The Upper West Side is where I went to high school, so I know it best from a younger person’s eyes. You know, I know where to get the best pizza, cookies, who has the best deal for a soda, that kind of stuff. Maison Pickle was a culture shock in a way for me. I’m struggling to make sense of how to explain it because you know that I’m in high end gorgeous restaurants on a daily basis and yet in this neighborhood, it’s vast beauty seems misplaced—a diamond in the ruff, if you will. It’s like when you’re watching a movie and some poor guy is lost in the middle of the desert and sees an oasis off in the distance and rubs his eyes questioning if it’s really there. This, friends, is no mirage, there actually is a refined upscale restaurant on the Upper West Side.
Outfitted with two bars, an open kitchen and two smaller mezzanine dining areas that overlook the main seating, the space is beyond huge for a New York City restaurant. With a wall filled with far more than ninety-nine bottles, pin-tucked couch-styled seating lining the walls and dark wooden table tops, the atmosphere almost feels lounge-y. The menu is just as grand and as the space. One after another, I these beautifully composed cocktails came out—one with mint leaves overflowing over the sides of the glass, another with a white foam with an artistic line sprinkled on top of it. Shortly after, the dishes began pouring out of the kitchen. Fun dishes like Bacon Steak which is exactly what it sounds like it is a super thick slab of bacon cooked like a steak. Then there’s what they’re known for, their French Dips—Classic, Deluxe, Royale, Lamb, Cochon. The Royale, a french roll stuffed with beef and Hudson Valley foie gras served along side a cup of jus made it to our table. Love the idea of a French Dips portion of the menu. It’s a reason to keep going back because—like any Pokemon player knows—you “gotta catch em all” (well, “get”, but you get the idea).
Go for dinner and drinks, but stay for dessert. Cause what they coin the “Death Star of desserts”, the Ice Box Cake is seriously worth staying around for. Ice cream with chocolate, caramel, cookie crumbles—I know, I need not say more.