick striking distance of many Manhattan’s fun neighborhoods and attractions for shopping, strolling, bars, restaurants and exploring. Checkout The High Line, Manhattan’s Park in the Sky, Meatpacking DistrictWest ChelseaNoMadMadison SquareUnion SquareFashion District and Greenwich Village. A comfortable sports bar for women traveling on business.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

Smithfield
215 West 28th Street
New York, NY 10001
212-564-2172

Smithfield Menu

Smithfield on Urbanspoon

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

UA:D [1.9.22_1171]
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

Rogue – Great Food, Sports, Location: Chelsea, Flatiron & Midtown

Rogue Bar & Restaurant Sports Bar & Restaurant Chelsea Midtown Manhattan New York
Business Travelers: Do you recommend Rogue for

UA:D [1.9.22_1171]
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: 3.4/5 (4 votes cast)

Being a Philly sports fan in New York is lots of fun but it can be challenging. Finding a good place to eat and watch a game is not always easy if you stray away from the standard Philly haunts in Manhattan: Shorty’s (two locations – 9th Ave & Madison Ave) or Wogies (tell us where else?) Since the Phillies are in New York to play the Mets it should be easy to walk into any sports bar restaurant, sit at the bar, have a meal and watch the game. I decide to try Rogue and I am not disappointed.

Once again after a brutal Sunday morning gym workout I head to a restaurant bar to have a meal. I’ve had Rogue on the radar for some time because of its large collection of screens, large bar and ample space for groups looking to enjoy a game and some food. The Phillies are playing at 1:00 P.M. and I just make it in time for first pitch and brunch.

Rogue Experience: It is a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I walk through upper West Chelsea toward Rogue on 6th Avenue. West Chelsea is home to New York’s “Park In The Sky”, The High Line. Lots of people out strolling and crowding restaurants for brunch. Places with outdoor seating are especially popular. The crowds thin a bit as you walk north toward Midtown. I arrive at Rogue and many of the sidewalk seats are taken but I have my eye on the bar. Inside it looks like brunch is just getting started with plenty of open tables and about half the seats open at the bar. The hostesses’ greetings were extremely welcoming. I decide on a seat in the middle of the bar and ask the waitress if I can have the large television directly in front of me tuned to the Mets game. I purposely say Mets, not Phillies, this is New York afterall. I do have a Phillies shirt on so my allegiance is clear. Most televisions are tuned to the New York Knicks at the Boston Celtics playoff game which Boston won. The bartender gladly changes the channel for me and I settle in and take a look at the menu.

After my big workout my goal was to continue the good health mode through the afternoon. That quickly changed once I spied the Brunch Bloody Marys. Not resisting, I ordered one and it was nicely done, just the right amount of spiciness. The menu had a nice selection of brunch items, the Acapulco Omelette looked extremely good but I had had my fill of eggs earlier in the morning so I select the Chicken & Spinach Quesadillas. What arrived were large, stuffed quesadilla slices brimming with grilled chicken breast, spinach and shredded jack cheese, delicious. With guacamole, sour cream and Pico de Gallo on the side it was extremely enjoyable and filling. I had originally planned to order a second course but I was no longer hungry. Soon I may have to spend 24 hours a day at the gym or make a very long appointment with my tailor.

The bar is long and faces the wall with four large screens directly ahead with about 18 seats on the long side and 4 curving around to the short side near the front. There are lots of high top tables and televisions offering views from all directions, several are super large projection units. Main dining room is large with a second level which can accommodate groups for special events. Other bar patrons are some of the most friendly people I have met yet. The staff is equally nice. Cole Hamels pitched a great game for the Phils leading the team to a big win.

Business Travelers: Rogue is a terrific place to go with friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues for a very good upscale bar food menu and to catch a game. Don’t let the sports focus scare you away though, the great staff, service, and large, open dining room and bar will keep you and our group happy. Rogue is on the Flatiron and Chelsea border and, being at 26th Street, a quick trip from most of Midtown and about a 5 minute walk from Penn Station. Some say this is part of Midtown. The location puts you within quick striking distance of many Manhattans fun neighborhoods for shopping, strolling, bars, restaurants and exploring. Checkout the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea, NoMad, Madison Square, Union Square, Fashion District and Greenwich Village. A comfortable sports bar for women traveling on business.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★☆☆ 

Rogue
757 Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas)
New York, NY 10011
212-242-6434

