Friday, April 12, 2013

Ivy: A Classy Casual Eatery That Makes Everyone Comfortable

By: Anne M. Raso

Ivy is a new breed of New American eatery popping up around midtown. It is casual place with a very open and airy floor plan--and even has a little sports bar vibe thanks to having a few big screen TVs showing the latest sports game. But this place is all about comfort food taken up a notch. There is attentive service and super-comfy banquets to sprawl out on in the back. If you need a place to totally chill after work (especially if you are really hungry), Ivy is the place to do it.

First up was one of the signature vodka called a Kiss And Tell (which is only $6 during Happy Hour). This pretty drink was not overly sweet and popped just the right amount of wallop. It contained Stoli vodka and fresh raspberry puree topped with champagne. It is truly a romantic drink fit for date night--but heck, we wouldn't wait for a date night to come in and down two, three or four of them!
Kiss and Tell
My dining partner and I ordered three appetizers since we heard through word of mouth that so many people come here just to enjoy a few apps with a good cocktail after work. The Polenta Fries ($10) were thick and fried to the perfect golden color--it was served with a mild cheddar dipping sauce that was creamy and delightful. The Steakhouse Springrolls ($13) were packed with well-done hanger steak, mashed potatoes and spinach and the outer shell was the perfect thickness. (Many chefs make a shell too thick on spring rolls filled with meat or seafood.) The Fried Brussels Sprouts ($17) are fried in EVO and then topped with thick chunks of bacon, fried onions and --the piece de resistance--bubbling aged white cheddar. If all vegetables were this savory, moms would have no problems getting little kids to eat them. My dining partner said they were the best Brussels Sprouts she ever had in her 20 plus years living in Manhattan.
fried brussel sprouts
Fried Brussels Sprouts
We then shared Ivy's most famous dish--their famous Ivy Grilled Cheese Sandwich ($11) that features artisanal Brie, mango chutney and avocado chunks on artisanal sourdough bread that is soft on the inside with a nice chewy crust on the outside. We also shared the Chicken Roulade ($12), which is a breast of chicken stuffed with tender prosciutto, spinach, sundried tomatoes, truffle mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus and topped with its own juice taken from the bottom of the pan. This is a little bit of chicken heaven as the minute you put your fork in; juices flow out of the perfectly roasted meat.
Steakhouse Spring Rolls
I will be returning to the Ivy. It is a great place just to pop in for brunch, lunch, dinner or drinks with no hassles. You know the food with be well-seasoned and creative in large portions you can share with your friends. There is no race to leave even though when I got there at six all the tables were filled up by 6:30 or 7! But that is a testament to the quality and service. You also can eat at the bar. This is the type of place that will have longevity in midtown--expect Ivy to stay around until it's, well, ivy-covered!

944 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10019
(212) 459-9444
Cuisine: Modern American/Comfort Food

Photos: Anne Raso, except interior shot courtesy of Ivy

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...