I'm once again coming at you with a NYC restaurant review! This time, I had dinner at The Malt House. There are actually two locations: one in the West Village and one in the Financial District. The West Village location is the original one (established about 3 1/2 years ago!) and that is the one I visited.
I'd never heard of The Malt House before, but once I walked in, I was immediately intrigued. I love pubs and this place was no exception. It was dimly lit and cozy inside. Upon walking in, I was able to see a few communal tables and also a beautiful wooden bar. I was immediately given a warm welcome and shown to our table in the backroom. If you like exposed brick and wrought-iron, I think I've found the place for you! The back room isn't large, but you can easily make yourself at home. The seating consists of expansive tables with booth seats on one side and simple stools on the other. I'm a fan of this setup because you don't have those cumbersome high backed chairs which tend to get in the way. It also made it easier to turn to my neighbors and hold conversations throughout the evening.
Armando Avila is the executive chef at The Malt House and he formerly worked at STK and 5 Napkin Burger. He has created a menu that is a selection of classic American comfort dishes. I hardly ever (ok, never!) turn down some good old comfort food so I was excited to dig in!
Before we get started, here is the menu that we were given. We were served just about everything on that list! I say "just about everything" because we ended up getting Lobster Mac & Cheese instead of the Truffle Mac & Cheese. Overall, I thought the food was great! Even if I did have to roll myself down the street to the subway later in the evening.
Alright, let's really get into the food now!
First up: Cheese curds! Holy heck. I'd never had cheese curds before. Where have I been? Or maybe I should say, where have these been all my life? These were a golden brown and the cheese was melty and squeaky! How can cheese be squeaky? Cheese curds can. Pair this cheese with either the chipotle aioli or the Malt House sauce and you have a winner. This was a huge hit with my group and we ate almost all of these! That's really saying something, considering that we knew what else was in store for us!
These BFG Wings though! I've had my fair share of wings while watching football this season and I can say that these wings are truly tasty. The wings have been baked, fried, and grilled (hence the name) so they are crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside.
We also received an order of fried pickles (Tempura Pickles). I have to be honest. I didn't try these! I'm usually up for new foods, but unfortunately, I have a dislike of pickles that cannot be shaken. If you're into fried pickles, feel free to try these when you're at The Malt House next!
Are you still riding the fried food train with me? Good, because we're not even done with the appetizers yet. Here are the beer & bacon battered onion rings. (Sorry for the blurry photo here. I was too busy trying to eat this!) My thoughts on this is that the onion rings were very crunchy. I liked them but I wasn't completely bowled over by them. But the smell of this...um, yes please to ALL of the bacon smells! Oh, and don't forget to double-dip them in that sauce. We're all friends here.
Next up...steamed mussels! These were just delicious. Everything about this dish was refreshing and savory and so so good. My favorite part was tearing off a piece (or two pieces) of bread and dipping it in to the sauce. I mean...no words. If you enjoy mussels then this is the dish for you to try. Note that this can be brought to you in an Appetizer or an Entree size.
Alright, we're done with Appetizers. Let's take a quick break to check out the extensive list of draft beers.
Now it's time for the Entree round!
I have to discuss this unassuming salad. Whoa. I don't usually order a salad when I go out, but if I do feel the need to, then this is the salad that I want to have. It was the "sleeper hit" of the night in my opinion. The chicken was cooked perfectly and the watercress was fresh and so crisp. I loved it!
Lobster! Lobster Mac & Cheese to be more specific. We had this instead of the Truffle Mac & Cheese listed on our menu. This was a nice dish. I liked it but didn't love it. There wasn't anything wrong with it but I was simply over the moon about it. It was a typical mac and cheese in my opinion and there was lobster included.
While I might have felt lackluster about the lobster mac and cheese, I did not feel lackluster about the Grilled Chicken Tacos. They come in a flour tortilla and they are pretty sizable. I hate ordering tacos when I go out to eat. My biggest pet peeve is that I feel like I have to eat 10 tacos to equal one meal. In this case, I feel that the three tacos that come in this order are more than enough to make a meal for me. This is huge people. How can you say no to all that cheese? You can't.
Now let's dig into our last set of entrees: The Malt House Burger. This burger is a juicy combination that includes some star players such as queso, bacon, and onion marmalade. That onion marmalade (and the bacon of course!) really sealed the deal on this burger. Delicious!
We were also able to try out the truffle fries and the regular fries as sides for the burger. You can choose to enjoy either type with your meal. While I liked the regular fries, the truffle fries (picture below) ended up being my jam! Also, can you seeeee that parmesan there? Yes please!
The same burger, but served with regular fries
Dessert is really the only reason I make it through any meal.
Not really, but sometimes it seems that way. We were able to try 2 different desserts: a Choco Cake, which is a molten lava cake, and the Creme Brulee. While I have an undying love of chocolate, I will say that I prefer the creme brulee here. The choco cake is fine if you are looking to satisfy a chocolate craving, but I really thought the creme brulee was more impactful. I could even see the bits of vanilla beans in the brulee's custard!
So! Overall thoughts...
I really like The Malt House! This is the place you want to go to to have a low-key, weeknight dinner to catch up with friends. You can have a discussion and not worry about shouting over too-loud pop music. It has a warm atmosphere and the staff is attentive. They have a vast range of craft beers and the food is great for sharing or for eating all on your own (as I was tempted to do!). If you find yourself in the Financial District, be sure to check them out there as well!
**Disclosure: I was provided this meal free of charge. However, all opinions are my own!