1 West 3rd Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 529-2059 | Map
Earlier this month, I was invited to try the food at a recently-opened gastropub in NoHo and, for this eating adventure, I brought along my friend Zach. When I checked in with the hostess, who also turned out to be the only server for the entire night (from what we saw), she told me the table that had been reserved for us was occupied and that we'd have to wait. I looked around to see numerous empty tables and asked myself why the establishment felt the need to give away a table that was reserved when there were plenty of others to choose from. Rather than create a fuss, I assured the hostess that sitting on the couches would be preferred over settling somewhere only to move halfway through our meal once our table was free.
The wings were meaty and the glaze was made up of the right combination of sweet and spicy. We couldn't quite place the source of the sweetness, but, after a while -- and more beer -- we concluded, with our untrained palates, that the glaze tasted like the duck sauce you get in those little packets that come with your Chinese take-out. With that said, the wings were a bit messy, and we would have appreciated some moist towelettes to clean our fingers with before moving on to the sliders.
While they weren't my favorite, the Duck Sliders did have potential. Unfortunately, the duck was overcooked and required a bit of effort to chew and the hoisen sauce didn't provide the depth of flavor that we were looking for. I don't think the sliders would suffer from a bit of heat if they wanted to move away from the sweetness of the hoisen. Maybe even a touch of that glaze from the wings. The sliders left us wanting more.
While we waited for our main courses to arrive, Zach and I sat back and observed our surroundings. We couldn't quite put on our finger on it, but something about the vibe of the place was just off. In one corner were some students, presumably from NYU given the neighborhood we were in, playing a loud game of drunken Scrabble. Almost directly across from us was a couple attempting to have an intimate dinner. And then there were other people who, like us, were just trying to unwind after work with a drink and good company. Adding in the flat-screen televisions airing old baseball games and an almost misplaced chandelier only left us feeling more confused. It was like the restaurant was going through an identity crisis and didn't know where they fit.
When I asked Zach how his burger was, he said it was just okay. A typical burger you'd find in a typical bar in Anytown U.S.A. I stole some French fries and found that, they too, had fallen victim to the heavy hand of seasoning. Way too salty. After all was said and done, we came to the awful conclusion that we enjoyed the brioche buns from the Duck Sliders and the Common Burger the most.
As we were leaving (ie. fighting our way through the swarm of Stern students who had descended upon the bar in droves to take advantage of the generosity of their professors), Zach summed up the evening pretty accurately: "There's nothing special here except the company."
Taste As You Go Disclaimer: I was provided with the opportunity to dine at this restaurant at no cost. I do not accept monetary compensation for writing about my experiences. All opinions expressed are my own.
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