THE STANDARD GRILL – NYC
848 Washington Street New York, NY 10014
I have been to the Standard Grill countless times for brunch, dinner, snacks, drinks …you name it and I have had it. The one thing I had not had at the Standard was their giant champagne punch bowls. On a sweltering evening in late June I thought this would be the perfect thing to cool off with a big group to celebrate a friend’s homecoming from a long trip.
What is fantastic about the Standard in Meatpacking is that they are continuously evolving. After the André Balazs hotel opened a few years ago they added on the Standard Biergarten which is easily one of the most popular outdoor drinking establishments in the city. In the fall and winter the hote cleverly closes it off and adds heat lamps to keep it operational year-round. The bars up at the top of the hotel, Boom Boom Room and Le Bain, offer some of the best views of the city and are a chic place to have a sunset cocktail or when things pick up late night to have a fun dance party. Two winters ago the hotel cleared out their outdoor tables to create room for a full functional skating rink that was so popular they brought it back this past winter. Their most recent development was to add a romantic arbor covered in vines and white lights outside. All that with Sunday night bingo, ping pong, a huge raw bar and a prime location atop the High Line, the Standard Hotel is really more like the Standard Playground for adults.
Ten of us sat down on Friday night at a nice table in the main dining room which is warmly decorated with leather banquettes and copper penny covered floor and I immediately ordered one of each of their giant punch bowls for the table. The drink menu is divided into East Side and West Side varieties so we needed to fairly represent both coasts of Manhattan of course. The Sundowner Cognac, was a lovely concoction of Lemon Juice, White Peach Purée, & Sparkling Apple Cider. This was definitely the sweeter of the two and I actually preferred the West Side’s High Line Fling which was Champagne, Orange Liqueur, Grapefruit, and Lavender. Definitely refreshing.
The chef at the Grill is Dan Silverman and the food is generally solid. I would not say it is amazing but I have never had a bad meal there either. You really go for the lively atmosphere above all else. With three entirely different dining areas they have a lot of tables to cover.
We started our meal with a ton of freshly shucked oysters from the raw bar and an order of king crab legs.
Next I shared the grilled octopus which was served with sweet potato and the steak tartare a go-go. The octopus was tender and flavorful although did not have the most attractive plating in my opinion. The tartare was finely chopped and nicely seasoned as many can be very over-salted.
As my entrée I needed something a little bit lighter so chose the savory root vegetable bread pudding topped with a poached egg and a spring salad. It was sweet and savory from the root vegetables with very little bread which also lightened it up a bit. The salad was nicely dressed and crisp.
A few other dishes of note at the table were the “Million Dollar” roasted chicken. Consensus was that this was good but not the best chicken around. And the fish of the day which was a rainbow trout but looked more like a sea turtle on the plate the way it was filleted was perfectly cooked.
The Standard Grill is a great restaurant for pretty much any occasion and for any meal whether you want to sit indoors or out with a large or small group. Call in advance because wait times can be pretty brutal without a reservation.