The Bar Room
 
 

Old-world charm meets a new-world menu

By James Oliver Cury

Manhattan has plenty of gorgeous old taverns. And timeless bars serving tasty burgers. And modern cocktail destinations. But what if you want all of that and you’d like to keep the costs down, and you don’t want to go to Brooklyn?

Opened in 2013, The Bar Room on East 60th Street has become that place, thanks to a carefully refined collection of culinary greatest-hit dishes. Walk past the 32-foot-long, dark mahogany bar—and it’s accompanying bustle when busy—and you’ll enter a stately dining room of oversized mirrors, red curtains, floral wallpaper, a central skylight and curved leather banquettes evoke some circa-1900 European brasserie.

On the menu, there is literally something for everyone among the starters, salads, and entrees. For finger food, think classic wings with buttermilk blue cheese, cajun chicken nachos, and the supremely tasty spinach and kale dip with house-made tortillas. On a cold winter day, the New England clam chowder and baked mac and cheese can provide warming sustenance. If you want something greener that still tastes almost like candy, try the crispy Brussels sprouts with sweet chile, lime, and toasted peanuts.
Entrees span the globe, from French chicken paillard, Italian wild mushroom pappardelle, Vietnamese brisket banh mi, Korean BBQ salmon, plus a few Mexican dishes, including the surprisingly spicy shrimp tacos. How is the burger? Divine, thanks to a good ratio of bun to burger and the addition of grilled onions and thinly sliced pickles, making it a sweet, sour, and somewhat slippery affair. And yes, that comes with fries.

Portions are large, plating is attractive, and the best news of all: The dishes are all priced in the teens and twenties. It’s yet another throwback to an earlier era—the time of a bona fide good deal, that is. Call it a meal by ending with the roasted apple empanada served with vanilla ice cream. And you thought you couldn’t have it all.

hours

Sun–Mon 11 AM–1 AM; Tue–Sat 11 AM–3 AM

price range

$17 (chicken paillard) to $35 (steak frites)
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