Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Minetta Tavern - Black Label Burger, The Experience (New York City)

Minetta Tavern

Minetta Tavern

Burgers, whether it's from In N Out (My HS job, wh00t wh00t!!) or La Grande Orange here in Pasadena, I'll always love eating it. When Sam Kim raved about Minetta Tavern and its $26 Black Label Burger, I knew it was a place I had to visit.

A few things to note. To get a reservation here was hard as hell. Think Per Se, but harder (at least for us) and Le Bernardin, so my expectation ran high as the visit approached. Also, don't expect ANY lighting in the dining room, or anywhere in the restaurant. It's probably the worst lit dining experience I had, thus I wasn't too pleased with how the pictures turned out. Hey, at the end, it's all about the food, right? Let's go to that!

Bread Service

Bread Service

As we ordered, bread service with a slab of salted butter was given to our table. The bread was warm and tasty, though I was saving room for the main event.

Roasted Bone Marrow

Roasted Bone Marrow - with baguette soldiers and shallot confit

In addition to the burgers, my friends Dan, Wendy and I decided to share an order of roasted bone marrow. Who could say no to rich fatty goodness?? The rich marrow complimented the baguette served, and the shallot confit added a nice sharpness to the flavor. A wonderful start to our meal!

Minetta Burger

Minetta Burger - with cheddar and caramelized onions

First, we started with the Minetta Burger, which at $16 is not a cheap burger itself. The meat was juicy and flavorful, and the cheddar added a nice creamy texture to the burger. However, as Dan summed it up, "the meat was juicy and the burger was as good as any of those in that price range, but the black label puts it to shame..." So, really, if you visit Minetta Tavern, you should look into getting.....

Black Label Burger

Black Label Burger - selection of prime dry-aged beef cuts with caramelized onions and pommes frites

.....the Black Label Burger. First of all, the Black Label is comprised of 4 different types of meats: a blend of a dry aged rib eye, NY Strip, skirt steak, and brisket. To say the Black Label was a pretty good burger is an understatement. I'm more than confident in saying it's the best burger I've EVER had to date. You don't need to add cheese (it's offered) to it. In fact, you don't need to even put the lettuce and tomatoes that accompanied the burger. Enjoy this at its pure meaty state and enjoy the flavors of the burger. The patty was simply fantastic, it's really that good! The pictures probably don't show how good the Black Label Burger really was. The pomme frites were tasty, but you order this for the burger. So go and get it!! I know I'm going to make a return visit on my next visit to New York City

A burger may just simply be a burger to most out there, as I'll agree with that statement probably 99% of the time. However, the Black Label Burger is really something. Chefs Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson really made something good at Minetta Tavern and most of New York knows about it now, as evidenced by its hard to get reservations. So if you're one of the lucky ones, check out Minetta Tavern, as there are a few other star items on the menu, including its $104 Cote de Boeuf which I heard was magnificient! But remember, get the Black Label Burger, it was a memorable experience.

Note: Check out this link for more detailed insights of the Black Label Burger.

Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal Street
New York, NY 10012-1201
(212) 475-3850
Official Website

Minetta Tavern in New York on Fooddigger


food je t'aime said...

WOW so jealous. I've been dreaming of this burger. You're pictures still look totally fine but I can imagine how horrible the lighting must've been for them to turn out like that.

samk said...

I'm excited for the day another burger comes and challenges the black label burger for that best-burger-ever title. Because even if it's not as good as the black label, that is still going to be one hell of a good burger.

Dan said...

now i'm in the mood for burger again, it was sooooo good

burumun said...

you say i don't need to add cheese or anything ... but will adding cheese make it even better??
I want the ultimate experience when I go next, you know :P

Nomsnotbombs said...

Must be a damn good burger to not need ANYTHING else on it.

weezermonkey said...

Wow, I had no idea it was so hard to get a reservation!

My hopes are dashed. :(

Diana said...

Bangs hand into head -- so that's where I should have gone for my first cheeseburger!

Kung Food Panda said...

Christina: Minetta Tavern is a must stop if you're in NYC!

Sam: Agree with that statement 100%. Hopefully it'll be in LA.

GP: I don't think cheese is necessary, in fact it'll mess with the flavors of the meat. Go Au Natural!

Misty: Yup, nada!

Ms. Monkey: You should just call ahead, I think for a party of 2, it might be easier? Especially if you don't want "prime time"

Diana: No cheese, just pure meat heaven. Better than anything in LA!

liveeatlove said...

I just watched the Bourdain episode at Minetta and then read your post...oh good heavens. I never crave burgers, but I need this.

keri said...

I just watched the Bourdain episode at Minetta and then read your post...oh good heavens. I never crave burgers, but I need this.

Kung Food Panda said...

Keri: That burger was simply magical. Don't add veggies or cheese. Eat it plain! :)