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Boulton & Watt

Restaurants, American East Village
3 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
 (Photograph: Jessica Lin)
1/5
Photograph: Jessica LinThe First Word at Boulton & Watt
 (Photograph: Jessica Lin)
2/5
Photograph: Jessica LinThe Mexican Revolver at Boulton & Watt
 (Photograph: Jessica Lin)
3/5
Photograph: Jessica LinScotch egg at Boulton & Watt
 (Photograph: Jessica Lin)
4/5
Photograph: Jessica LinBeer-battered cod at Boulton & Watt
 (Photograph: Jessica Lin)
5/5
Photograph: Jessica LinBoulton & Watt

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Lately, the fever for steampunk—a sci-fi fantasy mash-up of Victorian costumes and steam-powered gadgetry—has influenced everything from cinema (Oz the Great and Powerful) to fashion (Alexander McQueen). In New York, the otherworldly aesthetic has carried through to bar design at joints like cocktail den Gin Palace and Prospect Heights dive the Way Station. At the latest addition to the gaslight-and-goggles scene, Boulton & Watt, ceiling fans spin via an ornate, belt-operated pulley system. Like an overly enthusiastic Civil War reenactment, the baroque conceit at this East Village haunt can seem forced, but luckily, the superlative gastropub plates and remarkably well-balanced drinks have real bona fides.

ORDER THIS: Sip one of the nine top-notch tipples, which riff on classic cocktail formulas. The First Word ($12)—a variation on Prohibition-era favorite the Last Word—softens the woody heat of bonded Rittenhouse rye with herbaceous yellow Chartreuse, while the Mexican Revolver ($12) blends jalapeño-infused tequila, lime, agave and prosecco into a fizzy, spicy spin on a margarita. Our favorites from the menu of hearty English pub bites included a traditional Scotch egg ($12), whose thick, crunchy shell of chorizo and ground pork conceals a dreamily soft, just-boiled egg, and the beer-battered day-boat cod ($18)—the soft white fish encased in a flaky crust—with a side of herb-roasted fries.

GOOD FOR: The night’s first stop. Gastropubs often overleverage their bar or restaurant side, making a favorite child of one and a Siberia of the other. This airy space, with 130 seats and ample standing room at the bar, is more ambidextrous than most, with dinner smoothly transitioning into drinks, or vice versa.

THE CLINCHER: The semiprivate booth in the back—boasting its own tap—is ideal for groups or birthday parties, seating eight and pouring brews like Kelso IPA (you can request a specific brew by calling ahead). The nearby bust of James Watt (inventor of the steam engine, along with Matthew Boulton—hence the name) and gear cogs hanging on the walls make for conversation starters (“Inspector Gadget—steampunk detective?”). In a city where so many cross-training Gotham spots are plagued by a Wes Anderson–like obsession with interior decor, while the less-studied fare suffers, it’s charming to find a spot with the opposite problem.

By: Christopher Ross

Posted:

Details

Address: 5 Ave A
New York
10009
Cross street: at Houston St
Transport: Subway: F to Delancey St; J, Z, M to Delancey–Essex Sts
Price: Average main course: $12. AmEx, MC, V
Contact:
Opening hours: Mon–Fri noon–4am; Sat, Sun 10am–4am
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Users say (2)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|2
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Tastemaker

I've passed by here 1000 times and never went in, but it always looked crowded and super fun. I finally was able to go one Thursday night with a group of 7 friends and we were seated right away at the front of the restaurant (however, I would suggest reserving a table if you're going to do that we got very lucky) the drinks were great and they had a very wide selection, prices were in the mid-range aka affordable and the food was also surprisingly good. I'm always weary to eat and get drunk in the same place but I was very pleased. They have tables outside which I would love to sit at and people watch one evening, so I will certainly be back.

tastemaker

Boulton & Watt is a cool, rustic-style bar & restaurant in the East Village. They have discounted brunch cocktails on the weekends, which is perfect for all NYers who love a boozy brunch! Their food menu is extensive & all delicious (try the French toast or burger!). Their drinks are great too, especially the mimosas (they add gin & cointreau, which balances out the sweetness of the OJ & champagne). Looking forward to coming back!