Nesting On A Tuesday Night…

Charlie Bird Parker
Charlie Bird Parker

What makes a new restaurant so hot and impossible to secure a reservation?

Recently, I tried to dine at Charlie Bird, a brand new Soho establishment. I had to go into publicist mode to get a time other than the 6pm Early Bird special or the I am an unemployed actor and can eat anytime 10:30pm slot.

I rendezvoused with Lili, a fabulous thirty-something Wall Street wonder from San Francisco who I met at Montmatre. My daughter finds it strange that I I keep hangin’ with younger woman…perhaps I miss her presence.

Charlie Bird Restaurant SOHO NYC If The Devil Had Menopause Toby Lubov 2013
Charlie Bird Restaurant SOHO NYC If The Devil Had Menopause Toby Lubov 2013

We were on time and shockingly, we had to wait. There is a very small entry area and the bar was crowded so after walking literally 10 miles and laden with packages, I plopped down on the one available chair and jumped at the hostess’ offer of a drink. I gave the order and I knew I had Lili at Chopin…her vodka of choice, as well. Chopin is not a mainstream spirit and when I requested the drink on the rocks with extra olives we knew we were in for a copacetic dinner.

Charlie Bird is small and appealing with a wall of windows which were open to the mild evening temperatures. It is Italian influenced, featuring local, organic products and its’ essence is entirely NYC.

Sharing was the underlying theme. We started with a selection from the Small Plates column and order grilled peach and prosciutto with charred onions, walnut crema, basil and a Balsamico drizzle. ($16)…I am not a big prosciutto person, but it was sweet, paper thin and perfecto.

Peach and Proscuitto Salad

We followed that with a broiled octopus, charred perfectly with speckled beans. Lili seemed to savor the beans, I found them unexciting and the color reminded me of when Courtny was a newborn.

octopus charlie
Grilled Octopus

I was eager to try the duck egg spaghetti with uni, spring onions and lemon ($24)…no interest from across the table so we moved on to the Large Plates. Our main was Black Bass with heirloom tomatoes and Lambrusco. The sauce was more like a soup. It was delicious, but the portion size was ridiculously small. I wasn’t left wanting, but for $27 it was stupid small.

Sea Bass
Black Bass

We selected hot buttered corn and chanterelles ($12) from the vegetable category and the dish was creamy and delicious.

Restaurant review of Charlie Bird
Hot Buttered Corn and Chanterelles

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and thought that the food was tasty, but there are an innumerable amount of NYC restaurants serving good food. For a Upper West Side resident, it is a destination restaurant. Charlie Bird is a lovely neighborhood place,  The price point is a tad high for a weekly visit if you live in the ‘hood unless you have disposable income….no points for originality.

Other than the hip hop music, I don’t know what made this bird so rare…we flew the coop and had a delish beer at Mekong Restaurant across the street. The food actually looked fresh and appealing…I am addicted to Vietnamese…so much for being in.

in my foodie life, I prefer originality and a comfortable price point to being hip and cool. Although, in my present state, I always want to be cool.

interior charlie bird

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