You may have heard that “gastropubs” are starting to take off in the USA. This evening, I had dinner at The Breslin, a British gastropub located in the ultra cool but low-key, Ace Hotel in the Garment District of Manhattan.
A gastropub is basically a British style pub that serves “elevated” pub cuisine in a tavern like atmosphere. Dark, like most pubs, with low lighting , tiled floors and high, tin ceilings with ceiling fans. But that’s where the similarity ends. This restaurant, while replete with deer antlers and prints of animal hunts, also had a cool, low-key clientele and was etremely busy for a Wednesday night (but hey, this is NYC!).
I started off my late, 9pm dinner with the “Pablo Honey”, the Breslin’s take on a Margarita. This cocktail is made with tequila, honey, freshly squeezed lime juice and spiced agave nectar. A tad sweet for my taste but delicious.
Since I love bruschetta, I chose the “Miticrema Bruschetta with Chargrilled Greens and Speck” as my first course. I loved the bruschetta with the decent slather of miticrema – a very smooth, cow’s milk mozzarella. It was lovingly paired with speck, a juniper flavored ham from Italy’s Trentino Alto Adige region..
Next up was course #2: “Chargrilled Lamb Burger with Feta, Cumin Mayo and Thrice Cooked Chips”. Amazing dish! I loved the lamb burger – moist, flavorful and just a tad salty as a result of the feta. The fries, though, were the highlight of this course. Baked thrice, yes, three times (broiled, poached and fried), and lightly salted, these fries were some of tastiest ones I have ever had. Nice potatoey flavor and not at all greasy. I ate every last one of them…
Another outstanding dish was the side dish of roasted pumpkin with fried sage leaves. As soon as I realized that this dish contained sage, I was on it as sage is one of my favorite herbs. I liked the texture of the pumpkin, soft but too so and the addition of the sage really added to this excellent side dish.
As I wanted to have a glass of wine with my 2nd course, Sandy, my waiter, suggested I try the French Gamay. The slight acidity of this wine paired nicely with the gamey flavor of the lamb burger.
Dessert. While I wanted to order dessert, I couldn’t bring myself to do so after such a big meal. The restaurant manager, however, had other plans. Thus, I was presented with an excellent cheesecake with a side of whipped cream that was infused with a coffee essence and topped with chocolate coated espresso beans. I am not a big fan of cheesecake but I really enjoyed The Breslin’s take on this common dessert.
If you are looking for a great meal at a reasonable price in a low-key but unique tavern style restaurant with a cool clientele, excellent music and superb, friendly service, check out The Breslin. You won’t be disappointed.
Website: The Breslin
P.S. I learned later in the lobby of the hotel that Bono was dining in the restaurant. I always miss seeing celebs in NYC (not that I really care…ok…maybe a little…).