Food & Drink

The NYC Summer burger update

Published On 08/13/2014 Published On 08/13/2014
Andrew Zimmer
Andrew Zimmer
Andrew Zimmer
Bar Sardine
Adam Kuban
Meadowsweet
Wilma Jean
Andrew Zimmer
Rosette
Andrew Zimmer
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1. Meadowsweet 149 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (Williamsburg)

Headed by the same chef (Polo Dobkin) as the previous tenant (Dressler), Meadowsweet is a dinner/bar operation that will feature mouth-watering dishes like St. Louis ribs, aged strip steaks with bordelaise sauce, and pan-roasted quail with grits, Tasso ham, and pickled watermelon.

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2. Bar Sardine 183 W. 10th Street, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

Opened by restaurateur Gabriel Stulman, Bar Sardine is part of the Happy Cooking family of restaurants that includes Perla, Fedora, Joseph Leonard, and Jeffrey's Grocery Restaurant and Bar. On the menu you can expect light bar food that rotates seasonally, with the exception of the hearty Gruyère grilled cheese or the Fedora Burger, both of which remain popular staples. The bar is in the center of the snug room, and drink rails line the walls of the windows where you can sip on great cocktails, a beer, or a glass of wine.

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3. Rosette 171 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

This candlelit L.E.S. bistro has Nick Curtin, formerly of Acme, cooking up New American fare like lamb, Wagyu steak, roast half chicken, and the big and juicy "Rosette Burger." The restaurant also offers an impressive brunch selection, a wide variety of specialty cocktails, and affordable wines by the glass.

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4. Cherche Midi 282 Bowery, New York, NY 10012 (Nolita)

Taking over the former Pulino's spot, this French establishment is ready to supply you with frog legs, foie gras, and a burger that rivals the best in the city.

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5. élan 43 East 20th St, New York, NY 10003 (Gramercy)

This David Waltuck spot in Gramercy dishes out contemporary cuisine like grilled seafood sausage, sea urchin guacamole, stuffed chicken wings, General Tso’s sweetbreads, and fettuccine with scallops and duck fat.

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6. Big Smoke Burger 70 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011 (Chelsea)

This Chelsea burger joint builds handcrafted burgs with fresh (never frozen) ground chuck, and loads em up with fresh ingredients, from their classic cheeseburger with Canadian cheddar, to their signature Big Smoke Burger, with horseradish mayo, caramelized onions, smoked cheddar, tomato & lettuce.

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7. Navy 137 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012 (Soho)

There’s no shortage of chic, hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Soho; the narrow streets -- constantly crawling with polished tourists and lower Manhattanites -- are stacked with open-windowed storefronts, and Navy on Sullivan St. is, seemingly, unremarkable. But what sets the 40-seat, seafaring hideaway apart is its personality and minimalist menu. The restaurant’s name speaks to its design: the interior is reminiscent of a World War II naval ship, with studded copper plating and canvas from old US Navy duffle bags lining the walls, blue and white floor tiles and flags, and a wall display of stacked sardine cans. The season-dependent menu is themed accordingly: it’s straightforward, simplistic American food with fish at the forefront (as you’d expect from a restaurant with a maritime motif), while maintaining its appeal to the Soho masses with its penchant for vegetables. You can have the market salad (vegetables!) with the daily fish -- which can be as simple as tinned smoked salmon (I didn’t say it was fresh). For the seafood-averse, the open-faced egg sandwich with bacon, cheese, and avocado is a one-time staff-meal-turned-menu-item -- a ringing endorsement from the restaurant’s nearest and dearest. It’s served with French fries (potatoes are vegetables!) that are eerily reminiscent of those from McDonald’s, but in the best way: they’re the thin, uniformly cut, crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside fries you didn’t know existed outside of the double arches. They do. During dinner, the menu opens with raw bar options like oysters, crudos, and house-cured fish topped with caviar, then dives into larger, market dishes like the popular whole trout en croute. Again, you can avoid sea creatures with an all-beef cheeseburger, which can and should be topped with the agave-drizzled Billionaire Bacon. A meal at Navy isn’t complete without a beverage; the wine -- which is secured to the back wall by leather straps in case the ship rocks -- is primarily old world, with lesser known varieties and regions accounted for (like the Grecian Assyrtiko or a Black Vermentino). Beer -- including the local Catskill Pilsner and Ommegang Witte, among other fish-friendly brews -- is poured from unmarked wooden taps. And somewhat antithetical to a ship’s nature, there’s no liquor here: the cocktail program is anchored by light-on-the-palate, crisp, soju- and wine-based aperitifs. For simple, satisfying food and a seaside departure to decades past, Navy is your port of call.

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8. Wilma Jean 345 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231 (Gowanus)

Armed with Southern hospitality, Wilma Jean in Gowanus serves up stackable portions of double cheeseburgers, fried bologna sandwiches, fried pickles, and its signature fried chicken, the latter of which is served atop a potato bun, on a stick, and in half-portions. Run by a husband and wife duo, the counter-service spot is a solid option for brunch, happy hour (its daily beer and wine deals are an added bonus), or for a late dinner, with the kitchen open until 10pm seven days a week.

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9. Emily 919 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11238

This cozy Clinton Hill spot was founded by two foodies who sparked a relationship in college over a shared pizza. Today, they're serving up an overwhelming selection of creative pies in their intimate restaurant. In addition to pizza -- split between red and white on the menu -- Emily is known for the critically-acclaimed Emmy Burger, featuring a dry-aged patty topped with rich cheddar, sweet caramelized onions, and a buffalo-like sauce inside of a pretzel bun. A limited amount of burgers is served every night, but luckily, they're available in (near-unlimited) amounts during Sunday lunch service.

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10. RAMEN.Co 100 Maiden Ln, New York, NY 10038 (Financial District)

RAMEN.Co was first opened after the extreme success following the Ramen Burger craze at Smorgasburg. Eventually, a shop dedicated to the culinary beast was opened here in FiDi, and it's serving up serious ramen bowls alongside non-Ramen Burger options. But fret not, it'll always be the home of the Ramen Burger, which you should get, immediately.