A Grill the Way New York Grills Should Be
From smart service, via a memorable rib eye to just feeling you’re in the swing of things in the Big Apple, the Loews’ Regency Bar & Grill hits all the spots
Review by Aaron Shuttleworth
The Bar and Grill is a quintessentially New York proposition. An NY Strip, medium rare thank you, a bottle of Bordeaux and a table of larger than life personalities.
Wheeling and dealing go hand in hand with wining and dining, and The Regency Bar and Grill positions itself right in the centre of both. Situated on the ground floor of the Loews Regency Hotel on the Upper East Side, the restaurant has been a staple of the hotel since it’s inception in 1963.
The Loews recently received a $100 Million facelift and the Regency Bar and Grill looks like it profited handsomely from this.
This room feels like it’s part of New York.
The large banquets are enveloped in steel blue and deep lascivious reds, and the walls are adorned with photos of NY cityscapes, reminiscent of something from a Frank Miller graphic novel.
Upon being seated, we’re promptly handed menus that rival our table top for size. Call me old fashioned, but a move away from these single paged behemoths will be hailed globally as a great day for dining. We hand them back just as swiftly as we received them and inform our server we’re leaving ourselves in his hands.
Best decision of the evening.
Flatbread with in house butter is a light alternative to the usual heavy start. Glasses of Moet appear in front of us and we were off and running with Shrimp Cocktails. Big juicy fresh shrimp served simply on a bed of crushed ice with a tangy, zesty horseradish sauce as an accompaniment.
Maryland crab cakes follow, the sweet crabmeat offset by a lemon aioli, with a light mineral Sancerre from the Loire washing them down perfectly.
Asparagus with prosciutto, cashews and lemon vinaigrette is the only flat moment, with each component individually pleasant but coming across as odd bedfellows on the plate. A silky Chateau Montelena Chardonnay from California is an ideal pairing, taking the fat, nut and citrus from the dish and lifting them up.
Service in New York is famously polarising, with the best and worst in the world both on show. The Regency fits into the former, with servers and bus boys alike all happy to spin a yarn and provide help wherever needed.
The contrast between crispy and tender is on show in the pan seared salmon, cooked to perfection and accompanied by watercress and baby carrots. A big juicy Miura Pinot Noir delivers everything you’d expect from a Cali number, with a healthier dose of earth and tannin than you’d normally find making it a great food wine.
The undoubted highlight though is the bone in rib eye with Madeira and garlic mushrooms. This is what you come to a Bar and Grill for, the slab of meat over which careers are made or broken. Either way, this incarnation will leave you feeling like you’ve won the lottery.
As I sip the remains of the Chateau Montus Cab Sav from the previous course, whilst nibbling an aptly named ‘devil’s food’ chocolate cake, I’m left to ponder a wave of new restaurants bearing a decidedly hipper moniker than the ‘Bar and Grill’.
Enquiries: The Regency Bar & Grill, Loews Regency, 540 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065 / +1 212 759-4100 / www.loewshotels.com/regency-hotel