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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Bubbly

Tonight, I was in the mood for a "restaurant burger"--one that I could eat with a knife and fork--for dinner.  I'd spent the day, largely, at home and was itching to get out. I thought about going to New Leaf Restaurant & Bar, but unfortunately, there was no burger on their menu. I knew I was going to have to get on the subway...

I ended up going to East of Eighth, my favorite restaurant in Chelsea. The host led me to the upstairs dining room and intuitively sat me at the exact table I was wishing for (table ten, I later learned)--he even asked, "Is this the table you want?" My server, █████, approached and asked what I'd like to drink tonight. 

"I'll have a glass of the prosecco."

A moment later my prosecco arrived and I balked as soon as the wine entered my mouth. It was flat. I motioned for my server and before I could even speak, he asked, "Is it flat?" (he knew)

"Yes, it is."

He removed the glass, but replaced it all to quickly with a second glass "from a new bottle." It was the same flat wine. This time, I was highly insulted. A runner came to drop a bread basket at my table and I asked him to bring my server over. After telling █████ that the second glass he'd brought me was flat as well, I (calmly) asked him if the glasses of wine had been sitting in the refrigerator because the glasses were cold.

"We have to chill all our glasses." (was he really arguing with me?)

I then proceeded to lift my glass to show him that there weren't even any bubbles in the wine... "and I've had prosecco here before and it's never been like this." 

He finally (realized he wasn't going to be able to sell me the flat wine and) brought me a glass of French sparkling pinot blanc (Lucien Albrecht). This time he waited for me to taste it.

"Much better."

I placed an order for the East of Eighth burger (on a homemade sesame bun) plus my selected topping of blue cheese. $12 (includes one topping).

East of Eighth Burger

My burger arrived much quicker than I'd expected (perhaps because I'd ordered it medium rare?) and with my first bite all the hullabaloo over the wine was all but forgotten. I started with the French fries, which were very surprisingly quite good! (I'd only expected "standard" fries would accompany the buger) In my opinion, Lure Fishbar still has the best French fries in town, but East of Eighth's come as a close second.

Next, I cut the first piece of my East of Eighth burger (sans the bun) and was also pleased. It states on the menu: the East of Eighth burger is made with ten ounces of sirloin beef, ground on the premises daily. I was a believer. The burger did taste of a noticeably higher quality than your typical N. Y. C. burger, although it could have been a tad bit warmer. As I slowly enjoyed my quiet dinner, I began to notice the blue cheese on my burger was saltier than I would have preferred. But overall, I definitely do recommend the East of Eighth burger. Perhaps I'd even work it into my list of Burgers by Season!
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