New York - Joe Allen

While in NY, we also decided to catch a Broadway show - since we've never done that before. West Side Story, in fact, one of my all-time favorite musicals right up there with Grease and Chicago (yeah, I've got a little nerd in me). So we made reservations at Joe Allen, an infamous place among the cast and crew of the Broadway theater gang.

It's a cozy little joint - with posters from past and present shows gracing the walls, random B and C actors and actresses milling about (yes, we saw one or two, but I couldn't put a name with the faces) and a loud, boisterous din permeating the room. The ambiance is informal, and not at all trendy and seemed to harbor a mostly older demographic. But we weren't there for hip, we were there for some good food.

And that's exactly what we got. We started with an appetizer of shrimp cocktail, and while I was a bit worried that the shrimp wouldn't seem fresh - they were pleasantly plump and the sauce had a nice kick to it. I guess being a Florida native now, I'm always a little hesitant to order seafood that far north, lest I be disappointed. But since I didn't have anything to worry about after the app, I went ahead and selected fish for my entree.

I chose a Grouper in a Red Curry and Coconut sauce and Black Rice and hubby selected their signature dish - a Grilled New York Strip Steak with Red Wine Reduction and French Fries. The waiter warned me that the fish would be a bit spicy, but I laughed it off in a "Oh sure, whatever, I can handle the heat" kinda way. But let me tell you - he wasn't a-kiddin'! That fish was like an atom bomb in my mouth. Thank goodness it came with a side of rice because I would have needed to dunk my head in a bucket of milk otherwise. That fish was totally drenched in that sauce so there was really no escaping it. But honestly, it was delightful. So what if I had to blow my nose 3 times while I was eating it? I think the chef would have taken that as a compliment.

I also kept stealing bites of hubby's strip help with the heat...yeah, that's it! It was uber-delicious as well. Moist, perfectly seasoned and complemented by the tangy zip of the red wine reduction sauce, I'm not sure it gets much better than that. I also loved the crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, seasoned with sea salt french fries that they served up next to the steak. No wonder it's their signature dish.

The tragedy this night was reserved for the stage, as our meals were absolute masterpieces. (If you didn't get that reference, crawl out from under your rock and Netflix West Side Story immediately. But be sure to keep a box of tissues on hand. You'll need them!) So if you ever find yourself a few hours away from a Broadway show in New York, make sure you stop by Joe Allen's for an outstanding meal in an understated environment. But be sure to make a reservation!

Tally Foodie Rating:
Atmosphere - B
Taste - A
Presentation - B
Service - A
Price - $$$

Restaurant Info:
Joe Allen Restaurant
326 West 46th St
New York, NY 10036

Joe Allen on Urbanspoon


About this blog

This blog is dedicated to giving you honest reviews of local restaurants in Tallahassee and the surrounding area. I won't hold any punches, you'll hear about it all - the good, the bad and the (hopefully infrequent) inedible!

This blog was written from July 2009 - August 2010 and is now retired. I currently live in Sarasota, FL...stay tuned for more on my adventures there!