Yesterday I joined the AOA Crew at Ric Orlando’s New World Bistro Bar to support Dining Out for Life. Basically, 25% of the bill went to the AIDS Council of NENY. Sweet, eating out and helping out. I’ve been meaning to go here for ages, and Albany John wants to bring his brother (a big fan of the show Chopped, and the same show Ric won) here to try some of their inventive dishes.
We got the beef tongue and octopus toastada ($10) to share as an app. Get it. Ohhh, get it! So beefy and good. Albany John describes beef tongue when it’s cooked this well as akin to a really hearty beef stew. Ric – can I call you Ric? I’m gonna call you Ric. Any way, Ric, this dish really showcased your skills.
There was a good amount of beef tongue, and little minced bits of octopus throughout. It added some umami goodness, so if you’re squicky about seafood/octopus, this might be a good dish for you to try. Personally, I would be fine if this dish were just a hunk of cow tongue and an arm of uncut octopus (so good were the flavors), but bet that might put some people off.
Our waiter also mentioned this was one of his favorite dishes here, if not his favorite dish entirely. He was so freaking right. If you guys haven’t gotten the hint, try this. SO good.
Albany John’s a beer guy, so we got a flight of beers to sample. I just donated blood that day, so I figured I’d take it somewhat easy on the booze since one of the Red Cross guys told me if I went out for cocktails I’d be “One cheap date,”. I’m a cheap date to being with, and while I was partially interested in testing out just how little liquor I’d need in me to catch a buzz, it seemed like it had the potential to go from funny to “We need an IV and some fluids” pretty quickly.
Right, so. We went with the flight of beer samples ($5.25). From left to right:
Brooklyn, New World Bistro Bar Double IPA made by Chatham Brewery, Ommegang Rare Vos, and Victory Stout.
Albany John thought this was a great value, and a fun way to compare some solid brews. He loves his Rare Vos, so that was the winner for him here, but the others were still fairly enjoyable.
We’re not big IPA people, but it was cool to try their house beer. It turns out they want to get it labeled for them since it’s made for them, but they have to go through federal licensing of some sort in order to get it, so for now they just call it their house beer. I thought it tasted a lot like the Rare Vos (which made Albany John gasp and be all like “What?! NO! They are not at all alike!”) since it was on the bitter/floral spectrum. Whatevs. But I really liked that Victory stout. Really smooth, yet thin – easy to drink in warmer weather. Not dense and heavy like other stouts that drink like a meal. Plus lots of sweet caramel notes. More please.
Not spicy, either, although they dropped a bottle of Sriracha. Albany John thought about Napalming The Jungle, but it was so good that he didn’t need any other seasonings.
Mid convo with the rest of our table, a bus boy ninja came by and took his dish. He still had some food left, and he was all… “Um. What? What just happened and where did my dish go?”. We saw the bus boy and as we were going to be like “Dude! Hey! Can we get that back, please and thanks?” We saw him bussing the rest of the table and plop another dish on top of it. Ew. How do we know that wasn’t dirty? It’s a plate at the end of dinner. It’s probably dirty. When you’re bussing things, you don’t pile other peoples dishes on top of other people’s unfinished food. Well, you also should check with people when taking their food. Ironically, the bus boy asked me if I was done with my plate when it was basically just crumbs left.
Okay, so seems like not the best moment at our first time dining in this restaurant, right? Ric, you have some awesome staff, because our waiter was very attentive and handled things well. We found him and explained about the over eager bus boy. He said that he was wrapping it up, but after expressing some concern that we saw the busboy putting other people’s dishes on it, he had them remake what was taken. Perfect response. We weren’t looking for a remake on the entire meal, but we also didn’t want to eat food that may have had dirty dishes on it either.
Sadly, the burger was the low note of the meal. The bun was pretty heavy (tasted like a potato roll) and over-buttered/oiled. Greasy. Can you see the crack on the northern part of the burger? There was also a crack on the other side of the burger too. What’s up with that?
I’m not too sure if the beef was even seasoned. It didn’t have much flavor. I’m used to happier beef having this deep, rich, wonderful beefy flavor. This was pretty light – I had to really does it up with salt to bring out some beefiness. The texture wasn’t my favorite either – a bit too small/fine of a grind, which made the more cooked edges of the burger taste kind of grainy/mealy. It was a fairly dry burger, but that greasy bun was distracting.
I found out the best way to eat it was to take a bite, but only eat the top bun (less greasy) and salt heavily. Fine, but I wouldn’t order it again. Next time I’ll get another tonge and octo tostada, or have a few other apps. Mmm.
Overall though, great time dining out, an excellent service experience, and I look forward to returning and trying more of the menu.