Archive for July 27th, 2010

27th July
written by Arthur

The following is adapted from a restaurant review first publish in the Cardozo Jurist.

Roberto Rosas and Ernesto Auila opened the City Tavern in late 2009 in the space that used to be the Italian restaurant Borgo Antico.  With an expanded bar and an elegantly spacious dining area, the City Tavern offers an ideal space for everything from a quick beer to a meal while watching the game to an upscale dinning experience.  Roberto and Ernesto bring a combined 35 years in culinary experience and it truly shows on the menu. The food at the City Tavern is deceptively simple.  Head chef Ernesto prides himself on fresh ingredients and cooks from scratch wherever possible.

My first love from the menu was the burger.  Lured in for lunch by the promise of cheap beer, I had what may be the best burger I’ve ever eaten that hasn’t come off of my own grill.  Lightly packed, the burger is juicy and perfectly seasoned.

The lunch special, with a soup, sandwich, and non-alcoholic beverage for $10, offers a great meal at a great deal.  A clear stand-out among the sandwiches is the corned beef (which, true to form is corned by Ernesto on-site).  The mushroom wrap, filled with savory portabella mushrooms and goat cheese, off-set by sweet bell peppers, is a find for vegetarians and carnivores alike.  And, as with the burgers, the lunch special sandwich comes with french fries, double fried to perfection.

The only culinary miss at the tavern is the ham and cheese sandwich.  Plain and uninteresting, this sandwich should be passed over for the many delights on the menu.

If you are willing to open your wallet a bit more, the pasta is not to be missed.  Made from scratch daily, the pasta at the City Tavern exemplifies what pasta can be.  The fettuccini Bolognese offers an explosion of flavor.  The recently introduced crab-infused gnocchi in a saffron cream sauce is delicious and decadently rich.

At the City Tavern the only thing that rivals the food is the friendly atmosphere.  If you have been to the City Tavern more than once, you are probably already on a first name basis with Roberto and Ernesto.  The bartenders at the City Tavern are just as personable: stop by in the afternoon or evening and sit at the bar and you will quickly become acquainted with the charismatic Matt and sassy Kathy.

City Tavern also sticks to the basics of a great bar with great drinks.  The newly revised cocktail and wine list there makes it easy to find that perfect beverage.

The City Tavern
22 East 13th Street (between 5th Ave. and University)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 807-1313

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27th July
written by Arthur

After a little stroll around Chinatown my lady friend and I wandered down to New York’s South Seaport.  After almost two years living in New York I made the trip for the first time.  Sitting on a bench at Pier 17, next to the water and the historic ships, in 90 degree heat gave us both a hunger for a little seafood.

There were lots of restaurants around.  But they all looked out of the price range of two poor law students, like a dodgy chain, or both.  But even if we had the money, the upscale fair didn’t seem right.  We wanted the kind of simple seafood that goes great with a beer.  (Yes, Meg’s Boston roots have affected this Midwest boy.)  With the help of Meg’s iPhone, we found what we were looking for—a dive bar with some fried clams on the menu—Jeremy’s Ale House.

Jeremy’s is the kind of place you can smell from the street, in a good way.  The smell of beer as you’re walking towards the door makes you look forward to the beer you are going to order all the more.  The design of the place is Spartan and darkly lit with a simple cement floor.  Still, even though it was early, about 7 in the evening, you can tell the place can get rock’n.  There are bras literally hanging from the ceiling which has writing from past visitors all over it.

The beer comes one of two ways: small plastic cup or big styrofoam cup.

The menu is simple, consisting most of baked and fried seafood and things that go great with baked and fried seafood (like french fries and onion rings).  We ordered baked clams (something neither of us had ever had), fried clams (which, to our surprise, came with French fries), and onion rings (no need for a parenthetical comment about these).

The food was the cheap greasy seafood treat we had been hoping for.  The fried clams were crunchy and delicious.  The onion rings were those magic ones where you can take a bite without the onion slipping out.  The baked clams might have been more greasy than we were looking for, but with a little lemon and tartar sauce they were pretty tasty.  Oh, and the French fries.  Sometime I forget how much I love a simple french fry.  And all of the food was great with our beers (a big boy cup for me and little cup for Meg).

Jeremy’s is a place I am definitely going to be heading back to when I’m on the hunt for good, simple, fried seafood.

Jeremy’s Ale House 228 Front St.
New York, NY 10038
(212) 964-3537

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