Minnie's NYC Review
(American New) $$
Lower East Side
29 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
Overall rating - 8.4 / 10
Thank God. Just one month old and Minnie’s is already exactly what LES needed: a cute, family-run, non-grunge, low-key, date or friend-meet-up spot that’s perfect for any night of the week. Late weeknight and your friend just flew into JFK? Minnie’s. Two year anniversary? Minnie’s. Looking to chat up a friendly bartender? Minnie’s. Saturday night and you want to “go out” but not like… go out? Cross the street to Minnie’s.
With its budding popularity on the streets, it’s hard to miss these days. So naturally, we had to see for ourselves. Was it worth the rep? Most definitely – but it was a little hard to get there. After surviving the initial shock of eclectic style, odd food pairings, and very friendly service, Minnie’s gets high ratings for its beautiful plating and nom-worthy dishes.
Let’s first forget that Minnie’s is the cutest restaurant name ever, and focus on design. What’s the style, you ask? We still don’t know. With eclectic flea market chairs, windowsill herb gardens, Italian paintings, Etsy-designed pillows, and naked ladies adorning the cushions and menu, the options range from Parisian to femme to Tuscan vineyard to Brooklyn living room. But when in doubt, we’ll just take Minnie’s words for it: “funky, crusty, but cool.”
For the most part, the place utilizes its space very well. There are about ten seats at the bar with a couple tables for almost any range of people. But if you come in with a group of six or more… maybe don’t… because it’s not that big.
But we all know what you really come to a restaurant for: the food. At Minnie’s, you can expect artistic dishes with interesting flavor pairings. It enjoys playing with your palate so don’t be surprised if you’re greeted with spiciness in an oil-based dish. These variations work to some degree especially with the salmon and the lamb neck flatbread. But it’s unsuccessful with a small few on the menu, like the Clyde cocktail. However, absolutely everything is still worth the value.
The one thing we really can’t understand is how tempura battered cauliflower winds up on a menu with ricotta tartines and fluke ceviche. That’s like three different nations smashed together. Our best conclusion is that Minnie’s is Asian fusion meets Brooklyn French?
All in all it’s hard to understand the overall theme here, but as we all came to love chicken and waffles, we’re pretty sure you’ll come to appreciate Minnie’s too. Besides, what’s not to love about a corner bistro with perfectly cooked food and a “so what if it’s Wednesday, let’s have a glass of wine” vibe?
Speaking of, let’s get a drink.
By far one of the most photogenic plates we’ve seen in a while. Somehow the flowers just give this pork the spring it needs to brighten up what could be a rather heavy meal. The pork itself is delicately tender with a pretzel crisp top coating. It goes so well with the brightness of the miso papaya salad it sits on and is a huge win. Impress your date, tell her to get this.
1/2 Cooked Salmon
Cooked to perfection – seriously. The oil-based plate it sits on goes well with the fish and takes a surprising turn when you reach the spicy salsa verde hidden underneath the salmon. The mix between turmeric oil and spice really works, as do the greens to neutralize. Delicious overall, but the pepper blend is a little overwhelming.
A whiskey-based, Jack and coke variation. Like black licorice, this drink is somewhat of an acquired taste. Its secret ingredient is aged balsamic, which is then brightened with mint and citrus. In theory it sounds pretty good, but the balsamic in question would be a hit or miss with some.