Friday, May 4, 2018

TBar Steak and Lounge: Tasty Upscale Casual on UES


In the past-NYC's 'it' steak restaurants catered to power players - wearing power suits - surrounded by power dark wood panels- located (mostly) in power zipcodes. To start ...  power drinks or bottles power label wines or power scotches, followed by power (humongous) portions for power appetites...

Yada yada yada.

Now-preferred steakhouse dining- is lower key- welcoming-in  local spots. Lighter interiors   comfortably seat whatever attired eaters - often with kids in tow-at earlier hours. 
Food wise- a broader range of menu printed options including iconic crowd-pleasers -  satiably satisfying tastebuds craving both the namesake familiar (well rendered)- to more global (fusion) selections.
picture-by TBSL

Paleo please???

Today's diverse diets+eating 'rituals' from functional healthy free of  fare- to shareable portions for  hungry nibblers and grazing snackers who skip the traditional 2-3 course meal...are a dining out given.

Able to deliciously please all of THAT-is the UES neighborhood destination, TBar Steak and Lounge...helmed by Chef Ben Zwicker- that gets the modern steakhouse part of its claim to fame just right -but much more.



Impressively so-from what we experienced on a packed house Tuesday night-with smiling diners celebrating the first warm weather night in months-as an emerging excuse to go out to a nearby fav eatery.

OUR EXPERIENCE:
Warmly greeted by the busy TBar Steak and Lounge (TBSL) hostess for our 7:30 PM reservation...kudos to calm under pressure-we nabbed the only open  table -near the front door-but it was totally fine.

Some patrons-like the smartly blue blazer -open collar shirt dressed men / summery frock-ed women- possibly post attending nearby art gallery openings - and casual attired  post work- millennials... preferred standing around the front door/hostess station and the totally filled- separate lounge area

 ...waiting for other tables to free-up in the dining areas ---but to us, that was a good sign.

There are plenty of other restaurants in that stretch of Thirds Ave/70s...so hey-we figured, there must be food worth waiting for.

Quickly-we-a non-meat picky eater and a 6'5 hungry millennial who's either meeting up-eating out or preparing those home delivery meals...found drink selections from the by the glass-and bottle beer-list...that included selections from the major world wine growing regions - sparkling, reds+whites and specialty cocktails.

Asking to see the complete wine list-out of curiosity-we did take note of many good bottle and half bottle options  like California reds-  as well as a full bar- offering a plethora of sip worthy tequilas and distilled liquors (Paleo approved).

FYI-a drinks order mix-up -no problem-was quickly solved-as our waitress was able to multi-task and we never felt neglected, actually preferring the leisure paced meal where the conversation was not interrupted every five minutes. Hooray.
Another plus-a real deal bread basket gets delivered PDQ- with chewy sour dough and fresh crusty olive studded rolls-served with sweet-salty butter.

The "For The Table" shareable appetizers...and starters presented a focus dilemma: we wanted pretty much all of them.

But choose we did-including a mouth watering moist Yellowfin Tuna Tartar ($23)-flawlessly flavored with a blend of soy-ginger-sesame ...a big round serving underneath the contrasting crunchy texture of deep fried wonton dough slivers - with a leafy, similarly dressed curly salad extra.
Perhaps the few solo diners at the bar ordered this as the main meal...we would. (RECIPE BELOW).

iPhone pics Yellowfin Tuna Tartar 
Tiger Shrimp Cocktail 

Also served up-the crowd pleasing fresh large Tiger Shrimp Cocktail ($22)-four -with dipping sauces +lemon on a bed of ice...

Another popular choice ordered that night - by those semi-secluded children populated tables...as well as adult duos sitting at the outside tables...was the thin crusted staple-a pre-sliced Pizza Margherita-with tomato
and cheese ($19).


picture by-TBSL
Salad choices-get there own menu section-a nod to lighter fare 'green' desires...includes Kale salad with apple, sesame in chili lime vinaigrette ($15).

AND-two protein filled salads are conveniently (smartly) listed as main course entries-(T-Bar Chopped Salad-with chicken, salmon, cold shrimp options $23-$31---Soba Noodle Chicken Salad with carrots, ginger, sesame seeds, in a miso vinaigrette $23)- a pleasing acknowledgement of how people really eat these days everywhere-including steakhouses...year round too.

Efforts though-were appreciated-when it came to the second act of our meal-a perfectly cooked (medium rare) Aged N.Y Strip Steak (14oz-$52)
NY Strip Steak
 -and a buttery-ish- flaky grilled Branzino ($35)-a Mediterranean worthy entrée-served de-boned- fillet style-the tender white fish moistened with just the right amount of brushed on softly tangy tomato-lemon capers-olive -olive oil sauce, (meaning not swimming in- hate that).


Grilled Branzino
Sophisticated burger choices, and more traditional American meaty fare (like Filet Mignon, Black Angus Porterhouse for two-40oz, Long Island Crispy Duck, Roast Free Range Chicken) as well as several fish options-including an Asian inspired Crusted Tuna-with soy, wasabi, and seaweed..round out the main menu part.

IMO-TBSL could probably add a main dish of three or four sides too...as the Spinach Mascarpone ($12) -shared-had exemplary balance of ingredients- "not too  creamy" ---featuring fresh spinach -simply seasoned-the way it should be.
 Spinach Mascarpone 

Amazingly-we avoided the temptation of hand cut French Fries ($12)...though other tables seemed to devour their crispy over-sized order-served in a proper wax paper lined stand cone basket holder.

The coda-desserts- are not too complicated-and thus easily shared--with sweet tooth standbys-chocolate or strawberry ice cream sundaes, or plate of cookies, as well as a deep dish version of sliced heaven-aka Banana Parfait Milles Feuilles -fresh banana slices layered in a deliciously thick oozy caramel coconut sauce and whipped cream ($20) and a large warm Apple Crisp-topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream layered in a round, clear glass trifle style dish ($20)

Banana Parfait Milles Feuilles-you can eat by yourself---warning!
Price-wise the menu is Manhattan neighborhood friendly-- especially apparent given the high quality of ingredients-- in everything from the trimmings-to the meat-fish appetizers and entrées devoured.

INFO:

T-Bar Steak and Lounge 1278 Third Avenue (btwn 73rd/74th streets), NYC
Open Monday-Friday 11:30 AM-2:30 PM
          Monday-Saturday 5PM-10:30 PM
          Saturday-Sunday 11:30 AM-3:00PM
          Sunday 5:00-9:30 PM
for Lunch, Brunch, Dinner and Bites



Tuna Tartare
By Chef Ben Zwicker, TBar Steak & Lounge, New York City, NY, USA
Makes 4 appetizer portions or 12 tasting size portions - or a split (?) as main course-yes that good.

1 Pound Tuna, sushi quality 
2 Tablespoons Shallots, minced 
2 Tablespoons Chives, chopped 
2 Teaspoons Ginger, minced 
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
3 Teaspoons Soy Sauce 
2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil 
0.5 Teaspoon Shichimi pepper, (Japanese spice mixture) 
1 Pinch Cumin 

Salt and Cayenne, to taste 
Method: Gently mix ingredients together, as if dressing a salad. Top with slivers of deep fried wonton or spring roll wrappers.