The Grand Burgerfest Hotel
When you order the burger at The NoMad Bar, and you definitely should, no one will ask you how you'd like it cooked. The cheeky buggers already know.
"We like to send it out rosé," says chef James Kent, which is why your burger arrives a gorgeous blushing pink, suspended in that sweet spot between mid-rare and medium otherwise known as just right ($17).
What else didn't you know you wanted? A veil of white cheddar over that patty, which is crowned with a thick slice of pickled red onion and a bit of creamy, slightly sharp "special" sauce. A soft, sweet bun that holds it all together.
This burger has the gloss and height and cartoonish roundness of a deluxe bistro type, but take a bite and you'll find some of the pleasing squish of a great fast-food version.
In all its glory, The NoMad Bar's burger
"At the end of the day, you eat a burger because of the meat," says Kent. The chef works with a dry-aged chuck blend that's a quarter fat—a mix of suet (the firm, creamy white stuff from around the cow's kidneys) and bone marrow.
Though cooks have been grinding these two old-school meat butters into beef for ages, Kent was the first chef to ask Pat LaFrieda to do it, he says. The Jersey-based butcher, who currently grinds beef for some of the most fashionable burgers in the city, happily obliged.
The NoMad Bar isn't really a bar at all. Sure, it has a bar, which is long and wide and absolutely magnificent, ideal for nibbling cocktail snacks like Scotch olives ($11): sheep cheese-stuffed, lamb sausage-wrapped, deep-fried olives.
Fresa y Cerveza: Evil Twin's Nomader Weisse spiked with strawberry shrub and chartreuse
But this is also a pretty grand two-story restaurant with some dishes that may seem familiar, or pulled from The NoMad just next door and tweaked for the more casual dining room—the carrot tartare ($15); the foie gras and truffle-loaded roast chicken now turned into a totally over-the-top potpie ($36).
Lounging around on the creamy green leather banquettes, you could order a few rounds of the amber-colored Bamboo ($16) made with sherry and vermouth—if you can find a seat.
The place is generally jammed with suits, tourists and those recently escaped from their Midtown cubes, here for a better-than-average happy hour that may involve one of those giant, celebratory Cocktail Explosions, the fruit-laden booze bombs that serve eight ($90).
If you can afford to, indulge. Just don't forget about that burger.
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