Stand, from restaurateur-turned-burger-burgher Jonathan Morr (Republic, Bond St.) evokes the retro charm of a burger stand, but with grander aspirations. It’s a real restaurant, complete with 15-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, waiter service and burgers served reverentially on giant white plates. The patties are hefty, the bread delicious (poppy seed buns and brioche are baked daily), the cooking nuanced (broiled to requested doneness, with a cookout-worthy char). Stand also offers its burgers as part of a three-lettuce salad, inside a vegetable soup—seemingly any way except under a processed cheese single. As for sides, the thick fries taste like diner standard-issue, but the bright-orange sweet-potato mash, gooey with melted Parmesan, serves as a sophisticated substitute.
Most seductive is Stand’s abundance of soda fountain drinks. The homemade pops—you'll crave the astringent rosemary concoction—ply adult taste buds with fresh ingredients and minimal sweetness. The thick, bordering-on-coarse shakes are made from exotic flavors of Il Laboratorio del Gelato ice cream, and floats are as generous as they are eclectic: Large scoops of banana ice cream crammed into a glass of dandelion-and-burdock soda has the fruity, wintergreen flavor of a piece of Dubble Bubble gum. This is thinking person’s comfort food. Stand also offers alcoholic shakes and 20 regional brews.