Figuring out what to do for New Year’s is always involved. Of course, the most intriguing of things always hit the wallet the hardest. There’s always some great options for staying in, but since we stayed in last New Year’s Eve, I was sort of set on heading out for the evening. One option which caught our eye was highlighted in Zagat’s NYE picks on their blog – The Third Man, a new spot that just opened on Avenue C by the team behind Edi and the Wolf. $85 – food, drinks, and an actual seat (something which definitely comes at a premium in NYC). While at home in Alabama for the holidays, I made it my mission to finally connect to book this – as their phone went straight to voicemail and the page the article linked to was not live. After a few days of Facebook stalking, emailing, and the like we were booked.
When we got there, we weren’t sure what to expect. None of us had ever been there – which made sense, as we learned due to delays from Sandy, they’d only been open for about a week beforehand! When we got there, it looked really empty so we thought we might be having an accidental personal party. It ended up being that one large group had booked for the evening, so it would become quite full later in the evening.
They had made a cocktail list just for the evening – one called the past, one the present, and one called bijou (we never figured out why). They were quite good and we were impressed that even though it got busier throughout the evening, the service was still amazing.
We were expecting some light bites, but what we had ended up being so much more. I haven’t seen their usual menu, but I sincerely hope that some of the things from NYE are a part of their regular menu. The first thing we had was a flatbread pizza, which was seemingly simple but the flavor combinations were just amazing. Dates, onion jam, and gruyere… so good.
There was a plate of farmer’s cheese served with a paprika spread as well as a pumpkin seed oil (something we understand to be a bit of a signature offering here). The spreads were so different from each other – the paprika much bolder and the pumpkin subtle yet a wonderful addition to the bread. The dish above – the house cured speck – was a wonderful meat course. It was light, and only slightly salty. The mustard with a touch of spice was a nice addition to the pork, as well as the pickled vegetables.
There was also an autumn salad with roasted pears, hazelnuts, arugula, turnips, camembert cheese, with a cider/sherry vinaigrette. And finally we were each treated with a full-sized dinner plates for us with wiener schnitzel (pictured above), accompanied by housemade potato salad.
It ended up being a perfect way to ring in the New Year with friends! I think I speak for us all when I say we can’t wait to go back for another visit.
The Third Man – 116 Avenue C (at East 7th) – 212.598.1040