The food was as welcoming as the service. My editor ordered the “White Cranberry Cosmo.” Notes of elderflower and pomegranate were two stepping to Maxwell in the background. My new BFFs are gin and cucumbers, so I went with the “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Too much gin, too little everything else, needless to say, it could’ve tried a little tenderness. Allison, our server, replaced it with their cinnamon apple infused rum with a splash of ginger ale. It was the best thing about autumn in a glass, warm flavors with a contrasting crispness.
The appetizer menu is a bit overwhelming, but the best problem to have at a restaurant is indecision. Thank the heavens; I didn’t bake [up]on arrival OR I wasn’t baked on arrival. The Lobster Spring Roll, Steakhouse Spring roll, and Lobster Tacos, screamed, “Try Me.” As lord of the wings, I felt compelled to give the Vietnamese Wings a go. With no delay, the Steakhouse Spring rolls arrived accompanied with a black peppercorn reduction, homemade steak sauce and A1. ‘Twas a hearty spring roll filled with steak, potatoes and creamed spinach. A touch more of seasoning would have made it perfect. Both lobster dishes came at the same time. The spring roll was a bit hammered, the meat was on the drier side, while the tacos were juicy. Each bite was better than the last. The basil crème complimented the succulent flesh. The lobster was king. As for the wings, skip ‘em! You can get wings like this almost anywhere.
Decisions, decisions, decisions have to be made when your server is attentive. We chose the Lobster Mac and Cheese, the salmon, and the Grilled Cheese. This time the lobster came first. It was nicely baked, not weird and runny. There was a great balance of cheesiness, texture, and lobster in every crevice. Bang for the buck!!!
Sourdough cradled the creamiest idea known to man, brie with avocado. Unfortunately, the components felt disjointed. The mango chutney was a bit tart, and the acidity of the vinegar did little to complement the brie. Luck favors the bold. I prefer a daring sandwich to a bland one.
The salmon was laid to rest on a bed of delectable greens and topped with wafer thin potatoes. This crown jewel was served with pickled onions and a sorrel gastrique. The chef displayed restraint and technique. Extracting the brightness out of such heavy-handed ingredients is no easy feat. The salmon, itself, was perfectly cooked. Salty, sweet, tart, slight bitterness, and pops of richness was present with each layered forkful. Simply Amazing.
To my fat kids out there, The Ivy does not have a dessert menu. Mike, our bartender, concluded the meal with the perfect Manhattan featuring their vanilla infused Woodford Reserve. It was strong, robust and had a sweet smokiness that lingered with me all night.
Ivy Bar & Grill is located on 56th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. If you want to make a reservation or you need directions, please call at (212) 459-9444.
For more about Ivy Bar & Grill, please visit this link.