Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Wren

344 Bowery
New York, NY  10012
212.388.0148
www.thewrennyc.com
The Wren on Urbanspoon

The Wren is a relatively new bar in the East Village just across the street from the Bowery Hotel.  While it offers food (good food at that!), it is more of a specialty drinks establishment like Little Branch or Lovers of Today but with more of a light and airy feel instead of the subterranean vibe that other "speakeasy" places evoke.  We decided to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon enjoying a few drinks and our first drinking hole was The Wren.


We had just gotten a cup of coffee and some breakfast pastries at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria which is a great little Coffeshop/Italian Cafe/Specialty Market just around the corner from the Wren.  But, we were still hungry, so we ordered the Soft Poached Hen Egg on a Bacon and Cheddar Biscuit and Brooklyn Salvatore Ricotta and Bacon Toast.  The Poached Egg was placed on top of the biscuit and on top of the whole thing was a frisee salad of lardons and braised mushrooms.  The Ricotta and Bacon Toast was essentially bacon strips laid on top of toasted rye which had been slathered with ricotta cheese.  While our food was delicious, it was what I would consider low hanging fruit in a restaurant.  The Hen Egg was slightly over cooked since when you broke the yolk there was some firmness and I found myself want more liquid to bath the biscuit since I found the biscuit a little too chewy and not as flaky as I would've liked.  There was also more frisee than I would've liked but the combination of pieces of bacon, egg yolk and a biscuit is a tried and true recipe that is hard to mess up and the flavors here were certainly spot on.  The bacon toast was a revelation but spreading ricotta on toast with a side of honey that you can dip the bread into is tasty treat in itself.  Adding some crispy bacon on top of that makes it a home run.  The saltiness of the bacon was a great balance to the sweetness of the ricotta and honey.

But, you probably don't go to a place like The Wren for the food.  The drinks were why we went and they didn't disappoint.  We ran the gamut of their special offerings trying out the Black & Blue, the Ginger Shandi, the Bloody Mary, the 7th and the Wren-quila.  The Black & Blue was a mix of berries with gin.  It was tart and sweet and the berries offset the bitterness of the gin quite well.  The Ginger Shandi was a wheat beer with fresh ginger and some citrus.  It was a great refreshing drink to reflect a nice spring day in NYC.  The 7th was very similar to both of those with a dash of grapefruit with vodka and lime.  Again, the fruitiness of the grapefruit helped temper the vodka in the drink.  The Bloody Mary and the Wren-quila took a different approach with some astounding kick in both drinks that made your mouth come alive.  The Bloody Mary was similar to the norm but added some paprika on the rim of the glass which gave it an added element of spiciness beyond just pepper and tobasco sauce.  The Wren-quila was a revelation and with habanero, tequila, peppercorns and lime.  The drink zinged as you would expect but wasn't overly wrought with heat and the tequila blended it all so well together.

For a sunny spring afternoon in NYC, the Wren was the ideal place to sit and have a drink while people watching in the East Village.  The food and the drinks were all done well and you'd be hard pressed to find a better setting.
 

2 comments:

  1. The Wren is a bar that you can spend hours without noticing it. Their drinks are a great deal and the people there will make you feel that you belong.

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  2. As long as it's bacon I don't care what other fillings you have. But, the way you describe the poached egg makes my mouth water.

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