TravelNoise: Haswell Green’s, New York City
Live music in midtown? It’s harder to find than you’d think, especially good live music. And just when you’ve found it, you get hungry and find the venue has no food. The worst, right? Well, we’ll just stop your search party right from the get-go and just send you to Haswell Green’s.
Located on the edge of Hell’s Kitchen, Haswell Green’s is as unsuspecting on the outside as it is exciting on the in. Walking in, my guest and I felt immediately at ease in the moody atmosphere surrounded by vintage mirrors and backlit garden features. A second floor sweeps over the place while craft bartenders move and shake behind the bustling bar in the middle of the restaurant. And, of course, there’s a stage for live music in the back.
Once seated, our host came over and started making recommendations right away. For drinks, we noticed some fun themed cocktails as well as classic go-tos. I opted for the wicked mule ($14), which included apple brandy, lime, Angostura and ginger beer while my guest went all out for the silver screen ($14), with popcorn-washed bourbon, 3D bitters and a cherry cola reduction. The mule was sweet with a big apple taste and a kick of ginger while the silver screen packed a buttery smooth taste to counteract the bourbon.
Next up, the appetizers. The menu is casual and comforting while maintaining an upper-scale vibe. We couldn’t not go for the cheese and salami board ($16), complete with fresh and dried fruits, nuts and crackers. We also were attracted to the twice-cooked chicken wings ($15) with a habanero pepper glaze and blue cheese. The board was the perfect balance of savory, sweet, creamy and crunchy while the chicken wings were crispy and spicy but rich as hell.
At this point, we were too excited for mains, we couldn’t contain ourselves and in fact needed a lot of help choosing. Thanks to our host, we were able to settle on the chicken yassa pizza ($22), with wood oven-roasted chicken, African spices, mozzarella and onion-habanero chimichurri, and the brisket burger ($14) with Muenster, LTOP, New York mustard, a potato bun and fries. The burger was tender and juicy with a pillow-soft bun while the pizza had a perfectly crispy-on-the-outside-and-fluffy-on-the-inside crust, juicy chicken and toned-down habanero sauce.
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when walking into Haswell Green’s, but this is what I know now: their wood fire oven is killer, their cocktails are practically edible art and — most importantly — I’m coming back for more.