Rogue Menu

Rogue on Urbanspoon

Ainsworth Park – Mad for March, Absolutely Terrific Crowd, Food and Sports

Aisworth Park high-end Sports Bar New York Flatiron Manhattan Business Travelers: Do you recommend Ainsworth Park for

UA:D [1.9.22_1171]
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: 4.1/5 (5 votes cast)

It’s March and I am mad for college basketball. Three of my hometown teams are in: LaSalle, Villanova and Temple. Three of Philly’s Big Five, not bad. (half of the City Six if you are a Drexel fan.) Unfortunately tonight one of these teams will disappoint but Ainsworth Park more than made up for it. Ainsworth is a great place for sports and food but the big, big plus was the crowd, they were terrific.

Ainsworth Park Experience: On Friday, March 22, 2013 at about 7:30 P.M. I  am walking toward Ainsworth Park, yikes a velvet rope. No problem, no line, and a very nice guy at the door who waves me in. Ainsworth is a large multilevel place, beautifully decorated with large televisions everywhere and a couple of bars, lots of seating and multiple areas for standing and connecting with everyone. The place is packed, of course, it being Friday happy hour with several NCAA Championship Tournament games going at once. I move into the crowd surrounding the main bar, scoping out the televisions looking for the Villanova – North Carolina game. I find it and settle into the crowd. No seats but I am able to find a little space and watch, keeping my eyes open for a seat.

This crowd was wonderful. The place was full of 20 somethings through mid 30’s, well dressed after work crowd. Probably evenly distributed between men and women and amazingly super nice and polite! You see a crowded happy Hour, especially a sports bar full of basketball rivalries, and you expect some rowdy, maybe even a little obnoxious behavior, not here. Yes, it was loud with cheering rarely absent but walking through the crowd you were overwhelmed by the polite and well spoken (loudly) crowd. Ainsworth, the crowd and their parents should all be proud. Send your kids and even if you are not within the age range I described (me included), go too. You will feel very comfortable.

My lucky streak continues and a seat opens up in front of me despite the crowd and right in front of the ‘Nova game. My patience paid off. I sometimes think of leaving but never again until this lucky streak ends. Unfortunately Villanova disappointed and played a very poor game against North Carolina. I order the Park Burger and substitute the Bleu Cheese Tater Tots for the fries. The burger was great and the Tater Tots were nothing like I had had before. Not the small things I remember from my childhood but large hot pockets of potato and bleu cheese. I ate two and took the rest home, still eating them now. The staff were very attentive, engaging and working hard to keep the crowd happy. There are two bars on the first level. the bigger one faces the wall in the center and has about 11 seats facing four large televisions. The other is to the left and has less seats but a nice area for standing and mingling. Great crowd, a good place to come with friends and meet new ones. The televisions were closely managed, I really like this, so that channels were changed based on customer preference and the tournament schedule.

Business Travelers: I strongly recommend this place. Don’t let the age group I talked about above be a deterrent. All are welcome and I fit in fine. Many tables available for a group of friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues.  I don’t see a bad spot where a view of a television is not available. If there is a specific game you want to see I’m sure the staff would be happy to change one of the televisions for you. There is also a second level with limited access. Ainsworth is in the center of Manhattan’s Flatiron District, right in the middle of of New York City’s burgeoning high tech Silicon Alley business area. You are close to Union Square, with many things to do and see, check out Madison Square Park and Eataly, the huge Italian Market with restaurants and a cooking school. The Gramery Park neighborhood is a great place for a stroll Close to the bars and Restaurants along Park Avenue South. A comfortable Sports Bar for women traveling on business with an extremely polite clientele.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

Ainsworth Park
111 East 18th Street
New York, NY 10003
212-673-2467

Ainsworth Park Menu

Ainsworth Park on Urbanspoon

Windsor Gansevoort Park – Stepping up the High-End Sports Bar Game

Windsor Gansevoort Park Hotel Sports Bar New York NoMad

Business Travelers: Do you recommend Windsor Gansevoort Park for
UA:D [1.9.22_1171]
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: 4.1/5 (4 votes cast)

Tired of the classic stereotypical sports bar? It’s time to move to a different level. The Windsor at the Gansevoort Park Hotel has taken the Sports Bar concept and bumped it up a couple of notches. I am out to watch the NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and The Atlanta Falcons and I want a higher end Sports Bar experience so I head to the Windsor Gansevoort Park with high expectations and I am not disappointed. Another Windsor location downtown on West 4th Street will be reviewed later.

