32 E 21st St
New York, NY 10010
With the official call for entries into the 2013 Food Film Fest underway and the date announced for the first ever event in Charleston, SC, Seth Unger, festival producer and I had a lot to talk about. Add to that the upcoming announcement for the 2nd annual NY Burger Week around the corner and we really had a reason to chew the fat, or in this case, an 80/20 lean to fat content Burger. Wakka wakka. Seth had been hitting me up about a new restaurant that was rumored to have a tasty Hamburger and we put a plan into action.
There’s American restaurants and there are a American restaurants with a gigantic retired US flag hung against one entire wall of the eatery. The latter is Harding’s, a relatively new place in Gramercy Park that gastricly pays tribute to the Food this nation was brought up on. On the menu, creatively put together and executed by Ex-Acme Chef De Cuisine Ariel Fox, you’ll find good old dishes like Tomato Soup, Roasted Chicken, Steak and Potatoes and of course, a Hamburger. Enjoy your meal at the bar, at a table in the tall dining room or book a large party and live large sitting at the dining table on a large balcony that oversees the entire dining room. Looking for a private glass of Scotch with a few chums in a cozy setting? Book Hardin’s side room and relax on couches in a serve yourself atmosphere that resembles a lounge room of an Southern Plantation from many moons in the past. It’s the only room in the restaurant where you can sip a spirit that isn’t Made in the USA. The Beer & Wine Menu is comprised of many, many American products, many of which are craft or small batch. There’s more than enough to delight any palate.
I won’t lie, we were here specifically to eat a Burger but the Stuffed Sweet Pepper Appetizer, filled with Sausage, Apples, Onions & Bourbon will definitely cause me to have a return visit. Perhaps even with Steak Club 7 in order to try out the Harding’s Steak & Potato dinner: Grilled Hanger Steak, Crispy Potato Skins & Scallion Aioli. But that’s a whole other blog! Let’s talk Burger. Chef Ariel is not here to play games, mess around or tread lightly with her Burger. They start with a custom blend of 80/20 lean to fat ratio mix of Chuck and Skirt Beef. Once the Buckhead Beef is in house, she house grinds the Beef, mixing in a 30% ratio of Short Rib. The Burger is loosely packed and then grilled to order which in this case and to Ariel’s suggestion, medium rare. It’s served on a not too sweet but very sturdy Brioche with American Cheese and although I had them removed, house made Pickles. The Bun, much like the Patty, is grilled to give it a nice toasty texture and taste. The Cheese, cut thicker than most Cheese you find on a Burger (this is a positive) along with the grilled Bun create an almost Grilled Cheese stuffed with a juicy Burger flavor more than just a Cheeseburger. It’s a very interesting approach with a very tasty result. It’s a hearty Burger, especially when you add in the skin-on Rosemary Fries so yeah, there was no way I could’ve also polished off that Sweet Pepper. On the side of the dish you’ll be served some Garlic Aioli which for my money, was one of the best things I’ve ever dipped French Fries into here in NYC.
The Burger at Harding’s was put together by someone who passionately cares about Burgers for people who passionately care about Burgers.
8 out of 10 Ounces
THE BURGER COUNTQUEST
January 25, 2013 – 12:42 pm
The Rev Meter for Social Community
“The Rev Meter” is a social community meter for assessing how optimized a bar or restaurant is with social networking. By taking what I consider to be the 10 most important social networks and creating a point system, I can accurately asses how well your business is using social networking as a tool. My goal here is to educate and assist great business to better effectively use these tools.
4 points or less You’ve missed the 5 basics and are less than optimized
5 points You’ve covered the basics, which is better than most but far from optimized.
6 to 9 points You’re doing better than most and on your way to becoming a well respected social community whiz.
10 points Congrats on a perfect score!