Saturday night I'd won a bet with one of my managers about how many covers we'd do that night, (374) so after work, I skipped over to Lure and waited for Tiffany to arrive...
I'd won a cocktail from Tiffany, but also owed her a glass of wine in exchange for a lunch tab she'd recently picked up. At Lure, I was happy to see Laura behind the bar, I hadn't seen her in a while and she informed me that they recently changed their house sparkling from Schramsberg 'Mirabelle' to Franciacorta, Ronco Calino. She also informed me that there was an 'off the menu' prosecco. Laura poured me a tasting of both to see which one I'd like better. I chose the prosecco--it had more character.
While sipping my wine, I struck up a conversation with Marcea, another one of Lure's bartenders, who was waiting for her husband to finish his shift. We talked about the opening of B&B (west of Mercer, on Houston), Chef Capon's (of Lure) latest venture which is scheduled to open this Thursday, October 14th. According to Marcea, B&B will be:
... burgers, beer and casual food and they'll also school you on [wine] pairings. Chef Capon plans to be there more or less full time; Lure's sous chef has apprenticed under chef's wing for two years now--the [quality of the] food at Lure will not change.
Later, Tiffany arrived, along with one of our regulars and we chatted more about her plans in place for the donut counter at Brindle Room. She plans on starting the menu small--maple candy bacon, sugar donut, chocolate peanut butter glaze--until she gets a feel for what her customers like...
Yesterday, I'd finally gotten around to going to Mercer Kitchen to have, for myself, the newly debuted "(Mercer) Burger" (different from the Niman Ranch Burger). I'd recently gone there with a friend of mine who'd ordered it and let me have a bite--it was amazing! It's so much better than their Niman Ranch Burger, which I can only eat rare, otherwise it's just too dry and salty for me. The (Mercer) Burger comes with: pepper jack cheese, Russian dressing, guacamole and is topped with "crunchy red onions." It's also a few ounces smaller than the Niman Ranch Burger and comes on a different bun.
The (Mercer) Burger
I ordered my (Mercer) Burger medium rare--ever since my Three Burger Experiment, at Lure, it's the only way I order my burgers (their recommendation) while dining out. The burger was very moist. And even with all those different flavor combinations, not one stood out more than another. They all blended together beautifully to result in one tasty burger. I'd say my only reservations were that I wish there were a few more "crunchy red onions" and that the tomato slice was a bit thick (for me), considering the burger is already on the small side.
The (Mercer) Burger is also a very summery-tasting burger: the cool, juicy, fresh vegetables made me feel like I was at a backyard barbecue--which brings me to the point: Burgers by Season.
Having tried nearly every eminent burger in SoHo (and beyond) I've come to a conclusion of burgers that are appropriate for eating each season of the year. Having already acclaimed The (Mercer) Burger as suitable for summer, let's move on to fall.
Brindle Room's Dry Aged Burger
Brindle Room's dry aged burger is a nice 'fatty' burger that reminds your belly that hibernation is just around the corner...
Chef Capon's "secret" Bash Burger with caramelized onions and bacon relish, is a perfect pick for winter. With it's ultra-luxurious texture, it almost makes you feel warm. Try it with a nice glass of red or a Scotch. High-end comfort food...
For spring, there's (also from Chef Capon) the Lure Style Burger. With cool veggies and a clean brioche bun, it's like spring cleaning for your belly (which has been housing too much foie gras, all winter).