When people visit from France, there are few things I tell them they must get: steak, burger and BBQ among others. So, after a fantastic steak at Chimichurri Grill West on the Tuesday, burger it was on Wednesday with my colleague Cyrille. And what a burger! The place of choice was Rare Bar and Grill in Chelsea, located next to the Hilton. It has definitely the feel of a hotel restaurant but the food sets it apart.
Strangely and although we had a reservation, they told us they were quite busy and had no tables yet in their dining room so they proposed to sit in the bar area, on the high tables. The area was fine and in fact quieter, overlooking the dining room where we could distinctly see empty tables. It was probably a way to get that area filled. Anyway, besides that, the service was courteous and efficient, so I did not mind.
Food wise, Rare Bar and Grill is known for their burgers, from classic to original. The most uncommon being the ones with whisky that we tried, accompanied with a glass from their large selection of whisky (scotch, bourbon, rye, you name it). Cyrille went with a Balvenie 12 yr and I picked an Orban 14yr over a MacCallan.
Then came the burgers. Cyrille chose the Jameson Black Barrel burger, an 8 ounces patty made of ribeye flambéed in Jameson Black Barrel select reserve atop an aged whiskey slaw and smothered with Irish cheddar.
On my side, the M&M burger, that had nothing to do with the candy, was a their classic patty (house blend) flambéed in whiskey, topped with caramelized shallots, cheddar cheese and apple smoked bacon.
Both burgers looks fantastic and very appetizing, mine looking like a heart attack on a plate with all the bacon on top. And the first bite was divine: the burger was very juicy and tasted like meat, not like some burgers where the taste is overpowered by seasoning. Each bite was like being in heaven: I asked for the patty to be cooked medium rare and they surely know how to do it.
With the burgers we shared fries that were enough to share as the burgers were quite filling and we wanted dessert...
For dessert, we tried their fried Oreo Sunday and their cheesecake, both homemade and good, but I admit that I preferred the former. Not that the cheesecake was not good, but after you have tried Junior’s cheesecake, it is hard to beat.
We left happy to have a bit of a walk after such a feast. Rare Bar and Grill just moved on my list of favorite burgers…
Enjoy (I did)!
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Rare Bar and Grill - 152 W 26th Street, New York, NY 10001