Restaurant openings are so common in New York City that they, like most events, tend not to faze the typical New Yorker. However, the newly opened Union Bar and Kitchen, brought to the city by owner, executive chef, and general manager Jonathan Renert, might actually stand out from the never-ending sea of newly opened eateries. Boasting a selection of new American classics with a global twist, the menu will immediately catch your attention with plates prefect for Instagram posts that you'll happily devour with both your eyes and mouth.
Seafood is prevalent on the menu, and at the UBK opening I practically inhaled the hamachi tartare (graciously prepared without soy sauce as per my gluten-free request) which was paired with freshly made chips. Other appetizer choices included panko fried oysters, baked Cherrystone clams, a raw bar selection, and more. Entrees swing towards a more classic assortment, with rotisserie chicken, crispy fish tacos, and hangar steak in house marinade; the steak prepared exactly the way this medium-rare snob likes it. As for the sides, be careful with the rosemary fries, as they are extremely addicting! Seasonal signature cocktails, like the East Side Cocktail, are also available, and are accompanied by a bar menu.
Overall, the food is delicious and beautiful, the atmosphere was delightful, and I would definitely recommend the restaurant as a whole. However, I'm still looking for that extra wow factor to make UBK a truly standout spot. In the meantime, lunch and brunch are next in line at Union Bar and Kitchen, so here's hoping that Renert and his talented staff will continue to impress.