John Fraser knows how to run consistently delicious restaurants in NYC including Narcissa and Dovetail. His latest project, The Loyal, recently opened on Bleecker St. in the West Village. The Loyal is easy to miss because you would never assume it to be on Bleecker right next to Blind Tiger Ale and Bleecker St Pizza. Perhaps that is the charm of this unassuming place whose name gives away absolutely nothing and whose interior will also not prepare you for what's to come for dinner; but alas your patience will pay off once you see the menu. After a quick glance you will recognize that the dishes are all staples of American gastropub cuisine but elevated with spices from the Mediterranean, additions of Italian truffles and Japanese flavors weaved throughout the dessert menu. So how does one go about tackling such an eclectic menu? Go with your heart's desire. All the dishes I had were absolutely delicious. If there is one thing you can trust going into a John Fraser restaurant, it is that the Chef cooks with creativity and is unafraid to take risks. If The Loyal was in my neighborhood it would be that restaurant where I would walk into Friday night every two weeks with the promise that the food would bring me comfort all while keeping it interesting.
Steak tartare- It is the perfect bar snack to start off the meal. The marinade is delicious and you can tell how great the meat quality is.
Pumpkin ravioli- It tastes like these raviolis were handmade minutes before you put them in your mouth. The freshness of the ingredients especially the pumpkin and the broth will make you wish you had an entire bowl of it. The first bite which unveils fresh ricotta is the comforting sensation I love about The Loyal.
Prime Hanger Steak with potato puree with lobster gravy- This is the best version of a surf and turf dish one can dream of. The cook on the steak is perfect. The potato puree with lobster gravy has generous chunks of lobster in it. A bite of the main with the side is what I imagine heaven feels like.