Rye Restaurant and Bar Williamsburg Brooklyn New York
247 S.1st Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
My friend Noel and I started a whacky tradition a few 4th of July’s ago. It started with laziness – laziness to put together a 4th of July bbq. Hey, it’s not easy when you don’t have a terrace, rooftop, backyard or adequate fire escape space. Going to the park is well too much effort in our book. So we came up with the brilliant idea on going to Peter Luger’s to have steaks on the 4th (then we expanded to other random holidays like Thanksgiving). The tradition is no reservations, just walk in. Usually on holidays like the 4th, it’s manageable. One year we did wait about 1.5 hours which would have sucked more had it not been for the endless well-made gin and tonics at the bar and a celebrity sighting of John Lithgow. Mr Lithgow with daughter in tow, of course cut through the line as effortlessly as the Luger’s steak knives slice through their juicy porterhouses. Damn, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
Anyhow, this year the 4th of July fell on a Saturday which unbeknownst to us meant that it would be impossible to get a walk-in seat because Peter Luger’s closes earlier on weekends (good to know). So Luger’s was out of the question. Instead, Noel, his GF and I walked not to Dressler’s across the street but to the ex-Dressler Chef/Owner’s semi newly opened Rye Chop House a few blocks away.
There was Rib Eye on the menu, so we ordered a few of those, a round of drinks, a crab croquette, and the lamb chops. The rib eye was more of a medallion so that was not expected. It was also overcooked (came as medium well when we ordered medium rare). I guess I don’t really feel that bad since it also happened to Frank Bruni of the NY Times! The rib eye is served with a beef bourguignon stew of vegetables which complements the beef very well. Personally I think this dish would have been fantastic if it was just a normal cut of rib eye and not over cooked.
The lamb chops with the roasted garlic mash, haricot vert and roasted tomatoes was spot on. Order it! Now 2 items that I did not have room to eat were the sloppy joe sandwiches that my coworker swears by and the dessert doughnuts. Oh well, maybe next time, but probably not next 4th of July. We’re going to set up the fucking grill or we’re hitting Smith and Wollensky’s. (2010’s 4th is on Sun)