Rare Bar and Grill Chelsea
152 West 26th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues
New York, NY 10001
A couple of weeks ago, Stacy raved to us about the out-of-this-universe burger she had consumed at Rare Bar and Grill. And then it just so happened that I entered a burger zone where I kept thinking about burgers and craved a worthy burger. Dave and I weren’t in a Murray Hill mood and decided to try out the Chelsea location which is newer. Due to the new factor, this place was not very crowded despite it being a Saturday night. There’s a bar on street level and then you descend to the depths for the dining room. It’s a cavern. A two-story ceiling ups the noise factor. And I wondered why the AC was pounding so much so that I was chilly. The decor verges on silly, with barbed wire images on the lighting, and a chandelier made out of cattle branding irons reading “RARE.”
Our server Gregorio was excellent; he had a full command of the menu and was welcoming to us. I should also add that your water glass will never be empty here. Take one sip, and someone’s over to replenish the water consumed. Though along with the home-on-the-range decor, something else was noticed which made the experience sort of chain restaurant-y. We were in a booth/table which was adjacent to a pile of restaurant tray stands. Immediately I had a flashback to eating at a Red Lobster and could picture a white-shirted server setting a tray of fish meals onto a tray stand and asking “Who had the captain’s platter?”
Before venturing to Rare, I had checked out the menu online, and there were a few changes. Like a couple of the cocktails had been increased by $2 and the special cheeseburger uses Artisanal fromage than from Murray’s. So if you look on the menu, take those into account. If you care, that evening’s Artisanal cheese selection was an aged cheddar.
I was going to get a regular burger instead of a fancy steakhouse burger, but with Dave getting a fancy burger, I decided to go for it; after all, I could get a burger with goat cheese at most joints.
The french fry tasting basket for about $10 wasn’t bad, though next time, I’d probably just get an order of just one type of fry. You got shoestring, cottage (or waffle, if you will), and thin sweet potato. Thin sweet potato was a bit funky. There were a zillion sauces to try: ketchup, Mexican ketchup, chipotle aoili, honey maple, parm garlic I think? I can’t remember, there were too many!
My ultimate selection was the t-bone steakhouse burger ($21). “A blend of sirloin and strip, flambeed in tequila, wrapped in apple smoked bacon, topped with cheddar and crispy onions.” Cheddar, tequila, and bacon are all fine by me. I’d rather raw than fried onions, but you can’t win them all. The kitchen declined to switch Dave’s steakhouse meat selection with other toppings. What the burger lacks in diameter, it makes up for with height. Boy, was that sucker tall!
Ouch, hot burger! Literally hot off the grill. And juicy, as evidenced by the mililiter or so of liquid falling onto the plate. The height made eating a challenge. I squished as much as I could, though in the end, the infrastructure collapsed. Yum!
If you go, and you should, check out the rooftop. We didn’t but maybe another evening!