New York City-Lower West Manhattan
May 11, 2018
PJ Clarke’s has a whole load of history under its belt. A constant in an ever-changing neighbourhood, this well-worn saloon bar has become something of a Manhattan institution and flaunts its jukebox, its old fashioned (and out of order) payphone and its cigarette machine like memorabilia of a long gone age. The interior, while having been subject to recent refurbs and additions, has not lost any of its historic feel and the place still exudes an undiluted New York charm, with a marble-topped raw bar, wood panelling and oversized mahogany bar. There’s also a decent amount of outdoor seating to make the most of sunny days, handy if you like your burger with a side dish of great river views. The kitchen meanwhile serves up quality classic American grub – clam chowder, awesome burgers and home fries as well as steaks in all their myriad meaty forms (vegetarians might find themselves struggling to find anything but salads and sides to eat). A raw bar offers an impressive array of clams and oysters and it’s the only PJ’s in New York to have a ‘to go’ counter if you need to eat your meal on the hoof. There’s a decent cocktail list, though it’s long on classics, short on surprises, a trend that carries onto the wine list, and there’s a good range of beers on tap (including Guinness) and by the bottle. Food is served until 3am in order to keep the city that never sleeps ticking over until its breakfast bagel.
What their peers say
“For 125 years this venerable New York institution with its colourful history has entertained the famous, the infamous and everyone else who appreciate the ambiance and food of a real saloon. It is a fun atmosphere with friendly and efficient staff – look out for bartender Doug Quinn; his speed, stamina, dexterity, personality and awe-inspiring memory is legendary. In the back room restaurant, the burgers too are highly recommended and are everything you could ask for: flavourful, juicy and cooked perfectly to order. I have been there several times and each experience was fantastic.” Sean Muldoon of The Dead Rabbit, New York City