Chris, Jon and myself stepped into Charlie Bird NYC and found ourselves walking in to the opposite of an informal lunch we were searching for. Turns out, it wasn’t necessarily an awful thing. This was our free day as mom and dad ventured into Woodbury; the ‘kids’ -that’s us!- opted out of premium outlet shopping. Intending to stay in the city, we pinpointed our location to SoHo but didn’t make any solid plans (challenges of ‘playing it by ear’ on a family vacation). Two friends -reputable foodie friends- recommended Charlie Bird, so we blindly said yes without doing much research. Aka Googling. Consequently, we got to experience their notable bird dish in the funky space punctuated with art, exposed brick, graffiti, hip hop and funk. Fun!
I was going to categorize the place as American-Italian eats but then I read about how the owners dislike being pigeonholed into that. So, from their own website… “The menu comes from New York’s farmers markets, Long Island fishing boats, country fields and the wondrous meanderings of spirited travelers with passionate palates. We’re crushing seafood, roasted meats, crazy good wine and creamy espresso. Our wine list is broad enough for you to come by and enjoy wine with us every night or, you can be a baller and order something you can’t get anywhere else in the world. We’re Italian influenced, American executed and entirely New York.”
We started with half a dozen oysters, they were so fresh and perfectly shucked. Then came a cool plate of burrata and cucumbers with crispy lettuce and pickles. Following that was the rigatoni napoletana, the ragu of beef veal and pork was warming and hearty. Our main dish is what I presume they are known for – crispy half chicken with herb salad. It was already cut up in nice, manageable pieces for us to easily share by 3. Crunchy, crispy skin and anything but dry, I can see this one landing top slots on must-try chicken in the city. Plated with a generous sliver of chicken liver mousse, the herby minty salad is crucial to cut the richness of it all. Lastly, for extra veggies, we tried the caramelized cauliflower that was tossed with basil and lime candied hazelnuts. Originally, we weren’t anticipating to pay $100++ for lunch, so no baller wine for us this time…
PHOTOS :: Me