During our New York stay, we kept telling each other that we should at least have a drink. With all the rush to see and do as much during our stay, it was nice to just relax a bit.
While in SoHo, we found (on Yelp haha) The Wren, located nearby neighbourhood of NoHo (North of Houston St., SoHo is South) with seemingly good reviews (mostly for brunch) but also with seemingly good reviews for a place for drinks.
It turns out, The Wren is a busy and packed place in the evening. As well, it’s a hipster bar. On another note, Toronto also has a The Wren (visit here) with similar hipster atmosphere, busyness and bird logo. Both are unaffiliated of course. It just seems a little coincidental.
When we went in, all seats were occupied except for a booth seating right near the entrance and we wanted that table, but it took a few minutes for a staff to notice we were waiting. Could we just sit? We weren’t sure. Eventually someone noticed and we were seated in the table we wanted to sit.
However, it was a cold table due to the drafty window.
We started with drinks, I got a Spiced Hot Apple Cider with Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. I’ve never had a hot alcoholic drink, but it was good on that cold, rainy night. However, it was a strong drink (more on that on a subsequent post). Betty had a pint of Montauk Driftwood EPA.
Fried Calamari ($12) with herb-lime aioli and matcha tea powder. We ordered this based on the odd combination of matcha. We really liked this, the calamari was lightly breaded and it seemed it wasn’t even fried (air fried perhaps?). The matcha did add a slight bitterness to the calamari, but it’s offset by the aioli.
Steak Tartare ($11) with quail egg and toast. Nothing really special about it, quite frankly.
Fried Cauliflower ($7) with Aleppo pepper and lemon. There is something so simple about cauliflower, whether steamed, or roasted. In fact, after eating this, we wanted to add spice to roasted cauliflower whenever we’ll make it.
Roasted Brussels Sprout Salad ($12) with frisee, kimchi, fried egg, bread crumbs and Parmesan (cheese omitted). Despite it being a salad, it was a filling salad. It was delicious though; from the spiciness of the kimchi, the caramelization of the roasted brussel sprouts, to the many textures in this salad. I think that if there’s anyone whom doesn’t like Brussels sprouts should try it roasted — so good.
Betty’s Wren Burger ($13) with Pat La Frieda beef (NYC’s local meat supplier), lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions. She added Gruyere cheese.
Even on a Monday evening, the bar was crowded. Overall, it is a cozy, intimate place but it’s loud as well. Be warned, because of how busy the place is, service may be a bit on and off.
New York, NY 10012