NYC — Spring 2013: The Breslin Bar & Dining Room

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
For our first official lunch altogether as a family on this trip (my dad arrived the night before), my brother decided to take us to The Breslin, which is the sister restaurant to famed gastropub, The Spotted Pig. We decided to walk there from our hotel since it was only like, six blocks, but it was raining that day. And not just raining, but pouring. So much so that there were flash flood warnings in certain parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Of course, we didn't realize this until we walked a full block, and you'll be hard pressed to find a cab that will drive you five blocks, especially when it's pouring outside. Even armed with umbrellas, we were completely soaked from neck down. So when we arrived at The Breslin, we were not pleased to find out that not only do they not take reservations (my brother was meeting us there and didn't inform us that he didn't make a reservation), but we also had to wait 40 minutes for a table. (Can I just point out how much of a moneymaker this place is if there's a 40-minute wait for a table at 1:00 in the afternoon on a Wednesday? Hype is hype, I guess.) Of course, we decided to wait, 'cause we were not about to head back out into the rain.

Terrine board

Seafood sausage with beurre blanc and chives

To start, we decided to share the terrine board, which is basically a charcuterie but featuring only terrines. On the plank: Guinea hen with morels, pork pâté, rabbit and prune, head cheese, and liverwurst served with pickles, piccalilli, and mustard. The Breslin is known for their excellent preparations of various meats, and the terrines are no exception. All the terrines are made fresh, and as I mentioned on my Craftbar post a few days ago, it is a painstaking process because they have to extract the meat in a way that gives it the optimal flavour and texture and prepare it so that the integrity of the meat stays fresh and intact. My favourites were the guinea hen and rabbit, but all five terrines are amazing. They serve it with grilled crusty bread, and if you want more, they will grill some fresh for you. Spread some terrine on it, add a dab of mustard, and it's heaven. We also decided to share the seafood sausage, which a lot of people seem to recommend on the reviews of this place. I'm not sure exactly what type of seafood is in it, but from what I could tell, it seems to be a combination of fish, crab, and scallops. This is good in theory, but I actually didn't love it. It has the texture of that fake crab meat you get at Japanese restaurants, which I'm actually fine with, but the flavour was really mild and I didn't really get a whole lot of seafood out of it. Perhaps my tastebuds were desensitized by the salty-smokiness of the terrines, but the seafood sausage just didn't 'wow' me.

Chargrilled lamb burger with feta and onions

Thrice-cooked chips with cumin mayo

The Breslin is really famous for their lamb burger, of which we all ordered one. The lamb patty is incredibly tender and juicy and cooked perfectly medium rare, and the slight gamey flavour works really well with the tangy saltiness of feta cheese and the crispness of the raw onions (that's another thing, I usually don't like raw onions in my burgers, but it adds a lot of dimension here). And it's all served on a crusty sourdough bun that's able to hold everything without falling apart and adds a nice textural contrast to the soft patty. There are a lot of burgers out there that are good, but not like this. This is one of those burgers that is unique and truly memorable, and I think every time I come back to New York, I will seek this one out. Even my brother, who has tried over 500 restaurants in Manhattan and an infinite amount of burgers, will come back to The Breslin just for this. It's served with their thrice-cooked chips, which are potatoes that have been boiled, and then deep-fried twice. This method produces the most gloriously crispy exterior with lovely soft innards. They are tossed with a flurry of kosher salt and served with a delicious creamy cumin mayo (because if you're going to eat a bajillion fat grams, anyway, what's another couple hundred?). If you are in Manhattan, you must go to The Breslin and order the lamb burger. It is entirely worth a trek in the pouring rain and a 40-minute wait. Trust me.

The Breslin Bar & Dining Room
Ace Hotel
20 W 29th Street
New York, NY 10001
(212) 679-1939
4 comments on "NYC — Spring 2013: The Breslin Bar & Dining Room"
  1. DENISE! I'm so jelly of your NY trip. Can you smuggle me in your suitcase next time you go? I promise I won't make a sound.

    And I've never had my fries cooked three times. Sounds like my kind of fries, though!

    1. LOL, no problem, I'll just stuff you in between my toiletries and my shoes. And I won't even mind if you make a sound!

      OMG, Mary. I'd never had thrice cooked fries, either, but they are GLORIOUS. I don't know why more places don't cook their fries three times, it ensures the most perfect fry, really. But then again, it's probably a pretty lengthy process and I don't think places like McDonald's can achieve that in less than two minutes. :P

  2. LAMB BURGER! My list of places to go in NYC is too long for just one weekend. @____@

    1. LOL!!! What are the MUST-VISIT places on your list at the moment?

      The Breslin is truly wonderful; I was just talking to my brother about it, actually, and agreed that they make one of the best, most unique burgers NYC has to offer. :)


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