I never learn my lesson. Showing up for a big game 10 minutes before it starts, expecting to get a bar seat, is just plain nuts. Well, I do it again today and of course no seats but with a little patience my luck once again shines through.

Windsor Gansevoort Park Experience: On Sunday, January 20, 2013 I walk into the Windsor Gansevoort Park at about 2:50 P.M. to catch the NFC Championship game and have something to eat at the bar. The place is full but not crowded yet considering the importance of this game and fanatical fans both teams have. Of course there are no seats available at the bar with the game about to start in a few minutes. All of the seats in the restaurant are taken. Televisions are everywhere so watching from any location is not a problem. Luckily I snag a spot standing at the bar between two seated fans so I settle in order a drink and watch the start of the game.

Several people order food and I watch the game, watch the food and ask how everyone how they like what they ordered. The menu has many of the classic items you find on a sports bar menu along with several nice additions. They call it “gourmet comfort food.”

The first quarter ends and the guy sitting next to me leaves freeing up a seat which I quickly take and ask for a menu. The bar is not large with about 10 seats facing a wall but all seats have a good view of the televisions. The place has gotten crowded with people standing in most areas and moving around. It is a fun, loud crowd, it is after all a Conference Championship game, but not the usual sloppy rowdiness you might find in other sports bars. A very good experience.

I order the Tuna Tartare, yes Tuna Tartare during a football game and an excellent choice, fresh and tasty. Before I sat down, the guy next to me raved about how good his burger was so I order one for myself. He was right, it was delicious.

The bartenders were outstanding and the crowd was extremely friendly and engaging. Met many fun people this afternoon which made the entire experience very enjoyable.

Business Travelers: This is great place to have a Sports Bar Meal with with friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues. If there is a specific game you want to see I’m sure the staff would be happy to change one of the televisions for you. If there is a big game on go early to get one the comfy looking booths or high top tables. The bar has 10 seats so getting several together might be a challenge. There is also a second level.

NoMad has many things to do and see, check out Madison Square Park and Eataly, the huge Italian Market with restaurants and a school. Experience NoMad and MadParkNews are two great resources for checking out the neighborhood. The Windsor is a quick cab ride or nice walk from many of the Midtown hotels. A comfortable Sports Bar for women traveling on business.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

Windsor Gansevoort Park
420 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
(646) 380-5301

Windsor Gansevoort Park Menu

The Windsor on Urbanspoon

Cock & Bull – Great British Pub & Terrific Crowd in Midtown

Cock & Bull British Pub Midtown Manhattan New York BarTaste Review Meal Eaten at Restaurant Bar
Business Travelers: Do you recommend Cock & Bull for

UA:D [1.9.22_1171]
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: 4.4/5 (4 votes cast)

I’m being asked for more Midtown reviews so here we go! With many travelers and locals staying and meeting in Midtown Manhattan, more info on choices is necessary and we aim to fill in the info gap. (Why does my auto-correct keep typing “Modtown”?) I have some meetings in Midtown so I scope out a few choices from BarTaste’s Targeted for Review Map. After my meetings, I head to my first choice, Cock & Bull. Of course I have burgers on the mind.

Cock & Bull Experience: On Wednesday, January 9, 2013 I walk into Cock & Bull in Midtown. The place is pleasantly full with an after-work crowd. Groups of people, out for a bite and a drink after work, sit and stand at the wall tables in the bar area and several groups sit at the bar itself. Plenty of room to maneuver so I a scout out a seat. Once again I arrive to find one last bar seat remaining. I seem to be on a lucky roll. This seat is a little crammed between two groups at the bar but when I ask if anyone is sitting there, both groups are happy to provide a little room for me to fit in and sit down for a comfortable meal.

The Bar faces the wall with about 6 seats on an angle at the front of the restaurant and 14 seats on the long side stretching into the main seating area. I am sitting near where the angle meets the long side giving me a great view of the entire bar, restaurant and out through the front windows onto the street. There is an upper level which is quieter than the main floor but the noise level tonight is quite comfortable, making for a fun, but not loud, experience. Two large televisions are visible from all bar seats and are now playing ESPN with no live games being televised. The other patrons are very engaging and fun. Cock & Bull is advertising a Super Bowl Party which I unfortunately missed.

