Bar Eats: The Caulfield
The Flatiron space that once housed Vig 27 has recently been repurposed into The Caulfield, a bar with slightly more upscale digs and more lounge-style seating than its former self. Though named after the famed protagonist in The Catcher in the Rye, The Caulfield's menus don't necessarily translate to classic 1950s New York—not even a hint of a martini or Tom Collins on the menu.
The Mexican menu is even more of a head-scratcher, but surprisingly, it kind of works in this laidback bar. Chef Dominic Guiliano of Choza Taqueria (same owners) has created a simple menu of tacos, enchiladas, burritos and other shareable dishes perfect for the hungry post-work crowd. A big plate of Tacos (10 for $25) is one of the best deals on the menu and easily feeds three.
The tacos are simple preparations, double-wrapped in corn tortillas and thankfully not drenched in toppings. Carne asada with pico de gallo, carnitas with pickled carrots and onions, and calabacin (zucchini) with cotija cheese rank among the best options.
The bartender raved about the Chips & Guacamole, which, given its $14 price tag, needed to be better than good. Though an extra spike of lime would have perked it up immensely, the guac was nicely salted and had a spicy garlicky flavor that was quite addictive. To The Caulfield's credit, the portion size was ample enough for three people.
Hungrier guests can fill up on bigger entrees, such as the Chicken Enchiladas ($14, pictured) or a number of burritos and skillets. Though the cocktail menu has intriguing concoctions such as "Liquid Lemmy" with rye, apricot liquor, St. Germaine, orange bitters and lemon, we recommend sticking with beer. The simplicity of it is much more Caulfield's style.
About the author: Nancy Huang, who comes to New York by way of Los Angeles, writes The Wanderist, a food and travel blog of adventures here and abroad. She loves noodles, subway maps, and word games.