NYC — Spring 2017: The Ribbon

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
On Friday, we had exactly one meal. I think dinner from the previous night at Delmonico's took up so much of our food/calorie quota that we weren't even hungry until nearly 24 hours later. We had spent the day at the American Museum of Natural History partially because there was a heatwave in NYC and we wanted to be indoors, but mostly because we'd never been there and we love history. I figured that since we were already going to be in the Upper West Side, we should check out a restaurant there, too — even after visiting NYC twice a year for a decade, I never really explored that neighbourhood. So after doing some research, I took us to The Ribbon. It is apart of the Blue Ribbon empire, of which several restaurants I've thoroughly enjoyed, so I had pretty high expectations going in there.

Watermelon & Feta Salad

Beef Marrow & Oxtail Marmalade

Ronsee and I decided to share a bunch of things so we could have more variety. (This is my favourite way of eating.) We started off with one of the day's specials: a watermelon salad with feta and arugula. It's not on their regular menu, but it's a very simple, classic combination, and it always works. It's fresh and refreshing; the sweetness of the watermelon mingles perfectly with the tanginess of feta and the tartness of balsamic vinegar. Tons of restaurants do it for the summer, and it was a perfect starter to a meal during a heatwave (it reached up to 34°C with humidity), 'cause you gotta rehydrate after sweating so much, you know? For our appetizer, we decided on the beef marrow with oxtail marmalade. Pure indulgence. The marrow spreads like butter and the oxtail marmalade added just the right amount of smoky sweetness. I mean, if you have doubts about eating pure fat out of bones, this might just be the one to change your mind.

The Ox Burger

Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

For the main event, we decided on the ox burger. It's a delightful monstrosity of a sandwich: open-faced, smothered in the aforementioned oxtail marmalade, topped with a poached egg on top of challah toast. It's rich, flavourful, and cohesive; all components of this burger are on point and every single bite is sublime. Entirely worth every calorie and fat gram. (Also worth noting: the fries were perfectly salted, thin, and crispy — the kind of fry that doesn't need any condiments.) Of course, if we're going to go overboard with being fat, anyway, we might as well get dessert, too. There were many tempting options, but we had to get the only real signature item on the dessert menu: the Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding. It's not a traditional bread pudding, but more like a loaf. It's soft, moist, laced with dark chocolate; topped with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with hot fudge; and the edges were crisp with slightly charred chocolate. It was glorious.

The Ribbon does classics with a twist and does it well. It's somehow upscale and stylish but casual and low-key at the same time. Like, it looks kinda pretentious and indeed, many of the patrons are quite snobby, but they have a unique approach on comfort food that is memorable and everybody can enjoy. (Also, I can't fault a restaurant that includes The Pixies, Marcy Playground, and Red Hot Chili Peppers on a playlist. Not that anyone else was paying attention.) Our server was pleasant, accommodating, and attentive enough, and we never felt rushed even though it was Friday night and we didn't have a reservation. It's bougie as fuck, but well worth visiting the Upper West Side for.

The Ribbon
20 W 72nd Street
New York, NY 10023
(347) 504-7541
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