It would be a stark misrepresentation to refer to this new Upper East Side restaurant as a dining destination. The hooting and hollering coming from the bar—reactions to the flat-screen TVs broadcasting baseball games and speakers blaring house-party tunes (Blind Melon, Dave Matthews, Lynyrd Skynyrd)—peg this place as a pub, geared presumably toward aging fratboys. Unless you are desperate for sidewalk seating, there really is no good reason to eat here. The high point of the meal, tellingly, was the bread basket, which was filled with delicious soft pretzels and pumpernickel-raisin rolls and served with a grainy mustard spread. The ensuing service and food were inconsistent, bordering on bizarre: After opening a $45 Coppola merlot (few bottles here cost less than $50) and filling our glasses, our well-meaning waiter promptly put the cork right back in. A grilled tuna steak was woefully overcooked and served with a Tuscan bean salad so acidic it could have burned a hole through a lesser plate. The barbecued short ribs, slathered in a molasses-and-mustard sauce, had a generic sweetness; large deposits of fat required calculated gnawing. Dishes remained on our table far too long: Our half-eaten meals were still in front of us when the commercial-bakery–quality tarts and pies were served. As with most pub grub, the food—and the experience—is probably far more enjoyable when you’re drunk.
|Venue name:||Wicker Park||Contact:|
1469 Third Ave
|Cross street:||at 83rd St|
|Opening hours:||Daily noon–1am|
|Transport:||Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St|
|Price:||Average main course: $18. AmEx, MC, V|