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Monday, December 7, 2015

Peachy Picks Old Town Bar Est. 1892 Our Coverage Sponsored by Hallak Cleaners the Couture Cleaner

Their delicious cheeseburger!  We missed you, Gerard!

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It's not who you know, it's Whom You Know, and we are pleased to know Gerard Meagher, owner of Old Town Bar.  He's another product of an excellent Jesuit education (Fordham!  Just like Emmett Burke). It was first featured last year in Terrific Takeout:
We definitely missed him this time, but did work with his co-owner and sister,  Claire Hulton:
Peachy Deegan began with a Magner's, otherwise known as Bulmer's in Ireland.  It's perfect for the fall and winter seasons and its Irishness put us in the mood for this venue.
Two thumbs up whenever we see "Product of Ireland" on a label!
We want to see more of this.
Until she had it at Old Town last year, Peachy would not have said she really liked chili.  She liked this chili, and she remembered it.  There are no sophomore acts at Old Town Bar, and the Old Town Chili appetizer was just as fabulous as it was the first time.  It is definitely the best chili we have had in New York or anywhere for that matter in 2015.  Ground beef teams up with cool cheddar, diced onions and sour cream perfectly and we reveled in its simplicity.
It absolutely hits the spot and will warm you up if winter ever comes to New York (but we are fine with 50-60 degrees F all winter if we are lucky to have it!)
We next graduated to a Guinness, which is one of our favorite brands ever.  It is quite crazy the Guinness people in Ireland have never reached out...
The green salads are a solid part of the Old Town Bar menu, and we can't say that for too many bars.  We count six options.  Peachy chose the Club Salad: Grilled Chicken Breast, crisp bacon, Swiss Cheese and Tomatoes in Mixed Greens.  This was clearly a meal in itself and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was in expert bite-sized pieces and the red onion in particular was perfectly sliced.  Bacon was ideally crisp and guess what, drum roll please, Peachy actually liked the salad dressing!  Try creamy garlic and cracked peppercorn!
We love historical places (as you know from our raving reviews of Martin's Tavern in Georgetown!) and Old Town Bar was established in 1892.  More from Gerard on that the next time we check out their cool cash register, still in use:
The cheeseburger at Old Town Bar is among the very great ones we've had this year and just look at how they melt that amazing cheese:
It arrived medium well as requested, and we would definitely order this again.  Every succulent bite will delight carnivores that visit and we love the classics.
Irish coffee and warm apple crisp was a bright finale!
Our esteemed panelist adds:
Some of you may know the Old Town Bar because you've seen it in the opening credits from the original David Letterman Show. You know, where the band is crowded into a booth in a mahogany-lined tavern. Or you may know it because it's your local pub. That is, local as defined by anywhere in the Tri-State area around Manhattan. The Old Town Bar is that kind of place. The minute you walk in, it's embracing. Even before you walk in, the sign outside welcomes all and sundry to an establishment that has been serving since 1892. As a beer hall, and then when the current family took it over, as a restaurant once again. With a basic barfood menu, and atmospheric coziness, Old Town Bar has hosted celebs, TV shows, movies, and just plain folk with a friendly, down-home point of view. On the menu you'll see "Seasonal Drafts", and you might want to try something different out for starters. We tried two: the Post Road Pumpkin Ale, from The Brooklyn Brewery, in Utica, NY. 
 Like having dessert in a glass, it's local, bottled, not draft with a warm golden tone and taste that makes beer-drinking a social event. On draft, you might want to give the Oktoberfest a try. A Paulaner, and touted to be one of the best of its class, it hints of caramel and has a smooth taste that will pair well with most everything on the menu. You might want to order the fried clams as an appetizer. Be hungry, if you do. All the portions at Old Town are hefty, and warrant having friends along who can help finish them off. 
 The clams hail from Millville , N.J., and are tasty strips browned beautifully served over a bed of lettuce. The appetizer and a salad (we ordered the Cobb Salad) will be normal fare for an afternoon's meal even if you're a NHL player just after a game. 
 But the entrees are tempting: the burgers have a reputation all their own. We decided on the Tuesday special that seemed unique, and it was. Chicken Chasseur, developed by a former chef brought a note of French Bistro to the room, and was a steaming dish of chicken breast, onion, tomato and lots of mushrooms served with half a baguette. 
 Surprisingly light, it was perfect for the chilly evening and brought with it a sense of the international trade that has frequented this Bar over the decades. The now re-opened upstairs is more dining room than the heady bar atmosphere downstairs, but keeps it's half-light mood and picturesque feel whether it's just you with your buddies, or an event that's rented the space for a party. Union Square is just a hop away, so after a heavy shopping trip at the greenmarket, Old Town Bar is the perfect place to settle into for a great beer, a great lunch and some history. Make it a tradition, make it your new/old place to hang, to meet up, to relax. 
 No pretensions here, it's a place to be a New Yorker whether you are or not.

Peachy Picks Old Town Bar!
Old Town Bar is Recommended by Whom You Know.

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