Published on April 29th, 2013 | by Greg0
Flatiron Room: A World Of Whiskey
One of the best parts of eating in New York City is… drinking. That might sound odd, but it’s true- we have some of the best cocktails, bartenders, beer and wine selections, all at restaurants. We’re not talking about your average bar either, or even any of the many excellent speakeasies in the area. Instead, these are places that serve excellent food and also offer the other half of the equation, great options to imbibe.
In the case of The Flatiron Room, the equation adds a few other elements- live music, tasting classes, and even the option to buy a bottle and store it at the location for future use whenever you come in. They call it the “Bottle Keep”, and it adds to the ambiance, as you’re surrounded by a library holding hundreds of bottles of great stuff, nicely shelved and locked away, tagged by owner. The fairly new location also has one of the few whiskey sommeliers, a great lady who can lead you through the collection which includes up to 700 different blends from every corner of the world.
Located in the Flatiron District- where else?- at 37 West 26th Street, the hotspot is open Monday through Saturday from 5pm to 2am. There’s live music just about every night- we visited on a Bluegrass Monday evening, and they book some solid musicians. As you might expect from a joint like this, it’s not a club- it’s fairly low-key, with an emphasis on the whiskey and bourbon collection. Small tables and some booths, a cute bar, wood accents and chandeliers and curtains- this is a perfect place to stop after work, to bring visitors to New York City, and a must-see for any bourbon enthusiast. We tried the World Tour Flight ($65) to sample some of them. We loved one from India, for instance, while learning that the French make an interesting sherry-like whiskey, Tasmania has a weird but actually quite tasty blend, and that Japan is home to many famous and renowned varieties. The highlight, though, was one that they had poured at the Whiskey Live event a bit ago- the Knappogue Castle 14, which has quickly become our house favorite.
But what good are drinks on an empty stomach? The Flatiron Room offers a wide range of appetizers and light entrees, a full menu to complement the spirits. We recommend starting with the Spicy Broccoli- with a warning that it’s definitely searingly delicious and left us scraping the bowl ($9). Larger appetites who also want something zesty can chow down on the award-winning Flatiron Mac and Cheese ($14). Again, tread carefully- we were impressed by the heat, and we’re rarely put off by even the hottest Thai or Indian or Mexican.
Also suggested are the Chimichurri Steak Bites ($20), which came delightfully prepared, with delicious cilantro sauce and some interesting fried sweet potato garnish, light strips that added a great crunch to the texture. We also tried the eponymous Flat Bread ($16)- they offer several options, but this one comes topped with house seasoned sausage, shallots, roasted red peppers, and asparagus. It wasn’t amazing, in a city known for it’s pizza, but offered a lovely thin and crispy crust, and balanced flavors.
Service was fairly strong, with some really great moments thanks to staff who really know the selection, and can help you find a whiskey that will best fit your palate. Limited table space meant that things were cleared away quickly, and on occasion a bit too quickly. If you’re in the mood for a fun activity, we certainly suggest some of their special events and classes- like the Whiskey and Chocolate event on May 7th ($65 + tax) or the world tasting class later that month on May 21st (also $65). Bottom line: if you like spirits, you owe it to yourself to spend an evening at The Flatiron Room. Reservations accepted, and recommended.