Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Brindle Room

For my first New York City restaurant review, I'm talking about the home of the best burger in the Big Apple: The Brindle Room. A tiny yet semi-upscale restaurant in the East Village, The Brindle Room is a gastropub serving hearty American classics.

My dad made note of the restaurant after watching Guy Fieri drool over Sebastian’s Steakhouse Burger on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. We decided to stop by Monday when he was in NYC for business. 
Approaching the East 10th Street location, the first thing we noticed was the size of the place. I understand that most local NYC restaurants are small, especially in residential areas like the East Village, but The Brindle Room has about 30 seats. Tiny tables flank the sides of the restaurant while the kitchen and bar sits in the rear. The tables are so close together that you hear every word of your neighbor's conversation. The set-up would be disastrous for anyone claustrophobic. The Brindle Room had a few diners when we first arrived (it was 7 p.m. Monday night) but the space filled up quickly and was packed when we left around 9 p.m.
To start, we ordered a bottle of La Tremenda wine. Instead of wine glasses, the waitress poured it into cute mason jars!
As adventurous foodies with the same palette, my dad and I decided on two appetizers: salmon tartare with potato chips, and warm Brie with sweet potato jam and crostini. Both small dishes tasted amazing. The salmon tartare had just the right texture and was cut into bite-size chinks for easy dipping with the chips. The warm Brie reminded me of cheese fondue. The sweet potato topping, which was mixed with grapes, tasted a little too sweet for me. I don't have much of a sweet tooth. However, the gooey, tasty Brie made up for the excess sugar.
Next on the menu was the duck confit poutine – fries, cheddar cheese curds, and gravy with chunks of duck meat. Despite living in the northern U.S., I've never had poutine before. I was a bit skeptical of the french fry and duck combo, but the poutine blew me away. All of the textures and flavors combined together so nicely. The french fries soaked up the gravy without becoming soggy, the duck was extra tender, and the gooey cheese tasted incredible (if you can't tell, I'm a huge fan of cheese). The dish reminded me of French onion soup, only with more flavor. I would go back to The Brindle room just for the poutine.
Finally, we ordered what drew us to The Brindle Room in the first place: Sebastian’s Steakhouse Burger. The hamburger came medium topped with caramelized onion and American cheese. Given a burger this tasty, though, I didn't even need ketchup or mayonnaise. I can see what the hype is about – the steakhouse burger was tender, juicy, and flavorful.
Definitely one of the best burgers I've ever had! Even my dad, who has traveled worldwide and eaten at thousands of restaurants, ranked the burger in his top 10 list. The burger came with kale salad, which was good, but who needs kale when you have a juicy burger looking right you? :) At $15 a burger, the dish is reasonably priced for a nice restaurant in NYC. Keep in mind, though, that the patty is on the small-medium side. My dad and I were stuffed because of our appetizers, but hungry customers might be left wanting more.
The meal rounded out with some complimentary donuts.

Verdict: Go to The Brindle Room and order the duck poutine and the burger. You won't regret it.