In the dining deserts of Midtown where chains are the norm and restaurants are often mobbed by the theatre-going crowd, it can be a hunt to find a sprig of organic arugula. Thankfully, there is Brickyard Gastropub, a restaurant on 9th Avenue trying to offer something a little more sustainable and a lot better.
During lunchtime, four different games play out on flatscreen TVs staggered across the room. Men in crisp button-downs lean over grass-fed burgers with Hudson Valley cheddar, slipping in an Ommegang Witte beer or two before heading back to their cubicles. The gastropub prides itself in pairing craft ales with its food—suggested pairings, often local brews, are listed on the menu.
Midday, there are salads and sandwiches, including a couple of bar snacks, like crab cake sliders with lemon-caper remoulade. They were so plump with crabmeat we happily ate them bun-less.
Salads are bountifully meal-sized, especially when bolstered with perfectly cooked chicken or beef still steaming from the grill. A generic-sounding mandarin spinach salad packed the plate with bouncy spinach leaves, feta crumbles, red onion, and sweet orange segments that were much tastier than any we’ve ever had. An organic heirloom tomato and marinated fennel salad with pickled cucumber had the right idea but was a little too acidic, even for this vinegar-lover.
There is a classically good portobello panini which sandwiches roasted peppers, eggplant, goat cheese in herbed focaccia from Amy’s Bread and, like the aforementioned burger, it’s served with addictive sweet potato fries (or salad if you prefer).
After 5 p.m., the menu expands to include mussels steamed in white wine, pan seared mint-crusted NY state lamb (among other sustainably raised meat entrees), and lots of vegetable sides. No need to settle for a cookie-cutter meal; Brickyard Gastropub is a step above the standards.
785 Ninth Ave (52nd & 53rd St.)
Daily: 11 a.m.–4 a.m.
Nutrition/best practices: Ashley Spivak
Food critic: Scarlett Lindeman
Clean Plates reviews are the only restaurant reviews that combine the expertise of a nutritional consultant and a food writer/critic. In addition to each restaurant being visited, Clean Plates employs a rigorous multistep assessment process including thorough research into ingredient sourcing; quality of cooking oils; preparation techniques; eco-friendly, sustainable practices; and ability to accommodate specific dietary needs.
Visit www.cleanplates.com to get healthy, clean eating tips and recipes—plus, dish with the chefs and pioneers leading the sustainable charge to a table near you.