Monday, June 22, 2009

Betting on the Pony... Bar

This week was a bit of a whirlwind, with small bites grabbed when convenient.  On a night Will had class I even whipped out my staple of first year out of college style cooking. Annie’s Organic Peace, Pasta, and Parmesan with focaccia seasoning and whatever leftover meat is in the fridge. Yes, I cooked like I was 23. For those having the kind of night where this kind of dish is desired or required, a frozen sausage can be fried up and goes nicely in this as well. Makes about 2 servings, so if you’re not feeding a boyfriend or roommate, it makes a decent lunch the next day.
On Wednesday night I scored theatre tickets at Manhattan Theatre Club on 47th, so Will and I decided to do pub fare at a place we’ve been attempting for a month now, Pony Bar on 10th Ave. This endeavor started the week it opened, hearing about its plethora of micro-brews and being desperate for decent after work places in Hell’s kitchen we headed in, ordered beers and asked for a menu. No-go, Con Ed hadn’t given them permission to open the kitchen yet. This was distressing as food was a definite requirement if we were going to bar crawl that evening. We finished our single drink that night and moved on to a bar providing victuals. A follow up phone call when making plans about two weeks later revealed it STILL wasn’t open. With my fingers crossed, I called Wednesday afternoon and was assured food was being served. 
Apparently they were in the early phases of promoting their menu, because when I walked in there was a photographer with full set up taking pictures of an admittedly appetizing looking burger. The photos don’t seem to be on their website yet, but I would bet they’d be there soon.
Will, allured by the temptation of a model I suspect, chose the Burger and myself the Italian Sandwich. I was more then impressed with the food. Will’s burger had an excellent onion roll that had me stealing bites, it was soft with the onion adding a bit of crunch and the burger was still juicy despite Will’s puzzling affection for “medium well.” My sandwich was wholly satisfying, slightly spicy and addictive. The roll was soft and the meat perfectly portioned. An herb mayo had me rueing my inability to finish. Had I not theatre tickets I would have asked for it wrapped.
About halfway through our meals I noticed behind the bar three small bottles of Hudson Whiskey in Baby Bourbon, Four Grain Bourbon, and Manhattan Rye. Being a snob I have to point out here that technically the bourbons aren’t, to be called bourbon it has to be made in Kentucky (similar to how it’s only Champagne if it comes from Champagne, France) therefore by definition New York whisky is ineligible. But I digress.
On bartender’s recommendation we tried a shot of the Baby Bourbon, sipping and passing it between the two of us. Will commented that it was carmelly, almost like a scotch. It was a well crafted whiskey, well placed on the tongue, and like most things of craft and some elegance, expensive. The check revealed the shot to have cost $15.
 With its proximity to the theatre district but its distance from Times Square I highly recommend this place if you are looking for a bite before a show without dealing with tourists. Fair warning, it gets a bit flooded with the after work crowd so you may have to hover a few minutes for seats. The real lure of the bar is its variety of micro-brewed independent beers. Will, in his greater alcohol eloquence, will cover that on Wednesday.
For those interested the play, Accent on Youth, was very funny, witty, and involved a sense of self awareness to the construction on of a play. It was a charming way to complete an excellent date night.

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