When a restaurant opens up in New York City, they can either be a flash in the pan and fail within a couple of months, succeed and become something longer than a trend, or be another Chipotle/Panera that seems to be populating the city. The hope for Irvington Restaurant is that it becomes the next big thing in cuisine in New York City and sticks around for as long as possible… because it is that damn good.
Irvington, which is located right in The W Hotel on East 18th and Park Avenue, recently opened its doors a mere two weeks ago on March 24th. The brand new space is headed by brilliant chef David Nichols, who is also the executive chef & nightlife leader of The Gerber Group. He was also runner up on Food Network’s big hit show “Chopped”, where he worked alongside recurring judge Marc Murphy at Landmarc Tribeca. Quite the impressive resume if I must say so myself. For Irvington, his specialty is market-to-table fare and fresh rotisserie offerings, which after we went there proves that he excels in both and then some.
For the location just being opened you get the sense that there is a buzz throughout the room based off of how new the location is. It is something me and my friend definitely felt upon entry. Spacious as can be, the high ceilings and wood carvings across the room really made the entire experience that much better, even before we ate any of the delicious food we were about to be presented with.
Onto the food now. The menu itself had a very rustic and warm vibe, which I believe will bode well for Irvington in the summer months as much as it will when the dreaded winter time approaches us again. It is chock full of hearty and tasty dishes in all categories, however these are the ones that I would recommend trying- from start to finish. For appetizers, I would recommend the Charred Octopus with sweet potato, jalapeno yogurt & beet chimichurri. As someone who recently tried Octopus for the first time a couple of weeks ago, I was delighted that this was cooked perfectly and didn’t have that rubbery taste that they can have. Pairing that with the yogurt, chimuchurri and sweet potato really elevated the taste level of the octopus itself. Other good starters are the Croquettes which were stuffed with rotisserie chicken, chorizo and romesco. Great flavor profile that bursts in your mouth. Finally, the Roasted Market Carrots and Asparagus can dual well as a starter and side dish for the entree as they tasted absolutely delicious and light on the flavor palette.
Irvington also has a line of great flatbreads available at your disposal. The one that we tried was the Merguez Sausage Flatbread with red onion, romesco & ricotta. A great Italian flatbread that didn’t overdo it when it came to being heavy especially with the ingredients on top of it. Onto the mains, if there is one you should try above all it was the Duck Confit Pot Pie with wild mushrooms and black kale. Besides my mother’s pot pie, this was hands down the best pot pie I have ever experienced. Usually when you experience pot pie it is made with chicken, so the fact that this was substituted with duck was really such a change in flavor profile and the sauce inside was simply splendid. For another meat option, try out the Marinated Lamb with flageolet beans, pickled shallots, cured olives & herbs. Much lighter than the pot pie yet still fills you up overall with the lamb and sides it comes with. Overall two great entrees worth trying.
Irvington is also excelling in the rotisserie world and have three great options for you to try out in that category. Free Range Chicken with marble potatoes, grilled leeks & gremolata, Glazed Muscovy Duck with scallion crepes, bibb lettuce & baby radish and Porchetta with spring onions & cherry agrodolce are all fantastic choices to try next time you go to Irvington. To finish off in the dessert area try the Warm Fudge Brownie and the Strawberry Trifle. Yummy and delicious on both ends. They also have a great line of retro and modern cocktails like The Grasshoper (Stoli Vanilla, Creme De Menthe, White Cream De Cacao, Light Cream) pictured above. Wee.
Don’t just take my word for it though! Check out their official site for more details on their menus, location and so much more. Happy eating everyone!
Irvington (Inside The W Hotel)
201 Park Avenue South