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May 29, 2009 11:29 AM

Minetta: which burger?

Going there tonight. Am stuck on which burger to get. The Black Label gets all the raves, but Frank Bruni liked the Minetta burger better. I'm a medium rare gal. Any advice appreciated.

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  1. Nobody answered my question so I had to decide all by myself. Here's the review:
    I got the Black Label burger and it was the right choice. It was really phenomenal, but not a standard burger experience--dry-aged, funky, rich, and very intense. I would not go eat it over and over. But I would tell anyone going to Minetta Tavern that they must eat it once. In fact, my friend had the dry-aged strip and he and I both liked my burger better.

    I had it with cheese (they don't recommend it, and they are right) and the caramelised onions on the side (I do recommend this, as I think the sweetness of all the onions would clash a bit with the burger. I used about a third of the onions they served).

    We also has the squid stuffed with salt cod which was very good, and a side of mushrooms and frites, which were excellent. Pots de creme for dessert were fine but not that special.

    We ate at the bar (no problem getting seats but get there by 6), which I liked a lot--friendly, professional, knowledgeable bartenders, and they don't let everyone waiting for tables into the bar so it doesn't get wildly packed and jostly. Go and enjoy!

    3 Replies
    1. re: chowbeth

      I should have done what you did and ordered the onions on the side. I didn't care for the burger. Thought it was overpriced for what it was. Nothing special tastewise. It was good, but it wasn't anywhere near $26 good.

      1. re: chowbeth

        Thanks for posting the review.I also read the NYT review and although I haven't been to Minetta yet,will try the burger when I do.If I recall,Bruni wrote that it was the "Best Steakhouse in Manhattan".A very intriguing statement to say the least.

        1. re: TooLooseLaTrek

          While I had a very good meal at Minetta, I have to say it is NOT a steakhouse. Frank Bruni is on drugs with that statement.

      2. Finally got in to Minetta. The bone marrow app was good but I've had better value at Blue Ribbon. The Black Label burger was just shy of phenomenal although, on the whole, I've got to give it an "emperor has no clothes" type review, I'm sorry to say. The no cheese policy and mandatory onions annoyed me, the bun couldn't make up it's mind whether it was a brioche, a croissant or something else. Hard to live up to the hype. Reminded me of my slight disappointment with the $50 DB burger. Had the same meaty funk which I liked but I've enjoyed other burgers more particularly if price and wait are a factor.

        5 Replies
        1. re: guttergourmet

          I had the BL burger and thought it was excellent. Cooked to prefection, no cheese, lots of onions (I'm an onion freak!) The fries were, despite being over salted (why must they do THAT?!) were also excellent, tasted like potatoes, not defrosted frozen cardboard. Can't wait to go back. Big disappointment, however, were the marrow bones.

          1. re: Stuartmc910

            Yeah-the marrow bones was a single split bone with hardly any marrow.

          2. re: guttergourmet

            Went back last night and asked for the Black Label "Burger King" style. In other words, I had it "my way". They initially wanted to charge me an extra $2 for the cheese but then recanted.Medium rare, with the de rigeur caramalized onions but this time add the cheddar cheese and the ketchup. I liked it better this time but still a little disappointed. Nicely cooked, the cheddar was great. But the pickle was inedible and the fries were very mediocre. By the way, the cod stuffed squid was as good as any Spanish restaurant and the Scotch selection is great. Gotta find someone to share the cote de boeuf with next time.

            1. re: guttergourmet

              I agree with the fries they are nothing special Very disappointing as I mentioned in my review. Supposedly the same as Balthazar ( many think they have the best around), which I have not been to.

              Regarding the cheese.. I got cheese on mine and they did not charge me extra. Strange.

              1. re: steakrules85

                As I said, they were going to charge extra but changed their mind. Maybe because ordered the $15 scotch to start.

          3. I loved the Black Label burger.
            Someone here said it was "nothing special tastewise". I can't imagine what that could mean as it is truly a unique standout in the current burger obsession NYC is going through.
            I've also had the $50 DB burger and its amped-up $75 version with truffles.
            Those burgers, I thought, were overly ambitious and their flavor of quality beef was completely lost. Minetta's BL burger presents all that you want in a hamburger and much more.

            2 Replies
              1. re: steakrules85

                I'm going back 5 years or so. The burger was $50 with an optional $25 serving of truffles.


              1. Dined at Minetta tonight. Excellent. Shared the bone marrow and cod-stuffed squid appetizers. Both were outstanding. Despite other reviews to the contrary, I thought the bone marrow portions were generous and delicious. Had the Black Label burger w/ onions but w/o cheese. It was incredible. I couldn't stop eating it. Tables were a bit crowded, but not unusual for a restaurant in the City. Same with the noise. It was loud, but not unusually so. My only criticism (albeit mild) was that the fries were good, but not great. But I think there's a self-limiting factor when a fine restaurant serves fries. I mean, how good can they be? Perhaps if they served the fries with an unusual dipping sauce, like maybe a harissa aioli.

                1 Reply
                1. re: liamettocs

                  Seems like a reocurring theme that the fries are disappointing and I totally agree.