I needed to shop around some Manhattan Army & Navy surplus stores but my stomach said lunch first. As I passed by I thought about a nice pub lunch at Molly Wee. Some place I've enjoyed before with my father but I wanted something new to me. I came across American Whiskey, 247 W 30th, NY, 10001.
Still dressed for Christmas the décor is Barn/Distillery which is hardly unique but it works. You walk past the long bar with all the extra accoutrement you expect mixologists at work. With interesting tasty cocktails as the result. I walk in after the lunch rush and before the dinner crowds. I ask for a table with some privacy, space and comfort. I'm pointed in a general direction and I'm told in a non-dismissive way to sit wherever I wish. I pick my perfect perch. The chairs are the metal frame, wood seat variety. Not exactly comfortable. My chair wobbled but I stay focused I'm here for good food and drinks. The music is at a perfect volume to have an easy conversation or just unwind, a nice mix of Tainted Love, Journey and Prince classics. I could've done without Ice-Ice Baby.
The food menu is a simple single page. The theme seems French Kick, which means varying degrees of heat to otherwise traditional French fare. Incase of emergency break glass: you'll find a proper burger option. The booze menu is a nice comprehensive binder as one would expect in a place that has whiskey in the name. The table of contents lists on Page 18 special and exotic whiskey. Could the Pappy Van Winkle be on the menu? Why yes it is but there is note to check with your server as all listed may not be available. Fortunately for my wallet the Pappy 20 year at $85 was unavailable. I ordered the Strike Me Dead, Rittenhouse Rye, pink peppercorn, vanilla and pecan bitters. It was thoroughly enjoyed as I took my time with my food options. I was also promptly served a bottle of NYC tap water. Seriously, for those out of the know NYC's tap water is reputed to be excellent.
I ordered Bison Carpaccio, black garlic molasses and Grana cheese. Imagine very thinly sliced roast beef but bison. This appetizer was dominated by delicious black garlic with a perfect slightly sweet finish. As I pondered the menu the waitress proved to be more than somebody entering my order on a tablet, she answered all the right questions. I settled on Bavette Au Poivre, peppercorn demi, frisée salad. I ordered my steak medium so as to not bloody up an expected cream looking sauce. The steak arrived medium-rare with the peppercorn demi being darker than expected. A quick sampling of the gravy reveals that BBQ sauce is a deviation in the recipe. I'm not entirely sure of the cut but it was generously topped with peppercorn which dominated my palate upon first bite. I wasn't looking to prove my machismo to my lunch so I scraped off most of the peppercorn thereby having a nice meal. The frisée was treated as garnish, so mostly ignored. I pared this with the house Malbec that was decent, not something I'd necessarily seek out at the liquor store.
I capped off my visit to American Whiskey with the Third Marriage, Woodford Rye, Barking Irons Applejack, Pedro Ximenez Sherry, Blackstrap bitters and nutmeg. The nutmeg looked like debris fell into my drink and the large orange peel just got in the way. After ditching the cocktail garnish I was left with a tasty drink I really enjoyed.
The damage before gratuity and DeBlasio reaching into my wallet was $86, keep in mind that is two cocktails and a glass of wine. Have a coke with lunch to stretch your budget. The baño is clean, spacious and well equipped with two hand dryers! Dress is casual.