Blue Ribbon Bar is the tiniest branch of the ever expanding Blue Ribbon Empire. When I walked in with two friends last week, we barely expected to find a seat, let alone one of the most Apps Only-friendly menus in New York. It seats about two dozen people, and serves pricey cocktails in addition to a small but quality selection of craft beers. They also serve some of the best bar food in the city.
After munching on some of the breadsticks that line the bar, we started with an order of Pickled Pepper and Olive Oil Mayonnaise Egg Shooters ($2.50 each; we had a double order), basically deviled eggs that you feel compelled to eat in one bite because they are called shooters. But that is undeniably the best way to eat them; you get a succession of flavors from the silky mayonnaise to the palate cleansing egg to the tangy kick of the pickled jalapeno.
Next up we had an order of the Manchego and Mexican Honey Toast ($4.50), a thick slice of toast, topped with honey and thin slices of Manchego cheese then quartered. The warm toast softens the cheese, making its flavor bolder, and the honey is a nice alternative to the usual combination of Manchego with quince or fig jam.
We also ordered the Potato and Smoked Trout Salad ($11), with soft slices of potato rimming a plate of bibb lettuce topped with a tangy goat cheese vinaigrette and flakes of rich smoked trout. Radishes rounded out this salad, providing a bit of crunch to this light yet hearty dish.
Finally, we had an order of the Honey Baked Wings ($13), from the list of specials. The wings were slathered in an Asian-inspired deep, dark honey glaze, and served over a pile of greens with a cup of goat cheese creme fraiche for dipping. When the wings were no more, the glaze pooled in the bottom of the plate mixed with the greens to form an even better salad than the one we'd just ate. Especially once we slathered it in what was left of the creme fraiche.
All in all, Blue Ribbon Bar is one of the city's best spots for cobbling together a meal of snacks; the menu is crammed with shareable items, ranging from affordable to lavish. Despite the restaurant's pricey reputation, we somehow only spent $33.50. That's just over $11 per person before tax and tip, way under the $15 target. If you're looking for a drink and a top notch snack, it would be hard to do better than Blue Ribbon Bar.
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Blue Ribbon Bar
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