I look at the menu for a long time wanting to try much of what is there having forgotten my burger craving long ago. The very friendly, strongly accented bartender, recommends his favorite, Bangers and Mash. Not sure which part of the British Empire he is from, my skill at differentiating accents is pitiful. I really want to try the Mushy Peas with Bacon but I have stopped ordering too much food and go with just the Bangers and Mash. It is great, a hearty meal and I devoured every last bit. You can’t go wrong with the bartender’s recommendation.

Business Travelers: Cock & Bull is perfect for business travelers. It was full of people who had just gotten off of work and were settling in with friends and coworkers for meals and drinks. During the evening other locals, and just a few tourists, came in making for a really nice well rounded crowd. Absolutely go here with friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues. Check out the nearby beautiful Grand Central Terminal which just celebrated its 100th Anniversary. Look up (yes, here you can look up) at the beautiful ceiling, an astrological painting. Notice Orion is backward, or is everything else backward? Grand Central is full of shops and restaurants. Definitely a perfect place for women traveling on business.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

Cock & Bull
23 West 45 Street
New York, NY 10036
212-819-1900

Cock & Bull Menu
Thrillist Cock & Bull Review

Cock & Bull on Urbanspoon

Bill’s Bar & Burger – Great Escape from a “Too Fancy” Meatpacking District

Bill's Bar & Burger Meatpacking District Manhattan New York
Business Travelers:  Do you recommend Bill’s Bar & Burger for
UA:D [1.9.22_1171]
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: 2.8/5 (3 votes cast)

Do you remember when the Meatpacking District really was packing meat? You could not walk down the street without getting whacked by a carcass hanging on a hook waiting to get processed. The area has undergone a huge change and now is full of high end stores, restaurants, bars and clubs. Weekends draw a big bridge and tunnel crowd. Bill’s Bar & Burger provides a great respite and welcoming normalcy from all the craziness with a great upscale bar & burger menu and shakes! Plenty of non-burger options on the menu as well. No velvet ropes here. Bill’s also has a location in Rockefeller Center which is substantially larger and  I suspect is a tourist favorite.

The Bill’s Bar & Burger Experience: Thursday, July 20, 2012 about 8:45 P.M I walk in and grab the last seat at the bar.  Sitting in the middle of the long side, about 8 seats, with 4 on the short side near the entrance, I order a drink. The front of Bill’s has the bar and tables with plenty of tables further in the back.  The place was full, lively and fun but not crazy for a Thursday night. Seems like it’s full of New Yorkers from both in and outside the neighborhood. The last bar seat I got was right in front of the large beer taps which were a little crowding but the bartender and other patrons were fun and engaging. Bar faces the wall so try to get one of the four seats on the short side where you can see most of the bar and restaurant and through the large windows out to all the action on the streets. It’s good to be inside sitting and watching the Meatpacking District coming alive on a Thursday night.

I order a Bacon & Cheddar Burger. Yes, another burger. I am getting up early the next day to exercise furiously and eat grilled chicken the rest of the day. The burger, along with a side of Beer Battered Onion Rings, was delicious, I will be going back. The entire bar meal experience was very good and the energetic atmosphere made it even more enjoyable. Two televisions at either end of the bar, one with ESPN and the other with encore showing of the Mets day game. Bill’s Bar & Burger has that look of your neighborhood bar and burger joint which has been around for a long time, quite comfortable.

Business Travelers: If you are looking for a fun, casual downtown night out out with a group of friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues, while checking out the Meatpacking District neighborhood, Bill’s is a great choice. It is especially good if you want to avoid the higher end restaurants in the area but stay in the neighborhood. Allow time to check out New York’s new park in the sky, The High Line, and allow time for some upscale shopping. Women traveling on business will feel welcome and comfortable in the Meatpacking District and the surrounding neighborhood.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★☆☆ 

Bill’s Bar & Burger
22 Ninth Avenue at West 13th Street
New York, NY 10014
212.414.3003

Bills’ Bar & Burger Menu
Urbanspoon Bill’s Bar & Burger Reviews

Bill's Bar & Burger on Urbanspoon

The Spotted Pig – The Best Food & Fun in New York and the West Village

The Spotted Pig West Village Manhattan New York

Business Travelers:  Do you recommend The Spotted Pig for

UA:D [1.9.22_1171]
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 (4 votes cast)

The Spotted Pig is a celebrated and extremely popular gastropub in New York’s West Village.  Host to many well-known people and boldface names it can be a challenge to get into on many evenings. New York in the summer makes places like this just a bit easier to handle so on a slow summer Monday night I head to The Spotted Pig. Even though the crowds descend here often, the terrific staff makes the no reservation policy easy to deal with by pointing out some alternative seating at the bar and other places and cheerfully taking your name and number to call you when your table opens while you stroll the beautiful local Greenwich Village streets.

