The Bowery Diner Downtown: Chef Palombino Adds Flair to Classic NYC Bites

For months the signage outside promised that Motorino's Chef Mathieu Palombino would be opening his intriguing-sounding Bowery Diner "soon". Our eagerness was understandable: could Chef Palombino do for traditional New York City diner food what he had done for pizza at his excellent Motorino? Early reviews were mixed after Palombino finally opened The Bowery Diner doors last month, but by the time we finally got there last weekend the place was respectfully crowded though not over-loud, and we had a (mostly) first-rate, thoroughly satisfying diner-ish dinner — and will likely be back for more.  

Bowery Diner Offers Staples of Downtown Restaurants & New Gourmet Selections

The Bowery Diner's menu is extensive (as befits the genre), and though, thank goodness, it has plenty of classic NYC diner items (the always-welcome milkshakes, grilled cheese, burgers, chowders, etc), the classically-trained, food-loving Chef Palombino also throws in a number of unexpected treats (whelks! duck salad! choucroute! baked goat cheese!) just to mix things up. We tried to order a bit of the old and new, starting with Palombino's take on that New York City classic, the Rueben… but instead were given the Bowery Diner Smoked Meat Sandwich. Since we had gone back-and-forth between the two before ordering, we decided to just keep what they had brought, and were rewarded with a fine example of that once-ubiquitous Lower East Side staple, the meat remarkably rich and almost butter-tender, the mustard sharp, the bread chewy, the side slaw nicely crunchy and carroway-y. 

The Bowery Diner Duck Confit plate came next, which we both loved–talk about rich and tender!–even though some might have claimed it was too salty. This is a lot of duck for $21, and it arrives almost buried under a pile of what turn out to be pretty decent curly fries. Plus: a bouquet of fresh, lemony greens. More than enough food to make a meal, this dish. Our side order of Three Squash Puree continued the thick-and-heavy theme, especially as it was topped with maple syrup and melted cheddar, the cheese adding a nice hit of salt to sweetness. Really, the only dud in our otherwise pleasing Lower Manhattan meal was, surprisingly enough, the milkshake. We ordered a banana-chocolate milkshake thinking chocolate ice cream and a bunch of bananas all blended together, but instead received vanilla ice cream (maybe?) with a few fresh cut bananas and a bit of chocolate syrup for a decidedly unexciting $7.50 dessert. Not sure whether the barkeep (or whomever) blew it here, or whether that's their recipe, but either way, we'll probably try the Cherry Pie next time we go. 

 A Bite at The Bowery Diner in Downtown New York:

The Bowery Diner is located on Bowery, just south of Stanton Street, next door the New Museum, and is open on Monday through Thursday, and on Sunday, from 7:00 a.m. until 12:00 midnight, and on Friday and Saturday until 2:00 a.m.. For a look at all of the Bowery Diner menus, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, please see the restaurant's website, here

Bowery Diner on Urbanspoon

Posted in Downtown, NYC Dining | Tagged