First things first:
Location: Murray Hill area, 303 Lexington Ave (btw 37th and 38th) New York, NY 10016
Cuisine: fancy burgers / grill
Meal eaten here: Lunch
Bar: yeah, but I was on the wagon
Matchbooks: didn't see any
James (my ever faithful dining partner) and I went to Rare, down the block from his apartment, for a Sunday lunch/brunch. Truth be told, we waited way too long to eat, and were both starving, so of course burgers seemed like a good idea (and anyway, when are they not a good idea?). First little minor thing that ticked me toward the negative side was the fact that, even though I'd made an Open Table reservation for Rare (okay, so I did it while we were walking up the block, but still! I should at least get SOME sort of credit when I dine out), I was told they don't take reservations. And yet I'd found them on Open Table and made one. Gripe #1.
So then we get the menus and are picking out what to eat, and the waitress comes over and gives a shpiel selling their rare burgers, which are actually cuts of steak ground into patties and infused with various yummy things like cheese and booze. Yes, please.
I get one of those (The Rare ribeye - flambeed in Bourbon, with Avacado and smoked cheddar, medium rare) and James got The M&M burger (flambeed in whiskey, with applewood smoked bacon and fried onions, medium). We also got a side of truffle fries - shoe string fries drizzles with truffle oil and parmesan. Needless to say, we were hell a excited (not to mention starving, which actually, I think I've already mentioned).
But, alas, this is where Gripe #2 comes in. It took forever to get our food, which, you know, typically sucks, but they didn't even bring out any kind of bread or anything. But, you know what? Fine, no bread. We were gearing up for this delicious burgers, and they'd have bread, so...
Except then they were brought out, and here is Gripe #3. This is a burger place. And it's not a cheap burger place - fifteen to thirty dollars a burger. And the waitress tells us they're known for their burgers, and blah blah blah. So how come, when I get my burger ( including a little flag that says 'medium rare') it's definitely well done. And, thus, largely inedible?
I've never sent food back in a restaurant - I have a sort of phobia about the result that stems from the idea of someone spitting in my food, etc., but I was pretty close to sending this back. It just sort of struck me as ridiculous. Especially because my burger was charred on the outside. Like crispy charred. The chef should've noticed, at the very least, and not served it. A pox on his saltshaker! Well, not actually, but, yeah. James was kind enough to give me half of his burger (his medium was definitely medium rare). The taste of both (rareness aside) was only just okay, nothing spectacular. And the fries were just average. Again, nothing special, especially for the price. Needless to say, probs won't be dining here again too soon...
* out of *****
$$ out of $$$
I'd go again:
If Outback Steakhouse and Fuddrucker's went out of business.