There’s no burger. At first, it seems sacrilege, given the ownership of the place. But then you take a big, sloppy bite of the kitchen’s chopped cheese sandwich—that meaty cross between a beef burger and a Philly cheesesteak, regularly found on bodega flattops in Harlem and the Bronx—and you realize, Oh yes, this is indeed an April Bloomfield restaurant.
Available at lunchtime, Bloomfield’s chopped cheese ($11) is built with a boutique blend sourced from pampered cows at upstate’s At Ease Acres farm; the meat is hashed on a flattop and ribboned with gooey American cheese, and the whole juicy mess is topped with pickled jalapeños, sliced pickles and mayo on a poppy-seed kaiser roll. It’s pricier than any bodega sandwich you’ve ever had—but it’s substantially better, too.
A laser focus on quality ingredients is no surprise when it comes to Bloomfield, but the Michelin-starred chef takes it to a new level with White Gold Butchers, her Upper West Side meat market–slash–all-day restaurant with long-time partner Ken Friedman and star butchers Erika Nakamura (L.A.’s Lindy & Grundy) and Jocelyn Guest (Dickson’s Farmstand).
The latter two can be found behind the retail counter, breaking down whole animals, churning coils of sausage and divvying up cuts for not only uptown locals but also the other restaurants in the Bloomfield-Friedman portfolio, including the lauded patties at the Spotted Pig and the Breslin. Bloomfield, meanwhile, is in the open kitchen with chef de cuisine Robert Flaherty, plating strip steak and marrow-buttered radishes for diners herded in the sit-down corner of the restaurant, which is set with tufted leather banquettes, framed beef charts and a gold-painted steer head mounted to one exposed brick wall.
Full table service is relegated to dinner only, but waiters execute it with a casual indifference (on a recent night, one scatterbrained server forgot the table’s crispy, beef-fat–slathered potatoes not once, but twice) that distracts from standout dishes like a juicy rotisserie chicken for two ($48), painted with a salsa verde that throbs with anchovy and herbs, or a gorgeous bowl of bone broth ($11). Lustier than its paper-cup brethren, that silky, intensely beefy elixir is dressed with hunks of kabocha, Taleggio and a slick of pumpkin-seed oil.
Better is lunchtime, which is more low-key: You order straight from the counter and have your meatball sandwich (the excellent, oozing rendition here sports tangy tomato sauce and soft pools of Spanish miticrema ($12)) delivered to a table or to one of the window stools. It’s then, with uptown folk yakking over steamy chicken-soup bowls ($8) and snappy house-made hot dogs piled with plucky kimchi ($7), that White Gold settles into itself and feels the most, well, Bloomfieldian. It may not serve a burger, but when you have a freshly butchered porchetta sandwich ($10) that melts immediately upon contact, who needs one?