Dimly lit, slightly vintage, and intimate, Cask Bar + Kitchen’s setting works for lots of different dining events, from a chic meal with your parents to a romantic date night to a cozy birthday celebration. I can vouch to the latter, as I chose to have a small gathering here for my birthday just this year.
The food here is “American,” which is a descriptor I kind of hate but fits when you’re not sure what else to say. In my mind, “American” just means that there are lots of random things on the menu, spanning different cuisines and influences. And “New American” is all that but fancified a bit. It’s a catch all, and it works.
The dinner menu at Cask has small plates, like roasted lamb nachos, jumbo lump crabcake, and potato gnocchi; salads like kale caesar and roasted pear; and entrees like pan seared scallops, angel hair pasta, and hanger steak frites. There are also three flatbread options (wild mushroom, bruschetta, and hanger steak), cheese, and charcuterie.
One of the most important things to know before eating at Cask Bar + Kitchen is that the mac n’ cheese is a must. Trust me. I’m pretty sure it’s the most ordered item on their menu (I didn’t do a formal study, but there are tons of pictures of it on Yelp–very scientific!). It’s made with aged white cheddar, reggiano, and TRUFFLE OIL and broiled to get a nice brown crust on top of all that creamy goodness, so basically it’s everything you want and need in a macaroni dish.
In addition to that, my friend and I also split the tuna and salmon tartare, which has citrus soy, avocado, wasabi, sriracha, and sesame crisps. A fun appetizer, it was like a refined version of eating raw fish on tortilla chips…if that’s something people did…which totally isn’t…it was yummy, okay!
For my main, I got the port braised short rib. This comes with roast garlic and black pepper mash, caramelized brussels sprouts, and portalaise sauce. It was tasty, but it was probably a mistake to start my meal with what I knew was going to be the most delicious of the bunch. I mean, I finished everything, but it would’ve been nice to savor that mac n’ cheese as my last bites.
There are two interesting options that Cask also offers. First, there are open bar packages you can buy, ranging from $35 to $45 dollars depending on the kind of alcohol you want to include and lasting 3 hours. They also have an option to order from a “passed hors d’oeuvre menu” where you choose between 5 or 7 items and get charged by the hour. And don’t forget that they host brunch on the weekends and a traditional roast dinner (with roast sirloin or beef, whipped potato, roast potato, mashed turnip and carrot, English peas, Yorkshire pudding, and brown gravy) on Sunday nights!
A highlight of the area, Cask Bar + Kitchen is the hot spot for a nice, sit-down meal in the Murray Hill neighborhood.
Mac n’ cheese, tuna and salmon tartare, port braised short rib
167 E 33rd St
New York, NY 10016