Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
This week, I was invited for a blog dinner at The Malt House in the Financial District, where I had the pleasure to dine with my fellow bloggers The Restaurant Fairy, Johnny Prime's and The Cake Dealer. The Malt House is not unknown to me as I went to their first location in the West Village at the beginning of the year. But I was excited to go to their outpost in the Financial District (aka FiDi) as I heard it is amazing. And for sure, I was impressed. This place is huge and the tour we took with one of the owners, Darren, took a bit of time as, each time I thought that was it, he showed us another room, like being in a labyrinth, where each room had its own atmosphere. To give you an idea, the main room has 18-foot high ceilings, exposed Carnegie, Steel beams, rustic brick walls, and reclaimed wood showcasing the 60-foot long Arch Main Bar. But definitely the one room that I thought was amazing was the Boardroom, a private room located on the second floor that has been incredibly decorated: classy, warm and manly with its leather couches.
There, Beverage Director Trevor Draper created a drink menu quite diversified, with a nice selection of draft beers, but also delicious cocktails, like the Barry White Saved My Life, made with dry gin, coconut, spices and lemon zest (not too strong and looks like milk, so...),
or the Atlantic Cab made with vodka, ginger beer and lime.
Foodwise, Chef Armando Avila succeeded in crafting more than just a bar menu, putting his own twist on some classic dishes, including adding some Latin flair.
We first started with the appetizers:
Avocado Bacon Deviled Eggs: first, I have to say that I liked the presentation that was simple and rustic. Then, instead of being your regular deviled eggs, the Chef used Sriracha aioli, avocado, bacon and serano peppers. And for sure, they had a nice little heat to it.
Crab and Artichoke Dip: I admit that I was not sure how this dish would work and if I would like it, especially when I saw that there was spinach in it...In fact, this complex dip is made with jumbo lump crab, three cheese, artichoke and the infamous spinach. That was one of my favorite dishes: first, serving them with plantains was a very good idea as it changes from chips or vegetables. Then, this dip was deliciously creamy, letting the crab shine.
Buttermilk Bites: These were Southern style fried chicken served with ranch dressing, as well as a cilantro jalapeño aioli that was fantastic. The chicken was deliciously crispy and slightly greasy, making each bite heaven! If like me you like fried chicken, this dish is for you.
Slow Braised Short Rib Sliders: I love sliders as they are the perfect bites to share, but I often end up with overcooked meat and a dry dish. This was not the case at all at The Malt House Fidi. First of all, the slow braised short rib was delicious. But then, it is perfectly paired with pickles, shallots and rosemary caramelized onions for some additional flavors.
Then came the entrées. First was the Wagyu House Blend Burger, served with hickory smoked bacon, pesto aioli, oven roasted tomato and bib lettuce. I liked the burger itself (note the marking on top of the bun: MH = Malt House), that was flavorful, with the meat tasting like meat and not overpowered by seasoning. It was definitely a good burger. However, I thought the fries could have been a bit crispier.
Blackened Alaskan Salmon Po Boy: this dish was ok for me, but I thought that this rendition of a classic Southern dish was interesting. First, I believe that the seafood used in a po boy will be fried that was not he case here. Then, the choice of the bread was different as they use a brioche bun, also marked with the initials of the restaurant. I liked the addition of the cucumber for some crunch as well as the use of avocado and sriracha aioli that gave another dimension to this dish.
Pan roasted chicken au jus served with mashed potatoes, sautéed kale and mushrooms. So, this dish is definitely not a bar food dish and was perfectly executed: the chicken was moist and well seasoned, and the skin slightly crispy. Another great chicken choice.
The last dish was the fish taco made with mako shark. I admit that I did not like the dish for two reasons: first, I did not like the taste of the mako shark; second, it was missing some depth and I wish that either the fish would have been deep fried or that they added some cole slaw from a bit of bite.
Last was dessert and we were there for a treat! See what we got:
Banana and chocolate crepes:
For me, a meal should always end with something sweet, so I was looking forward to try some desserts, and I was not disappointed. All of these desserts were sublime: Chef Francisco Gonzalez did an excellent job proposing not only classics American desserts like the cheesecake, but also some European ones like the mousse or crepes, fairly well executed.
I left stuffed from The Malt House FiDi, glad that I got the opportunity to try this place and some delicious food there that is not just your regular bar items. It is quite interesting to try their two locations that have a totally different feel, the one in Greenwich Village being a bit more intimate. Would I go back? Definitely and this time, I will probably go for their buttermilk fried chicken melt or lobster roll...or maybe both...
Enjoy (I did)!
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