The city of Nelson is literally a world away from the hum and hubbub of Manhattan. It sits under cerulean skies on the northern shore of New Zealand’s South Island, its residents epitomizing a laid-back attitude seen so rarely on New York’s crowded streets. As Nelson Blue's self-proclaimed "resident Kiwi," Pauli Morgan doesn’t seem to mind that he’s a bit of an anomaly. When he opened the restaurant and bar in the heart of the Financial District, he wanted to capture everything that he missed about his former home: the company, the cuisine, and the creativity. With the help of chef Eric Lind, he has done just that. New Zealand–inspired lamb skewers and grilled squid share the menu with savory beef pies from nearby Down Under Bakery. Morgan also props up his homeland’s economy by importing many of Nelson Blue’s beers and condiments directly from New Zealand. Homesick Kiwis can find solace in a pint of Moa beer or a glass filled with Wattie’s Tomato Sauce as they take in views of the Brooklyn Bridge from the bar’s patio.
That's the question one Serious Eats writer set out to answer in 2009, venturing to then-newly-opened Sigmund's Pretzels for the first time. The spot's warm, twisty snacks, crafted daily by lawyer-turned-pastry chef Lina Kulchinsky, inspired an enthusiastic answer: the "plain, simply seasoned pretzels" fulfilled "all my wanton pretzel desires." Today, Kulchinsky continues to woo palates with her soft and pillowy pretzel twists, but has also expanded Sigmund's Pretzels into a full-fledged gastropub with pretzel-bunned sandwiches, gourmet small plates, and craft beer.
In the Press
Sweet, Savory, and Everything In Between
Kulchinsky has mastered classic pretzel preparations that use caraway or simple sea salt for seasoning, but she's also known for more imaginative flavors. Here are a few you might encounter at Sigmund's.
|Truffle Cheddar||Cinnamon Raisin|
|The bite of golden cheddar cheese makes a knockout pairing with the velvety umami of the truffles.||This soft, perfectly sweet pretzel makes it easy to understand why one East Village Vibe contributor wrote that "Sigmund?s pretzels really might be better than bagels."|
|Italian parsley and fresh garlic cloves impart a lightly herbal flavor to these twisted treats.||The fresh, piquant flavors add a Mediterranean twist to pretzels made with feta cheese and olives.|
Paying homage to the financial offices nearby, a giant white bull statue guards the dining room, where traders and other diners slip into red booths. Here, they share boards of imported and domestic artisanal cheese, which precede steak frites or Bailey Burgers with applewood-smoked bacon.
Dorian Gray, a literary-themed gastro pub bedecked with mahogany and distressed bricks, permits patrons to cozy up to beer and Irish-influenced fare. With one hand toting a pint of Dorian Gray Amber ($5) and the other a glass of Vinvita pinot grigio ($7), guests can use their mouth to graze on Irish cheddar mini burgers ($6) or signature, french-fried curry chips with four in the mornin’ sauce ($6). New Zealand lamb chops share a diner's attention with peas and mash ($14), and the doughy cradle of shepherd's pie bears beef, onions, carrots, and peas ($11).