We had a recent after-work dinner at Ivy in New York Citys’ Hell’s Kitchen.
It’s a bustling, loud bar and restaurant that works great for the after work crowd. Since we were starving from a long day of work, we did order a couple of dishes beyond the a few drinks. We started with drinks of the Bohemian Rhapsody (a gin based with elderflower liqueur and fresh cucumber; $11) and Passion fruit margarita (based on silver tequila, passion fruit juice and triple sec; $12).
We ordered a bunch of appetizers like the spice crusted tuna on plantain chips ($16), lobster tacos ($15), and steakhouse spring rolls ($13) to start off the meal.
The steakhouse spring rolls were delicious. Super crispy exterior meets moist, thinly cut strips of beef rolled within and it’s great with any of the dipping sauces offered (steak sauce, ketchup and mayonnaise-based black pepper sauce). The tuna on plantain chips reads tasty on the menu except the tuna is under-seasoned and the plantain chips were either cut too thick or not fried long enough to have a crispy texture. These bites just felt mushy in the mouth. The trio of lobster tacos were pretty good. Small chunks of sweet lobster meat mixed with sweet corn, tomatoes, and basil cream on soft flour tortillas.
For heartier fare, the chicken roulade ($20) stuffed with prosciutto, spinach, and sun dried tomatoes. It’s on a bed of very tasty truffle mashed potatoes, and grilled asparagus. The chicken is cooked well but it needs a little more salt. Otherwise, it’s pretty good and my dinner companion adored the mashed potatoes.
The pan seared sea scallops ($24) topped with mango relish and served with a side of jalapeno cream, grilled asparagus, and a slab of sliced potato gratin. It’s generally a decent dish but it still needs more salt and maybe needs a bit more heat to make this stand out.
The char grilled crunch burger ($15) made with Pat La Frieda special blend burger topped with pickles and fried crunchy onions, served with a side of fries and sour cream onion dip. The burger was cooked to the preferred medium-rare and the crunchy onions gave it a subtle crunchy texture. The fries were nicely done.
In all, this place is good for drinks after work and a quick bite. Don’t go too adventurous with the food and the fried dishes tastes better (not just because it’s fried, it’s seasoned a lot better).
944 8th Avenue (at 56th Street)
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 459-9444