Bill’s Food and Drink
57 East 54th Street
New York, NY
Bill’s Food and Drink is one of restaurateur, John DeLucie, newest properties under Crown Group Hospitality. Nestled between Park ave and Madison ave on 54th street, this townhouse turned restaurant has a storied past that adds to the ambiance. Bill’s Food and Drink has a modern approach to the traditional steakhouse with its clubby and art-filled interior. Once a very popular speakeasy during the prohibition era, 57 East 54th kept true to the design by exposing original details such as the “original beams and the former Bill’s Gay Nineties piano [that] can be found in the bar downstairs while original moldings appear in the main dining room. Murals on the first floor can be dated back to the 1940s and round silver dollars are still imbedded in the bar’s tiled floor.”
Up for the challenge, the partners of Crown Group Hospitality (Mark Amadei, John DeLucie & Sean Largotta) , along with designer Meg Sharpe set out to keep the restaurant classic in design and a very lived in feel.
Keeping with the tradition that was set fourth with the previous tenants, Bill’s serves up great cocktails, prepared by mixologist. First up was the Clover Club. This frothy drink was absolutely amazing. With tastes of cinnamon and other spices, this vodka drink was the perfect starter to the night.
Next was the Dirty Gibson Martini. I was very skeptical about the martini. I thought, “how could you make a martini any better, they all pretty much taste the same.” Well I was wrong! This Grey Goose martini was one of the smoothest martinis I’ve ever tasted. This is a lot coming from me as I love a good martini. Hands down, I could probably drink several of these, until I end up on the floor (not a good idea!) However, if you are a vodka drinker, this is a must when visiting Bill’s Food and Drink.
Lacinato Kale Salad
The kale salad was lightly dressed with apple slices. I eat kale, but only when it’s heavily drenched in salad dressing or in the form of kale chips. The salad was a little dry for my taste, but that’s is just my personal preference. However, my fellow reviewer enjoyed the kale salad.
Butternut Squash Soup
Upon my first sip, I thought, “this tastes like Thanksgiving.” Think of all the goodness of Thanksgiving in a bowl of soup and that is what you get with Bill’s butternut squash soup. The butternut squash soup was garnished with mushroom, spiced almond and toasted bread. The brown butter base makes all the difference.
The beef tartare upon first bite was juicy, but flavorless. However, adding the mustard really improved the taste.
The tuna tartare melted like butter. The flavor was very strong, without the fishy taste.
Mussels, Mussels, Mussels…I probably can eat them everyday of my life. The bouchot mussel from Bill’s would be on my list to eat everyday. The sauce was not too salty and packed with flavor.
Large octopus pieces garnished with olives, potatoes, lettuce and chorizo. The chorizo was extremely flavor and complemented the octopus perfectly.
The veal was extremely tender and well seasoned. I’ve been to several different restaurants and order the osso bucco to only receive a small portion. At Bill’s Food and Drink the portion was very generous. The dish would be perfect for sharing with a date. Another highlight of veal osso bucco was the bone marrow. The bone marrow was flavorful. There were about 6 spoonfuls which I dragged out and made sure to savor every bite.
The risotto was prepared with king crab, Asian pears and chive puree. With a little salt, pepper and parmesan cheese this dish quickly became one of my favorites.
Single Malt Scotch Custard
As a fan of scotch, this desert satisfied my sweet tooth as well as my taste of scotch. This 12 year old McCallan Single Malt Scotch custard is by far our favorite desert.
The creme brulee was prepared with sugar glazed pecans. Though it was a good desert, I would recommend the custard over the creme brulee any day. Take risks!
The ambiance, food, and location makes the restaurant a great spot for lunch/dinner meetings and date nights. It will cost you, but it is worth it! The wait staff were very attentive and quite friendly. We had the pleasure of being waited on by Brian. He has a great personality and was very knowledgeable about the dishes. Overall, we highly recommend this restaurant for anyone who lives in New York City or visiting. If you have an opportunity, ask to see the private rooms.
For more information, visit their website: www.bills54.com
Reviewers: Phaon Spurlock & Gemma Thomas