Walking down the stairs to the dining area of Rare made me realize that they took food seriously and passionately. What made me feel this way? It could have be the word “EAT” spelled out in knives on the wall. OK, it was the word “EAT” spelled out in knives on the wall.
After a day of walking a trade show, me and my colleagues were ready to sit down and fill our bellies. Immediately we ordered a round of drinks and my Jameson Manhattan was a thing of beauty. Cold and just the tiniest hint of sweetness, their bartender knows what he/she is doing. I can’t tell you how many places can’t make a good Manhattan. As I sipped my drink I took in the ambience. The room was very empty and I hate to say it, but the décor was quite tacky. And not like so tacky that it actually looks good, but just plain tacky. There was an oversized fake oven at the end of the room that hurt my eyes and barbed wire was printed on the lights and walls. I was hoping that the food would be better.
Sustenance started coming to the table and my spirits were lifted because everything looked great.
Basket of fries: this overflowing basket came with sweet potato fries, shoestring fries and waffle fries. They were just average, but what made this dish fun were the dipping sauces. They brought over not just ketchup, but chili ketchup, BBQ sauce, honey maple dipping sauce, chipotle aioli and a garlic aioli. The garlic aioli tasted like a high class version of Papa John’s garlic butter sauce.
Lollipop wings: tasty with a nice amount of heat, and it was accompanied with a warm Roquefort sauce. Though I’m not gonna lie, I missed having whole buffalo wings because I think that the skin has a lot of flavor.
Frickles: I’m not in love with fried pickles, but I do enjoy munching on them from time to time. What was great about these was that the pickle inside the batter still managed to stay crispy. High five.
And then our entrees came. While I was stuffing my face with fries and wings and frickles, I was really thinking about my rib-eye steak. Is that considered cheating? I ordered the Cowboy Rib-Eye Steak, which is also known as a French-cut steak. Kind of disappointing because I wish I could have had all that meat that they cut off of the bone. Anyway, the steak was served with a generous pat of truffle butter on top and red wine mushroom sauce on the side (woohoo, I hate it when sauce is poured on). Under the thick cut of steak was a truffle spinach risotto.
The steak was cooked to a perfect medium-rare, kudos to the cook. I took one bite and realized that I missed the fat. Then I took another bite and then a third bite and then I was all like, “Dude! Where’s my fat?” This was one of the leanest rib-eyes I have ever had before. After that third bite I crawled into a fetal position under the table and cried. OK. So maybe I didn’t, but a little part of me did die on the inside. To chefs everywhere, please refrain from trimming fat too much. I’d be perfectly fine if you didn’t touch it at all. The red wine mushroom sauce was decent, I appreciated that it was light and not overpowering. The star of the dish was definitely the risotto. Cooked to perfection, the rice was slightly firm and was oozing with so much cheese that you could see strings of it with each forkful I lifted off the plate. It was worth getting that dish to try that risotto.
A colleague of mine was nice enough to give me a bite of his brisket po’ boy. It was a tasty sandwich, though slightly too sweet for my tastes.
Dessert? Yes, the fried Oreos, please. Woohoo! I’m a huge fan of fried Oreos. It’s like a mini zeppole with a slightly melted Oreo in the middle, how can you go wrong? Well, Rare slightly veered off the course and topped the fried Oreos with ice cream and whipped cream. Now don’t get me wrong, I love ice cream and whipped cream, but I wish that they served it on the side. It made the batter on the Oreos soggy and not as enjoyable as they could have been.
6 out of 10
152 W 26th St, New York NY10001