Real estate is all about location, location, location. This is especially true for restaurants in New York. I mean, midtown isn’t exactly known as the hub of great restaurants for New York City. Probably because it’s made up of mediocre steakhouses and overpriced salads. Looking for a great restaurant in midtown is as useless as finding meaning in a Pauly Shore movie. Well not really, but you get my drift. The great ones are few and far between, which is why I was surprised to find myself dining at a great midtown restaurant. Tenpenny, located in the Gotham Hotel, was a refreshing breeze on a hot summer’s day, despite the fact that it is winter and the restaurant isn’t breezy at all. But it was indeed a pleasant surprise.
Tenpenny is totally unassuming but has this innate charm that draws you in the way a loveable nerd can grab hold of your heart. Except, there is really nothing uncool about this place. The bright red wall in sea of distressed brick is pretty awesome. But, you know this Foodie is obviously more concerned with the interior of menu then the décor. So, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty.
We started with a plate of artisanal cheeses which were served with a generous dollop of fig jam and cranberry walnut bread. I love cheese, so much so, that I am no longer lactose intolerant. True Story. And a plate full of cheese is as good as gold to me. Forget flowers on Valentine’s Day, just get me cheese. The cheeses varied in texture and flavor, but they all played wonderfully off the sweet fig jam.
When House Cured Bacon is listed as an appetizer, you order it. Like if Landry Fields called me and asked me to hang out, I’d say yes. You don’t question good things; you just go with them, which is exactly what I did. This bacon was outrageous. The savory bacon was intensified with the addition of soy, scallions and cinnamon. It was served with nutmeg custard and toasted bread. Did that just blow your mind? Imagine how your taste buds would feel. That’s alright, you can take a minute to regain your composure before you continue…
In true winter food fashion, I also ordered the crostini with sweet potato and marshmallow. Totally reminiscent of Thanksgiving. But sometimes the classics are classics for a reason. Let’s just say, you won’t find this dish on my Thanksgiving menu next year.
I know I’ve told you before, and I don’t want to get all senile on you, like weird Uncle Jack. But I could eat a cheeseburger for the rest of my life and be a happy girl. With that said, I’m a tough burger critic; don’t let the blonde hair and big smile fool you. Although the Double Cheeseburger wasn’t the Burger at the Dutch, it was kind of great. Not one, but two blended patties sit comfortably on a toasted potato bun, topped with tomato, provolone and homemade mayo. I know, I didn’t think this meal could get better after the bacon either. But it did. The burgers were grilled perfectly and the sweet potato bun absorbed all of the drippy burger juices. As if that wasn’t enough, it also came with homemade bbq chips. Now, that’s what I’m talking about midtown. Way to step up your game.
I sampled a good amount of the menu, and it just left me wanting more. Although, I don’t know how much more I could have eaten. There’s ways next time. Til then, Tenpenny.
16 East 46th Street
New York, NY
Know of another stellar midtown restaurant? Comment below!