New York City College of Technology
Department of Hospitality Management
Janet Lefler Dining Room
To: Prof. Abreu, Director of Service
From: Carla Bowens, Student
Date: October 6, 2019
Re: Red Hook Tavern Restaurant Review
After the few last weeks of reading Pete Wells wax poetic about artfully plated Peruvian entrees and complex Asian flavor development, I was pleased to learn that he also has an appreciation for a well crafted All-American burger. The burger at Red Hook Tavern is of’course, not just a regular burger. It is defined as a “pub burger”. The decor and most of the menu at Red Hook Tavern is steeped in historical significance and conjures memories of Old New York. The vintage light fixtures and tin tile ceiling evoke a speakeasy of the early 1900’s. Great care and research went into the planning of this establishment that opened this past Spring. In the name of research, Owner Billy Durney traveled to many of the great BBQ cities of America before discovering his own style in the form of his first restaurant Hometown BBQ.
I have had the good fortune to enjoy this style of burger at P.D. Clarke’s which is located across the street from Lincoln Center. This was just the beginning of a wonderful afternoon that ended with tickets to a performance of Swan Lake at the American Ballet Theater. I gasped when Misty Copeland first appeared on stage. There is a similar delight in biting into a perfectly executed burger.
Wells considers the Tavern burger one of the “mandatory burgers in New York City”. Durney patterns this simple burger that lacks all the “fixings” after a similar offering at Peter Luger Steakhouse. Of the two, Wells considers Peter Luger’s version more nostalgic than delicious and prefers the Tavern Burger.
I would be pleased to visit Red Hook Tavern to sample the ham and cheddar croquettes followed by the wedge salad which is not a wedge and then the Tavern burger cooked to a perfect medium. I agree with Wells that nduja doesn’t seem to work with the rest of menu but fried chicken certainly does. I can’t help but be curious about whether fried chicken will ever appear on the menu. Perhaps Durney will save fried chicken for his next venture. We will just have to wait and see.
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