The Spotted Pig Experience: On Monday, July 9, 2012 about 7:30 P.M. I snag the last bar seat downstairs at the corner of the bar, order a drink and take a look at the menu and specials. I was lucky to get this seat but this is the first full summer weekday in the after the 4th of July holiday weekend. Less people in the city makes grabbing a seat easier. Not easy making a food selection from the creative but comfortably familiar menu. The Spotted Pig is well known for their Deviled Eggs which I order. Some of us at the bar discuss how we think they “cheated” when making the eggs, using more than one yolk per egg to create the heaping, overflowing and yummy filling in the Deviled Eggs. The crowd at the bar was fun and engaging, really making the entire experience terrific. The Spotted Pig is also a destination known for their burger and shoestring fries which I order. They were great and did not disappoint. The guy next to me had the Sea Bass which looked very good and he raved about it.

There are two bars, upstairs and downstairs. The downstairs bar is small facing the wall but juts into the room so you feel part of the crowd. It has about 7 seats on the long side with one short side having 3 seats with the other side having 2 seats and the service area. I sit in the corner near the door  enabling a view of much of the restaurant. The upstairs bar runs along a wall and is irregularly shaped with a couple of slight angles and about the same number of seats as the first floor bar. People are unbelievable friendly, as is the staff.

Business Travelers:  I mentioned several times about the crowds and possible waits but don’t be discouraged. It’s worth waiting a bit and the staff will happily work with you to keep you updated on timing. This is such a friendly and fun place with a terrific staff that I highly recommend it for an evening out for a taste of New York while traveling for Business. Great place to people watch, with a mix of locals, business people and tourists all having a great time. Excellent for all types of business activities with friends, coworkers, clients and colleagues. It is not a quiet place. Of course the West Village neighborhood is a great walking area with beautiful residential blocks and shopping. Allow time for a nice stroll and stop at Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake, yes they are standing in a long line there for cupcakes. A perfect place for Women traveling on business, you  will feel welcome and comfortable in The Spotted Pig and the surrounding neighborhood.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★★ 

The Spotted Pig
314 West 11th Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 620-0393

The Spotted Pig Menu
The New Yorker Spotted Pig Review

The Spotted Pig on Urbanspoon

Royal Tavern – I Wish the Phillies were as Hot as the Longhots on my Angus Burger

 

Royal Tavern Philadelphia South Philly Bella Vista Review Meal Eaten at Restaurant Bar
Business Travelers:  Do you recommend Royal Tavern for

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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: 3.1/5 (2 votes cast)

With my move back to New York City a short month away I was trying to visit a few old favorites before I left and watch as many Phillies games as possible on friendly stations. Royal Tavern is a terrific neighborhood stop with consistently delicious food and often updated list of specials in addition to their regular menu. The meatloaf is terrific, wide beer selection and Vegan friendly.

The Royal Tavern Experience: On Tuesday, June 5, 2012 about 8:30 P.M. I arrive to eat at the bar and to watch the Phillies game. The Tavern is full as usual, mostly with locals, but I see one remaining seat at the bar and quickly grab it. I am seated about 2/3 down the bar on the long side. The bar faces the wall with about 12 seats on the long side and 3 on the short. The remaining side is a service area. The short side and other seats by the window will give you a long view down the bar and of the entire restaurant. Two televisions on the ends are usually tuned to sports, with the Phillies on tonight. Even though there was only one seat available at the bar when I arrived, the turnover during dinner had several seats open up then get taken during the evening so with a little patience you will probably get a seat at the bar. Very chatty, fun patrons and staff made for interesting conversation and a fun night.

The specials look appealing tonight, almost got the Australian Lamb Burger special but knowing that Royal Tavern is often credited with having one of the best burgers in Philly, it’s Angus Burger, I order one which came with bacon, caramelized onions, smoked gouda, pickled longhots and chile mayonnaise.  It was delicious and the log hots give it just the right amount of zing. The fries were great as well, very crispy and crunchy, just how I like them.

