When it comes to the Upper East Side, especially above 82nd Street, I couldn't tell you much in terms of restaurants (south of Spanish Harlem, of course). Or bars. Or anything, for that matter...
Sure, my friend, Brette, and Cousin Larry live up there, but we typically meet downtown. That was, until last Sunday, when Larry insisted upon brunch/lunch at his neighborhood's newest gastropub, The District, which hugs the corner of 94th Street/3rd Avenue. Having met in front of the restaurant promptly at 11am, I was we were disappointed to learn that it didn't actually open until noon. To kill time, we walked over to Asphalt Green so I that could check out the Olympic-sized indoor pool.
We arrived at The District just before noon and were seated immediately.
In terms of the aesthetic interior space, The District knocks it out of the park: High, antique mirrored-ceilings, exposed brick walls, floor-to-ceiling paned windows, and gothic/cathedral-inspired decor.
*During brunch service, one Bloody Mary or Mimosa is included with your meal.* Since Larry instead opted for Diet Coke, I downed both my and his Mimosas. Coming in to the meal, there wasn't really a question as to what I would order. Larry had preached and swore up and down that The District was home to the city's *best* burger. And I wanted to see if he knew what he was talking about...
It's as sexy as a cheeseburger could look - or sound - on a plate: Shredded romaine lettuce, a thick tomato slice, a ground brisket-patty encased in melted American cheese, caramelized onions, and a schmear of homemade garlic aioli were sandwiched between toasted brioche bun-halves.
For a moment, I hesitated after telling the waitress that I'd like my burger cooked "medium." I just assumed that it would be served as I had requested. Alas...my patty was well-done. Sigh.
Larry was also surprised to see that his patty was not cooked "medium rare." However, after one bite turned in to three, I decided that it would be too late to send my burger back to the kitchen. Plus, I had already eaten about half of my serving of, quite possibly, the best French fries this side of Pommes Frites. And the garlic aioli? Dynamite.
While I was disappointed that both my and Larry's patties were cooked incorrectly, I would definitely return to The District to a) give the burger another chance (it has *major* potential if cooked properly), and b) to check out the after-work scene. Apparently, it's the place to be uptown! Even Urban Daddy says so!
The District - 1679 Third Avenue (at 94th Street) - NYC
Until we eat again,
The Lunch Belle