Resto and the Rest

Based on hype, I headed over to Resto to check out the burger, advertised as new best burger for 2007. It was a balmy Tuesday, typical New York humidity, Park Avenue South buzzing with diners nonetheless. I too found refuge in Resto’s charms, waiting only fifteen minute after being tipped off by the host where there would be two empty seats at the bar. Long after I finished my meal, people were still waiting for a table, something I’ll just never understand. Excuse my name-dropping, but Jeffrey Steingarten was present, and I just think his work is very funny. Although I didn’t disturb him once, he seemed to enjoy himself, despite the parade of staff stopping intermittently to make sure everything was going along well.

The beer list is top notch, and the bartender was eager to let anyone have a try before committing. If only marriage could be the same way. I opted for wine anyway, and there is nary a poor choice in the bunch. I settle for an inexpensive Gruner Veltliner that did the trick, easy to share and drink with just about anything I ordered.

There was a special homemade pork sausage with delicious mustard, an accoutrement that is often lost upon chefs. The deviled eggs served atop pork “toasts” were also delectable, and these starters served their purpose – my companion Abi from Spain and I just got hungrier – and that is saying much for her because she eats like a bird. Mussels are offered in several preparations. Abi’s came in a witte bier, orange zest, and garlic. A large pot of mussels cooked the way they were meant to be enjoyed, accompanied by fries, cooked expertly, light, airy, crispy, golden and sensational.

My burger arrived with fries too. It was quite good, moist and juicy and beefy, but it started to taste like a great brisket more than a burger. I can definitely put it up there with great burgers of NYC, but it falls short of supplanting my beloved Burger Joint at the Parker Meridian. Anyway here’s a list of my top five:

  1. The Burger Joint at the Parker Meridian
  2. Peter Luger’s
  3. DB Bistro Moderne
  4. Bouley Upstairs
  5. The Shake Shack

I’m sure you have favorites. Let me know…