Last week we were fortunate enough to dine at the newly opened Blue Ribbon Federal Grill. We were so excited to check it out and honestly, we were not disappointed. The atmosphere, the service and the food were all top notch.
The entrance of the restaurant is inside the entryway of the AKA Wall Street Long Term Residence Hotel. You enter on the southeast corner of William and Maiden as if you are going to the hotel. The doorway to Blue Ribbon Federal Grill is on the right. Once inside, you are greeted by a lively, stylish room. The restaurant is designed by Asfour-Guzy Architects, who also designed AKA and are long-time collaborators of Bruce and Eric Bromberg, owners and chefs of the Blue Ribbon group of restaurants. They’ve placed the bar to the left, while the dining tables snake to the right. For future visits, we are very much looking forward to having drinks at the bar and perhaps a few snacks while we’re at it. It’s the sort of upscale restaurant bar that other neighborhoods take for granted and what FIDI lacked.
What was nice about the place was that even though it was upscale, the room was not off-putting. I don’t know that families would feel so comfortable for dinner, perhaps on the very early side or for lunch and only with very well behaved children. The dinner menu is extensive – separate little sections for appetizers, seafood platters, burgers and caviar crowd the page.
Here’s a peek at what we had:
The appetizers are called BITES on the menu. As many of you who have been to other Blue Ribbon restaurants know, they have great seafood platters, so we opted with one choice from the BITES menu – the Turkey Rillette with Toast Points, Whole Grain Mustard and Cornichons – and two dished from the FRUITS DE MER side of the menu – the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and the Lobster Cocktail. The turkey dish was AMAZING – really, really tasty. And the seafood was great as well. Home run on these three appetizers! Next time we want to try the Shishito Tempura and the Smoked Mackerel and perhaps go with a Caviar selection.
The rest of the dinner menu is broken out into three principal sections: PASTURE, SEA, AND FIELD. We decided on steaks from the Pasture section that evening – we ordered the Bavette with Bourbon and Pepper sauce as well as the 10oz New York Strip with Onions and Mushrooms. Both were great, but the Bavette edged out the NY Strip. For our next meal there, we’ve already picked out our next entree – the Bone Marrow & Oxtail Marmalade Toasted Challah & Salted Parsley (must go with a willing partner!) The sides we ordered to accompany the steaks were delish. The truffled potatoes were smooth and complemented the beef perfectly. Their elevated version of mac and cheese – the cheesy spatzle – made us feel like we were eating something very elegant, but checked the box for mac and cheese.
By the time dessert rolled around, we almost didn’t have room for any more food. But luckily, we made it work. I’m not a big fan of Apple Pie but my dining companion loves it and declared BRFG’s one of the best he’s had. I loved my dessert – a grown-up milkshake spiked with Bourbon along with three super tasty cookies. A great ending to an already great meal.
As far as cocktails and drinks, the menu is broken into groups based on strength – Low Proof, Full Proof and Over Proof (whoa!). They also group by classic and adventurous. There are plenty of classic cocktails as well as more adventurous creative new concoctions. We found the bar was super flexible an really talented – they prepared our Manhattans beautifully and chose a nice bottle of wine for us.
So all in all the place is great. Price points are on par with other fine dining establishments, so it’s not a restaurant most people can make a weekly pitstop. But very worth it and I think joins Augustine for a neighborhood favorite – upscale, elegant but not snooty. Affordable luxury, which is a FIDI LIVING way of life!
Click here to check out the dinner menu in its entirety: BLUE RIBBON FEDERAL GRILL MENU – DINNER
84 William Street (corner of Maiden Lane, entrance is inside the entrance to the AKA Hotel)
New York, NY 10038
212 337 0404
Monday – Saturday 11:30am – 2:30pm; 5pm – 10pm
Reservations can be made through Open Table – CLICK HERE FOR OPEN TABLE