So called for the place where bourbon was born, Maysville serves up a wide variety of whiskeys and “smoked & charred food and raw & chilled seafood,” as their website notes.
It was Friday night. The bar was overflowing with people loudly talking, even shouting, at one another. I told MDP I didn’t think we’d get a table, that we’d have to go to Rare or Hill Country instead. But we went in anyway and asked how long the wait was. “I can seat you now,” said the hostess, to my surprise. And she put us at a small table just steps away from Maysville’s trendy bar.
We went to Maysville because New York magazine (which is officially on my shit list after that retro housewife article) recommended their grits. In general, I trust New York‘s restaurant/food recommendations because they’re usually spot on. Also, adding to Maysville’s appeal, it’s located just a block away from where I work, which made it unusually convenient for me.
The hostess placed a thick binder filled with drinks on our table, in addition to our two double-sided menus. I shouted to MDP, “Which whiskey are you going to get?” He didn’t know. But I don’t blame him. The sprawling list featured traditional mashbill bourbons, wheated bourbons, rye whiskeys and more. I selected the Four Roses bourbon, since I hadn’t tried it. When I first sipped the exactly 2 oz glass of alcohol, I noted its plain flavor–nothing like Maker’s 46, my favorite, which Maysville indicates as a wheated bourbon.
For an appetizer, we had to order the crispy grits, which are presented as cubes topped with country ham and bourbon aioli. To be honest, the grits hardly tasted like anything. The ham was pretty good, and reminded me of prosciutto–not sure what “country” the ham comes from. But I wasn’t totally impressed.
Because hardly anything on Maysville’s dinner menu sounded edible to me, I opted for the very plain, very hard to mess up chicken, which came with mushrooms, garlic and baby lettuces. The chicken was outstanding. It was tender and flavorful, and the skin was crisp and delicious. I couldn’t tell which kind of mushrooms they used; they were like oyster mushrooms, but brown and ridged. I highly enjoyed my dinner.
MDP ordered the braised lamb and potato dumplings. His serving wasn’t exactly hearty, and he finished his meal quite quickly given the little they offered him. I tried the gravy that was at the bottom of his dish and it was quite delectable: meaty yet light. Our waitress informed us that we had tried the newest dishes to the menu (which makes sense since neither dish is on their online menu–I had wondered about that).
For dessert, we opted for the bread pudding with candied pecan ice cream and this fantastic, thick caramel sauce at the bottom of the bowl. The bread pudding is the dessert to get at Maysville. Don’t be tempted by the chocolate ice cream or plate of cheeses. No. Even if you think you don’t like bread pudding, I assure you, you’ll like this bread pudding. It’s phenomenal and was clearly the best thing we ate at Maysville.
So Maysville is pretty good, but definitely pricey. They’re a tad cheap with the bourbon, but the food is decent and the atmosphere is lively, if you like that kind of thing.
17 W. 26th Street, between 6th Avenue and Broadway
Flatiron, New York
Take the N/R to 28th Street. Walk south two blocks and right onto 26th Street.