Review By: Stefanie Parks –
Well, I guess I have to officially change the name of my blog to $26 burger…. Because that’s now the most expensive burger I’ve ever had. Thank you Minetta Tavern.
Minetta Tavern wasn’t even on my radar until I read an article about the Top 10 Burgers in New York. The Black Label burger was number one on the list. I know there are a lot of different lists with a lot of different burgers, but I mean if someone is naming this place as their number one then I have to at least think about trying it. Right?
I hadn’t made any effort to go to Minetta Tavern, but when a friend of mine told me she was dying to try it and asked if we wanted to do a double date there, it was hard (ok, impossible) to resist. The only reservation we could get was for a Wednesday night at 8:30 in… you guessed it, exactly one month from the day we were trying to make our reservation. I’ll never understand why places only take resers exactly one month in advance, but oh well. We had our Open Table confirmation and we were all set.
After looking at the menu, Dave was pretty skeptical and thought that we would most likely be disappointed just like we had been with so many of the other fancy/expensive/trendy restaurants that we’ve tried. He said, “I just don’t know how I feel about any place that charges $15 for a cocktail.” Even though I completely agreed, I said, “but some random person said it was their number one favorite burger in NYC, so we should really try it.”
And so, we did.
We got to the restaurant a little early and there was an Artichoke Pizza right next door. We both had the same thought. Should we get a slice before or after dinner? I thought before so that maybe we could skip out on getting one of Minetta Tavern’s $22 appetizers. Dave thought after because even after the $15 cocktails, the $22 appetizers and the $26 burgers, he figured we’d probably still be hungry just like we had been after so many of the other fancy/expensive/trendy restaurants that we’d been to. In the end, we decided to wait on the pizza.
Once my friends showed up, we walked into the restaurant and I really liked the atmosphere. I thought it was a very cute place but I couldn’t really focus too much on that because I was starving and ready to order. As always, first things first, we got a couple of cocktails. We ordered a Copperhead (Hirsch Selection Bourbon, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, Maraschino Liqueur, Absinthe, and Angostura Bitters) and a Maple Leaf Sazerac (Rittenhouse Rye, Sortilege Maple Cordial, Pernod Absinthe, and Lemon Zest). Both drinks were very good, and VERY strong. Just the way we like it :)
For our appetizer, we decided on chicken liver and toast, one of their specials. The flavor was good, but the chicken liver was very hard to spread. Actually, I would go as far as to say that it was unspreadable. I don’t know about you, but in my opinion you’ve just got to be able to spread your liver on to some toast, crackers, whatever. Strike 1.
For our entree, we ordered the Pied de Porc Pane, which is crisp Berskhire Pig’s Trotter with Dijon Mustard, Lentils, and Herb Salad and of course, the famous $26 Black Label Burger, with their selection of prime dry-aged beef cuts with caramelized onions and pommes frites. We got an order of Pommes Aligot (cheesy mashed potatoes) and a side of spinach.
Everything was good. Great, in fact. I really enjoyed all of the food. I don’t think I knew that Pig’s Trotter was pig’s feet until… right now actually when I looked it up. I’ve never had pig’s feet before, but they were really good. Dave and I both thought that the dish was a little rich, but still very good. The burger was pretty awesome too. I can see why some might put it on their list of best burgers. Did it make my list? I don’t think so. It was actually a little plain for me. I mean $26 for a burger, let alone a burger with just carmelized onions? I’ll take two $13 burgers from Kuma’s Corner over that any day (I’m sorry, I just really love Kuma’s corner).
Overall, I really liked Minetta Tavern. All of the food was great, neither Dave nor I left hungry (so no Artichoke Pizza for dessert), but at the end of the day, as good as it was, it was not $150 good.