Bottle & Bine
“New American” cuisine is always difficult to define. What is it, really? According to the midtown restaurant Bottle & Bine, it means reimagined American cooking with global twists. Whatever it is exactly, head chef Angie Berry has nailed it. With a career that's been filled with impressive stretches at some of the top restaurants around, including New York City’s Gotham Bar & Grill, Del Posto, and Asiate in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, it's not surprising.
Chef Berry presents her dishes in a beautiful, stylistic fashion that does the complexity and taste of the food justice. Starters are light and refreshing, with seafood being the common denominator. Items featured include scallop sashimi with cauliflower and green apple; razor clams with seaweed pesto and lime; market oysters; local tuna with nori mustard and mushrooms; and the unique dish, which I tried: a raw oyster presented on a bed of ice and seaweed stems, and finished off with a lime green botanical elderflower ice.
Second courses are equally adventurous and creative. I never thought I would enjoy chicken liver mousse, but pair it with strawberry butter, biscuit stuffing, and pickled strawberries and there you have it: a dish that looks like art and tastes like luxury.
Another fantastic dish, which is also one of chef Berry's favorites, is "shellfish and stems." It sounds simple, but has layers of flavor thanks to a mix of fregola, stems from Swiss chard and various herbs (including parsley and tarragon), and a variety of shellfish, like squid and clam. It's topped with a seared scallop and a citrus sabayon.
Other stand-outs were rabbit terrine with rhubarb, foie gras, crispy prosciutto, and, for our cheese course, a selection of artisanal cheeses with nettle purée, pickled green strawberries, and delightful little russet potatoes, slightly undercooked, which gave the cheese some texture.
Mains range from meaty plates such as the Waygu hangar steak with smoked sunchoke, coffee, and hon shimeji mushrooms or braised short ribs with crispy shallots and root vegetables to fish like Atlantic halibut with butternut squash, buckwheat, and brown butter or a pan-seared sea trout with caramelized white asparagus and trout roe.
We were served the Long Island duck, which came as a thick, tender cut of duck which had been seared to a buttery, rich crispness. The savory seasoned duck matched nicely with the sweet braised blueberry sauce. It also with a creamy potato rosti and violet.
The restaurant is trendy, upscale, and yet comfortable. It’s a bi-level restaurant, decorated with metallic accents, navy upholstery, rustic exposed brick walls, and wooden paneling.
The restaurant’s sommelier is knowledgeable about what to pair with each dish. From the 16 craft beer lines that rotate daily to the extensive list of reds, whites, and bubbly, there are plenty of beverages to choose from — not to mention a selection of fantastic cocktails, both alcoholic and not. The Like a Virgin, with rhubarb, pineapple, lemon, and tonic, was amazing though booze-free. That said, I also was a fan of the Izzy & Jane, with mezcal, Cointreau, and jalapeño-rosemary agave.
Lastly, though it should go without saying: get dessert. The banana pudding is bomb, featuring a cardamom caramel, banana brulee, and a crunchy meringue. If you aren't into bananas, you can’t go wrong with the warm chocolate cake with sea salt and caramel ice cream, either.
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