Celeb chef Bobby Flay's largest Manhattan restaurant is the soaring Bar Americain. The 200-seat two-story space looks like a dining room on a luxury liner. This is not food for the faint-of-heart: Flay piles on the butter, cream, and endless varieties of bacon. Southern-inflected brasserie fare includes deviled eggs with smoked shrimp, chicken with hatch-green-chili spoon bread and black-pepper vinegar sauce, and duck confit flavored with a bourbon-based sauce and fig
chutney. Slightly naughtier are the éclairs piped with whiskey-infused pastry cream and burnished with a burnt-sugar glaze. Brunch, featuring dishes like biscuits and cream gravy with sausage and scrambled eggs, is delicious.
Oct 29, 2014
My spouse and I dined with three friends at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain for a late Saturday night dinner in mid-April 2014. We planned to have dinner elsewhere that night, but we revised our original plans. Instead, we called Bar Americain about 30 minutes before our arrival to make a reservation. This restaurant also accepts reservations using the Open Table system; however, we were unable to use the system, either because of the size of our party,
or because we reserved on short notice. This restaurant serves lunch on weekdays, brunch on weekends, and dinner daily. Another Bar Americain is located at the Mohegan Sun Casino (in Connecticut), and Bobby Flay owns other restaurants such as Gato and Mesa Grill (in New York City), Bobby Flay Steak (at the Borgata in Atlantic City), and Bobby's Burger Palace (multiple suburban locations in various states). The American-style brasserie is located in the Midtown / Rockefeller Center area, with seating on the street level in the bar area or main dining area, as well as on the second-floor mezzanine that overlooks the main dining area. The bar is long and seats many patrons. Regular table seating exists in the main dining area, although a few tables share a banquette seat on one side, and some tables are semi-circular curved booths. When we arrived at the restaurant, the host attempted to seat our party of five at a table near the door, even though preferable tables were available. He grudgingly moved us to a slightly better table. (It was after 9:30 pm, and the other tables remained empty during our dinner.) Our server was flippant and surly. She declined to answer questions and was unwilling to entertain any menu substitutions. "No substitutions" is a respectable policy, but staff can refuse requests tactfully. For example, we requested two orders of the deviled eggs appetizer. When we asked that the kitchen staff cut the eggs in half so that our larger party could share them more easily, our server informed us unpleasantly that it was impossible. Therefore, we omitted ordering any appetizers at all. For our entrees, I ordered the shrimp and grits; however, another member of my party requested to substitute an alternative starch for the grits, but the server rebuffed him. I sampled the rabbit, as well as the skate, the mussels, and the steak (all were tasty). We did not order dessert, because our server was "missing in action" by that point in our service, nor did we order the additional round of drinks that we wanted. Our meal at Bar Americain was not successful, and we would not chance another dining opportunity at a Flay restaurant with so many competitors from which to choose.