On top of the perfect, bottomless iced tea, Spoon and Fork are always in search of perfect burgers. Rare Bar & Grill may be up there near the top of the BEST BURGER category!
During one of our adventures to No. 28 Pizzeria, Spoon passed Rare Bar & Grill at their Greenwich Village location on Bleecker Street. Not being able to pass a burger place without looking at the menu, Spoon immediately emailed me a link to their menus. This is a place we HAD to try!
We picked a date and time. We were meeting at the Bleecker street location. We arrive – CLOSED!! There was a fire at this location and they would be closed for a few days. Now what?
You know when you have your head set on something? No matter what you do, everything else pales by comparison. Where do we go? What do we do? The other location of Rare in Murray Hill just seemed so far away. Next thing we knew our hands were out and we were shouting “TAXI!” And off we were to the Rare location on 37th and Lexington Avenue.
The 37th Street location is inside the Affinia Hotel and also has a lovely rooftop bar and restaurant. The dining room and bar is plain, but an elegant rustic type feel, if that makes sense. Great black and white photos on the walls. Tables way too tightly together. You know the feeling, you could share what was on the two top two tables down from you without really reaching in front of anyone.
It was early when we arrived so we were able to sit in a corner banquet and have a little more room. After a pretty gruelling day, Fork needed something slightly stronger than an iced to andour very friendly server suggested a mango margarita. It came in a huge glass with a large wedge of mangoon the side of the glass. I was waiting for a mix tasting margarita with a little mango something thrown in for good measure. Nope, not here! Fresh mango, good tequila, well blended, over ice. YUM!
As for the iced tea, large glasses, very cold, andfreshly brewed. You can tell by the taste that it hasn’t sat around for a long period of time andthat they use quality tea. The near empty glass barely touched the table before a server came buy with a pitcher and refilled the glasses. They even took the time to take any visible seeds out of the lemonwedges it was served with. Bravo!
We usually have an idea of what we want to try before we get to a restaurant. We just hoped that the menu on Lexington Avenue was the same as the one on Bleecker Street. And we were again in luck, it was identical!
We started off with the Shredded Brisket Quesadilla. Crispy torilla on the outside, filled with incredibly tender, fantastically seasoned, melt in your mouthbeef brisket. It is served in wedges witha side of freshly made salsa. This is definitely something you regret ordering to share, hoping that your dining partner decides they want to save room for what’s coming – oh, just kidding Spoon, you know I share everything with you!!
Along with the quesadilla, we ordered the French Fry Tasting basket. This comes with sweet potato fries, cottage fries and shoestring fries. As if that isn’t enough, it comes with 4 dipping sauces. The Honey Maple Dip is fantastic with the sweet potato fries, although it is a bit of sweet on sweet. The New Mexican Chili Ketchup has a nice kick and after burn to it, not too much, but just right. The Chipolte Aioli is nice, but not something you remember much about, and the Roasted Garlic Aioli is just yucky (yes, very mature word, but it’s just yucky).
There are two different types of burgers on the Rare menus – there are the regular ground chuck, beef burgers and there are the steakhouse burgers. One of the burgers on the regular burger menu features Murray’s Cheeses. Each week the team at Murray’s picks a new cheese to pair with a burger. Tempting, very tempting.
What is cutlery to do? Naturally, the steakhouse burgers. Okay, they’re $2o plus a burger, that could be a deal breaker. But these burgers are HUGE. First, we ordered the T-Bone burger. This is a combo of sirloin and strip steak, freshly ground, flambeed (Ready? I hope you’re sitting) in tequila, wrapped in apple smoked bacon, topped with cheddar cheese andcrispy onions! What a flavor combination! What an incredibly good taste! I don’t know if it was the very freshly ground beef, the bacon, tequila, cheese or crispy onions, but man oh man was this a good burger! By the way, all the steakhouse burgers are served with yellow tomato slices and pickles.
The other burger we ordered was the Rare’s Ribeye. Again gigantic burger, gigantic flavor. This burger was made from freshly ground ribeye, flambeed in bourbon, smoked cheddar, a slice of avocado and a sauteed cipollini onion. Now if you look at this picture, this burger appears to be wearing a little hat, that’s the avocado and onion. It’s seriously awkward and can’t be eaten that way, so there is a bit fiddling with this burger to get ready to eat it. Again, incredible flavor combo, totally forgives the silly avocado and onion!
Was dessert necessary? NO WAY! Did we order something anyway? OH, YES! And besides the waiter said Fried Oreos! Fried Oreos! Can you imagine such a thing? Well, Spoon and Fork could not and so we had to order it!! The oreos are in a sweet batter, deep fried, andVERY sweet. The combo with ice cream and chocolate syrup is great. They pile on a ridiculous amount of whipped cream – leave it off, guys! No way this could be finished after everything else we had.
All in all this was a wonderful experience and well worth the cost and all the trouble. Stop by one of their locations, your taste buds will thank you with a resounding YEEEEEEEHAAAAA!!
This is definitely going to need a repeat as there were so many other things we would have liked to try. We’ll keep you posted!
The Lexington Avenue location is open for breakfast and dinner every day, and for lunch or brunch everyday except Thursday and Friday. They also have a rooftop garden outdoor seating area which is quite lovely on a nice evening.
The Bleecker Street location is open for lunch and dinner every day with brunch on Saturday and Sunday. They also have live jazz on the weekends and some outdoor seating.
Lexington Avenue – 303 Lexington Avenue (at 37th Street) – 212.481.1999
Bleecker Street – 228 Bleecker Street (Bwt. 6th Ave. and Carmine Street) – 212.691.7273