Slightly Above Standard
Dining at the new Standard's Standard Grill0
What do Jay Z & Beyonce, Anna Wintour, Twitter creator Jack Dorsey and designer Chris Benz and myself have in common? Hint: Not recession-proof bank accounts. We’ve all patroned the Standard Grill since it opened it’s doors to the public almost a month ago. Well, us and thousands of others. Highline Park and the emergence of sunshine mobilized New Yorkers and tourists alike to the Meat Packing just in time to try the new Standard’s Standard Grill. Of course, I didn’t see any of them when I was there, but hey, they didn’t see me either.
Before writing this review, I browsed through some Yelp reviews to measure my opinion with those of other diners. I found the usual mixture of disses and praises, but thought the reviewers missed a key element of dining at…well, of dining in general. Like writers have to know their audiences, food critics have to know their atmosphere. Gotham is chock full of restaurants with medium food but a great setting. While you may not love Tao, you know the ambiance is your best bet for say, a bachelorette party. While I sought to review the food at Standard Grill, I also, almost equally, sought to measure the environment.
And the floor is tiled with pennies! The Standard Grill found a useful, um, use for America’s most confusing currency. Okay, so they weren’t the first. (The Paul Smith store in Paris has currency tiled walls and apparently some courthouse in Tuscon cashed in on the penny idea several years ago.) But it looks cool. In combo with the vaulted beamed ceilings and cushy red banquets, the Grill’s dining room is nice. As are the patrons – understated trendy and lively, the dining room and adjacent white bar room are packed from 7 to 9 or later, so if you aim dine in peace go early or eat late.
Chef Dan Silverman cooks a mean roast chicken as well as lamb chops and Steak Frites. I’m from the Midwest, and you know I’m choosy about my steak, but the steak at Standard Grill is actually delicious, cook beautifully and only slightly flavored. All Standard Grill’s meat is locally grown (plus) and prices hover around the low 20’s (plus, plus). The duck fat smashed potatoes are also amazing, if slightly bad for your figure. And the charred octopus is DELICIOUS. It may be one of the best octopus dishes I’ve had. Some friends had the trout, which was flaky and tender and came with pine nuts and currants, which sounds weird, but really worked. For dessert I had the humble pie (rhubarb and chocolate) with vanilla ice cream.
I’m not saying the Standard Grill deserves four stars for amazing cuisine – except the octopus – but it is reasonably priced, fun and has a great outdoor seating area. I think it’s a worth a visit as the ambiance makes for a fun night any day of the week and the patron’s maintain The Standard Hotel’s measure for cool…meaning it’s cool. We may need that if this summer ever heats up.
The Standard Grill open for breakfast 7a.m. to 11a.m and dinner from 5:30 seven days a week, located on the corner of Washington and West 13th Street; 212-645-4100
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