A Restaurant with Character and Flair in Manhattan’s East Side
Yes, you’ve had a marvellous weekend in New York City. You’ve pulsed and throbbed through the Meatpacking District. You’ve cocktail among the hawks and heights of midtown and have dined so very haute in Hudson Yards. However, it’s a lazy Sunday and all you really want is a casual atmosphere and mimosas. Lots of mimosas and a very, very satisfying steak.
Hasten yourself to The Old Stove Pub, a Hampton’s classic half a century old that has perched itself phoenix-like in Manhattan’s east side. This is the unfussy spot you want to hit after a boozy weekend with name appeal cachet. The exterior has the brick and tree-lined charm of the neighbourhood, but step-inside and you’re in a 90s’ throwback to a swinging Sagaponack summer with bright, beachy themes framed in white lattice. Owner Joseph DeCristofaro stoically refuses to update the decor as it lends itself to a retro feel that happily borders on camp. An ‘un-dingey’ steakhouse, quips the North Hamptons native. Open the doors to the stonework laden streets of the east side and there you have a perfect day of remnant pop and Iceberg wedge salads.
Its moderately priced menu belies the incredible calibre of the locally sourced meat and seafood. DeCristofaro is the rare local that can mine quality from decades-long supplier relationships. We enjoyed buttery king-sized scallops atop a pureed cauliflower compliment and the house specialty, a 20 oz dry-aged Sagoponack steak for two that was so tender it demanded to be tested. We marvelled as we gently pressed our forks through the succulent, flavourful beef.
However, the starters are not to be missed. Mozzarella? Fuggetaboutit. Old Stove Pub has celebrated Greek cuisine since the late sixties with its flamed Kasseri cheese appetizer “Saganaki.” We ooooooed to each other as the chewy threads of cheese wrapped itself around silvery tines and dripped lasciviously onto our lovely homemade bread. This same bread sopped up the garlicky wine sauce that surrounded fat Long Island mussels steaming in their generous bowl.
We ploughed through so much excellent steak and seafood that we couldn’t possibly make room for dessert. However, as The Gap Band crooned “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” our nimble server slid a delicately dense baklava under our noses, and we were seduced. Visit Old Stove Pub Manhattan before it blows up. With such dynamite quality and economy, its popularity is sure to explode.
3516 Montauk Hwy, Sagaponack, NY 11962, United States
By Friday Jones
Photographs by Elizabeth Taylor