In his review, Our Man Sietsema liked the fat-drenched, “transgressional cuisine” doled out at Minetta Tavern, and Bruni just gave it three stars and called it the best steakhouse in New York.
I wanted to check it out, but imagined it to be snotty to no-names and impossible to get into. Not so! I called last week for a reservation at got one at 10:30–not ideal, but better than 11! After we got past the suited bouncers at the door (bouncers at a restaurant?) every staff member was extremely friendly, and we were seated on time. Not one snotty attitude in the place. In addition to what everyone else has already told you, here are four more reasons to go to Minetta Tavern.
1. The cocktails–the Kill Devil Punch is perhaps the most quality, delicious tiki-ish drink in the city. It involves rum, pistachio cordial, citrus juice and “rum-soused” raisins. Plus, a whiskey sour that’s flavored with cardamom–a surprisingly good idea.
2. The pommes anna–oh, dear god. The cake of thinly sliced potatoes arranged into a disk arrives in a little cast iron pan. The browned outer crust is thin and delicate, but at the same time so very, very crisp and buttery, that it’s almost like pastry. Underneath the crust, more potatoes, drenched in butter and just the right amount of salt.
3. The people-watching. It’s like a safari! The long-legged, impossibly skinny models clop by, and we spot some obscure Broadway actors. Keith McNally is making rounds and we wonder if that’s Viggo Mortensen at the bar. Probably not.
4. The soundtrack is unapologetically un-hip and just fun–Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Sonny and Cher and Neil Young.