The Charming Back Dining Room (Above)
1007 Lexington Ave., New York, NY; (212) 535-6000
Hours of Operation: Open for Lunch & Dinner.
Location: Upper East Side
There are three reasons to check out this long, narrow restaurant, peppered with pictures of Swifty, celebrated restaurateur Glenn Bernbaum’s perky pug. The most obvious is if you live in the neighborhood. The second is if you’re an in-the-light socialite (or wanna get a glimpse of some notable examples). The last is for some unexpectedly good food by executive-chef Stephen Attoe.Even the Melba Toast is house-made and delicious.
Truth be told, I have always had a place in my heart for this watering-hole-for the-rich with its cozy English manor-house back room with wood-beamed ceilings, bright laminated photos, skylight and windows sporting bamboo shades. (The warm atmosphere, enhanced by seasonal flowers, was created by renowned decorator Mario Buatta.)
Appetizers are just stylish enough to be fashionable — just familiar enough not to offend: Corn Fritters with Alaskan Salmon Roe and Crème Fraiche was as downtown-a-dish as Jumbo Lump Crabmeat on Tomato Aspic was fancied-up steak house. East/West Coast Oysters were beautifully fresh and a perfect compromise, between old and new.
Entree fare includes the signature "twin burgers" with delicious slaw, and fries, the noteworthy Crab Cakes; a beautifully grilled Angus Strip Steak with Béarnaise sauce and fabulous Fries; and summer specials such as Chilled Poached Salmon, Boston Lettuce, Cucumbers and Basil Sauce.
Swifty’s Is Also Doing A Sunday Evening Lobster Dinner For Two With Choice Of Field Green Salad Or Corn Chowder, Homemade Ice Cream, Sorbet Or Cookies And A Bottle Of Either Pinot Grigio, Or Greyson Cellars Merlot Wine For Just $90. Now that’s a real deal and the lobster is tender and juicy.
Desserts are all homemade American adaptations and some are extraordinary, such as Classic Vanilla Meringue Cake that is light and luscious, Granny Smith Apple Galette, with Creme Fraiche and Lemon Pound Cake with whipped cream. Inquire if the Chocolate Soufflé is available, if so, go for it.
The wine list is small and offers some good values under $60, like Chateau-Fuisse, Pouilly Fuisse, Tete de Cru, 2009 for $58: a best buy.
Service is very friendly and accommodating. On our visit, the Maître d’ Romana was wonderful. Since chef Stephen Attoe is part owner, he is hands on and in the kitchen, which explains the carefully prepared food. Swifty’s may be a club, but first timers get a warm welcome. For an extraordinary treat, observe the regulars and order a sometimes-on-the-menu Cheese Soufflé with Mustard Sauce. It is arguably the best in town.
Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.