It’s been one year. One year since J and I got married and one year since we abruptly moved to Kalamazoo. Once again, things are happening in our lives that are pretty big for us (seriously, I’ll tell you next week…don’t want to jinx it.) In the middle of it all, we made plans a few months ago to take a trip to New York for our anniversary.
Like everything we do, the entire trip was planned around food.
We landed at LaGuardia right around noon. We were actually early. Our flight went really smoothly which has never happened to either of us. No waiting on the runway. No holding pattern in the air. Our bag even almost beat us to the baggage claim.
All of that would be great except we couldn’t get in to our hotel until 3:00 and they wouldn’t really hold our bags. They offered to let us leave the bag in the lobby, but unattended and not secured, so we didn’t really fell 100% comfortable.
Since we had to lug our suitcase around town, we needed to find a place for lunch that was big enough that a large suitcase wouldn’t be a hassle.
When my brother and I made a pilgrimage to old Yankee Stadium, the only thing I said we had to do was eat at Bobby Flay’s restaurant. At that time, we ate at Mesa Grill. J said at some point on this trip, she wanted to go to a Flay restaurant. When we landed I checked to see what their brunch menu looked like.
Bar Americain is Bobby Flay’s other restaurant in New York City. There’s actually two locations of this particular restaurant. The New York location is in Midtown West near 52nd and 7th Avenue. There’s a second location in Uncansville, CT at the Mohegan Sun Casino.
I think we were actually a little bit early for opening time. We walked in the door and the hostess looked at J and called her by name. Turns out, it was just a coincidence. There was another party with reservations that happened to have the same first name. She explained we just came from the airport and we couldn’t get in to our hotel, so we just decided to eat and kill time.
A hostess actually asked if I would mind checking the bag and I said I didn’t, so she took it while another lady showed us to our table. Brunch service actually started at 11:30 and if I remember right, we were there before that.
We were taken to a table by the bar in the downstairs dining room. The second floor is above the kitchen and overlooks the main downstairs dining room.
The place is gorgeous and what you would expect from a celebrity chef. The colors were all browns and tans with soft lighting setting the mood.
The brunch at Bar Americain does a pretty good job of including mouth watering choices from both the breakfast and lunch side of the spectrum. At first, we were both leaning towards the breakfast options until we got down to the bottom where the lunch options were.
First off though, we saw an appetizer we had to have. We started with the Hot Potato Chips with Bleu Cheese Sauce. These things were amazing. The chips are fresh cut, thinly sliced potato chips and there is a large pot of bleu cheese sauce for dipping. I’ve got the recipe for this sauce in my collection and it never comes out like this. It had a mild bleu cheese flavor, but still enough to keep us wanting more. I’m pretty sure this was J’s favorite part of the meal if not the entire trip.
For our meals, I went with the Bar Americain burger with bleu cheese. Bobby Flay is a burger master, so no way I’m going to let this one get by. I ordered the burger medium and it came out perfect with a pink, yet warm center. The cheese was mounded on top and melted perfectly. The sandwich was served on a crusty, homemade sesame seed roll. The burger was fantastic. There was no doubt in my mind when I ordered this sandwich that it was going to be delicious and it was. The burger was just perfectly cooked which goes a long way for a great burger.
To my surprise, the sandwich came with fries which I wasn’t expecting. They were served in silver cup lined with parchment paper that was formed in the shape of a cone. The fries were very, very crispy and had a sea salt and pepper coating. There were three sauces that came on the plate that could have been used either on the sandwich or for dipping. They were chiptole mayo, yellow mustard, and ketchup. All were homemade. All were delicious, but asked our waitress to leave the bleu cheese from the chips on the table and we just used that.
J ordered the Southwestern Cobb Salad. This salad came piled high with pulled chicken and a chipotle dressing. There was also a big ring of bleu cheese on the outside. We kind of overdid it on the bleu cheese, but it was so worth it. With all the extras we got (chips, fries, and the complimentary bread), J had little room left for this large salad. She ate about half and had to walk away from it because we weren’t going to the hotel yet for several hours and the salad probably wouldn’t have made it.
We knew when we walked in this was not going to be a cheap brunch, but we made it our anniversary meal. Before tip, the meal was almost $60. The meal was fantastic and everything we could have hoped for in a celebratory meal. The manager gave us a little grief for being such quick “brunchers,” but that’s just how we roll.
The reason we chose Bar Americain has everything to do with Bobby Flay being my favorite celebrity chef, but the food absolutely delivers. I was really surprised by the large portion sizes and can’t complain at all about the price when I think of how much food we actually got. I think going to Bar Americain for brunch was a good move for us. We both found several dishes we would have liked to try and loved the ones we did.