The owners of gastropub Spotted Pig opened The Breslin not long ago in the barren stretch of lower Midtown Manhattan at Broadway and 29th Street. It only began serving dinner last week. But not too long ago, I sampled the lunch offerings at this dark, upscale gastropub. The decor is mostly black, giving the room a heavy, curtained feel. The calorie-laden food matches. We arrived on the early side of lunch hour - exactly at noon - and the place was mostly empty, but by the time we left an hour later, it had filled up. This would be a good pit stop before going into hibernation for the winter.
Malt Vinegar and Sea Salt Chips.
These chips were presented in a cute way, introducing themselves in a clear, plastic package with a "Hello my name is" sticker. But it also felt somewhat cheap. Because they came in a package, they had more in common with chips you would buy in a store, packaged and shipped in bulk, rather than something homemade. But the sticker indicated that these chips had been "born" just two days earlier. I used to hate salt and vinegar chips; they were personally an acquired taste. The vinegar on these was puckering at first, but I came to like them. And once I got past that, they were addictive!
Goat Cheese and Leek Tart
This was more appetizing than it may look here. Though listed in the middle section of the menu, which would tend to indicate that it was an appetizer, the waiter said that it would be large enough for lunch. And he was right. The tart was much like a quiche, softened by the goat cheese which cradled the leeks well. The side salad was overly salty.
Oven-Baked Three Cheese Sandwich with House-Smoked Ham and Pickles
The sandwich was toasty, filled with a good amount of cheese, not too overwhelmingly gooey. The ham added a nice contrast.
The prices are a little on the high side, but the food is better than most other places in the area, so I expect to be back. There are no reservations taken except for large parties and the waits will likely get long, but the front area has a large, comfortable bar. And when all else fails, the lobby of the Ace Hotel next door serves food from The Breslin all day as well as drinks and coffee from Stumptown Coffee, which also has a store in the front of the hotel.