Business Travelers: Royal Tavern is in the Bella Vista neighborhood of South Philly, a mostly residential area which has some very nice blocks for easy strolling. Tavern is a good place to hang out with coworkers, clients and colleagues looking for upscale, very good bar fare and to get a feel for a good, fun Philly neighborhood hangout. It’s an aggressive walk from Center City Hotels so I suggest dressing down a bit and taking a cab. Woman business travelers would enjoy an evening here in a group. Other patrons are great at engaging in conversation and making you feel welcome.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★☆☆ 

Royal Tavern
937 East Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19147
215-384-6694

Royal Tavern Menu
Royal Tavern Zagat Review

Royal Tavern on Urbanspoon

20 Manning Grill & Audrey Claire – A Great Pair in Rittenhouse Square

20 Manning Grill Review Restaurant Bar Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square

Business Travelers:  Do you recommend 20 Manning Grill for

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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: 4.1/5 (4 votes cast)

Business Travelers:  Do you recommend Audrey Claire for

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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: 4.1/5 (4 votes cast)

Enjoy this two for one review, 20 Manning Grill and their down the street sister restaurant, BYOB Audrey Claire. Both get high marks. Several more Philly reviews to come and I continue eating my way through Restaurant Bars in New York with many more NYC reviews on the way.

The 20 Manning Grill & Audrey Claire Experience: Thursday, May 17, 2012 about 6:00 P.M. a friend and I go to 20 Manning Grill to eat at the bar and have a few drinks and watch the Phillies. A couple of seats were available and we snagged two in the center in front of the television. I think we were lucky to get seats during Happy Hour in a very popular bar.

We start by ordering drinks and two appetizers to share, the Spicy Calamari and Deviled Eggs. We both thought it was some of the best calamari we have ever had. While I thought the deviled eggs were great, my friend said they were good but raved that his wife’s were better. Next came a burger to share. 20 Manning often shows up on the best burger lists and this tasty burger showed why. They were nice enough to cut it in half for us, very cool. Great burger and fries served on a wooden cutting board. A menu note: the Charbroiled Beef Sirloin Noodles are still on the menu. A signature dish for 20 Manning which has been around a very long time because the customers demand it. While we did not order it tonight, I’ve had it before and highly recommend.

A businessman from Alabama sitting next to us at the bar loved the place. He was in Philly for a conference and travels to the city frequently. He always goes to 20 Manning Grill but really raved about BYOB Audrey Claire, which I also think is terrific. Audrey Claire takes no reservations Friday & Saturday, only Sunday through Thursday, but will suggest you wait at 20 Manning’s bar and they will call you when your table is ready. Businessman thought Audrey Claire’s Grilled Caesar Salad and Grilled Brussel Sprouts were tremendous. He had no problem sitting alone at a table in Audrey Claire (no bar) with a bottle of wine he brought enjoying the great food.

Nice bar facing the wall. 3 seats on each of  the short ends and about 10 on the long side. Fun, social patrons and great staff. We sat in the middle of the 10 seat side with the television directly in front of us, Phillies on at 8 P.M. They usually have sports on TV but will take channel requests. You can count on a Philly sports game on this television if one of the city’s teams is playing. Sit on long side or the short 3 at the far end to see much of the restaurant, bar and out the large swing out windows open to diners and pedestrians on 20th Street and Manning Street.  Sit on the near 3 side for a view of the entire restaurant. Outdoor seating has a misting system to keep you cool on hot nights. Head to Yogorino down the street for a desert to enjoy as you walk the beautiful neighborhood streets.

Business Travelers:  As I mentioned in the above section about the business traveler we met, both 20 Manning Grill and Audrey Clair are both terrific places for business travelers. Great places to take clients, coworkers and colleagues for a fun and social night out. Located in the popular Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, it’s a great way to get a taste of Philly’s walkable neighborhoods and excellent restaurants and nightlife.  Nice place to people watch outside on the busy streets. Women traveling on business will feel welcome and comfortable at 20 Manning, Audrey Claire and in the surrounding Rittenhouse Square neighborhood.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

20 Manning Grill
261 South 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-731-0900
20 Manning Grill Menu
Craig LaBan Audrey Claire Review

Audrey Claire
20th & Spruce Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-731-1222
Audrey Claire Menu
Philadelphia Style Best New Restaurants List

20 Manning: Twenty Manning Grill on Urbanspoon
Audrey Claire: Audrey Claire on Urbanspoon