The Breslin Bar & Dining Room: A User's Guide
Upscale Gastropub Cuisine | Snout-to-Tail Cooking | Irresistible Lamb Burger | Cask-Conditioned Beer
Starter: scotch egg layered with sausage and deep-fried
Entree: chargrilled lamb burger with fries—a favorite of former New York Times chief critic Frank Bruni
Dessert: clementine cake with blood orange, dates, and candied walnuts
Where to Sit: Colorful curtains close off the dining room's booths from the surrounding hubbub, encouraging guests to lose themselves in private tête-à-têtes and aliens to take off their uncomfortable human masks.
What to Drink: The Spotted Pig Bitter, which is brewed specially for Breslin, attains its distinctive flavor from secondary fermentation in its cask. The beer foregoes artificial carbonation or pressurization, with bartenders hand pumping each pour into its glass.
The Chef: Chef April Bloomfield forged her skills in the kitchens of London's River Café and Berkeley's Chez Panisse. She wasted no time upon arriving in New York, quickly opening the city's first proper gastropub, The Spotted Pig.
Let the Kitchen Decide: Large parties can opt for the expansive chef's-table dinner, designed for groups of 8–12 and served just three times each night. These feasts might include whole suckling pig or balsamic roasted duck, accompanied by sides that are hand-selected by Chef April Bloomfield.
Using the Whole Hog: The menu is a veritable tribute to the many uses of pig, meandering from pork-fat-fried peanuts to the apotheosis of offal, the pig's foot for two, which is deboned, stuffed with pork, braised until tender, and fried.
While You're Waiting: Head over to the bar to enjoy craft cocktails, hand-pumped beer, and a playlist that "bounces smartly between rock and hip-hop," according to the New York Times.
Inside Tip: Guests staying upstairs in the Ace Hotel receive the singular privileges of placing reservations and ordering room service directly from the kitchen.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Pursue the exhibits at the nearby Museum of Sex (233 Fifth Avenue), which approaches its risqué subject with a deft mixture of playfulness and scholarly rigor.
After: Drink in panoramic views of the city's skyline while sipping a cocktail on the rooftop patio at 230 Fifth (230 Fifth Avenue).