After trapeze, we’ve started exploring the nearby neighborhoods – West Village, Greenwich Village, all of the villages. Last night, caked in chalk, we decided to see if we could get into Minetta Tavern. I’ve wanted to go there ever since I almost slammed into Julia Roberts when I walked in front of the restaurant some two years ago. After a frustrating night at trapeze, it seemed like a perfect way to turn the night around.
We arrived, sans reservation, to find it understandably hopping on this Thursday evening. The wait for a table in the dining room was two hours (!!) but we could get a spot at the bar in only 20 minutes. Sold.
From our seats, you could easily take in just about every aspect of the restaurant, from the business men in their gray suits sprinkled through the dining room to the stencils, original to the restaurant, defining the top border of the room. The bartenders run a tight ship. Don’t try to hop into a seat – there’s a sign up process for that. And when your spot is ready, you’ll not just be notified. Oh no – you’ll be told exactly where you’ll be seated. They’re fun though, not excessively gruff, and just complete the experience somehow. They have a nice and varied drink menu, from cocktails to wines to beers. I especially enjoyed the Rosemary’s Baby – gin, St. Germain, and rosemary. Perfect for a warm(ish) evening.
For my meal, I had to go with the standard Minetta Burger. They have a pricier version (The “Black Label Burger”), but I was advised the less expensive option here is actually the best. I’ll be the first to say, I’m not a big burger person. I don’t love ‘em crazy thick like some places in NYC like to serve them. And when I order mine medium and it comes out oozing in every direction, I continue to eat even though I sort of panic and my inner child wants to scream “Just kidding! Well done, please!”
But in my eyes, this burger was just perfect! Their medium was a glorious pinky center though they’d allowed the meat to rest so it wasn’t oozing out on all sides. And it’s definitely a thicker burger for me, but it totally works. The cheese and caramelized onions were nice noticeable additions that managed to not detract from the fabulous flavor of the burger itself.
If you haven’t been yet, I highly recommend it. It’s the morning after and I’m still thinking about it. I’d venture to even say skip the tables and reservations and stick with the bar.
Where’s your favorite NYC spot for burgers?
Minetta Tavern – 113 MacDougal St. (b/w Bleecker & W. 3rd Street) - 212.475.3850