Burger & Lobster, the London-based restaurant chain noted for its namesake fare, joined the culinary cast of New York City’s famed Theater District on July 19, when its second Manhattan (and U.S.) location premiered in One Bryant Park. The new 8,900-sq ft 150-seat facility occupies the second floor of the historical landmark structure that houses the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (built in 1918 as Henry Miller’s Theatre).
An open metalwork tunnel lined with lobster traps leads to the restaurant’s entrance. The tunnel is the first clue the new Times Square/Bryant Park B&L is no cookie-cutter facsimile of the original U.S. location that opened in the Flatiron District in 2016, which is all sprawling urban loft industrial chic.
The new Burger & Lobster is an intimately cosmopolitan visual showstopper. It feature applause-worthy decorative details. Stunning custom-designed toile-inspired wallpaper featuring the New York Public Library’s famous lions, classic comedy/tragedy masks, microphones, and (of course) lobsters and burgers entwined in fanciful flora.
Executive chef Danny Lee’s menu will be familiar to devotees of the Flatiron venue, though a number of new items have been added. Among them is a lobster roll option in the guise of the Po’ Boy — fried corn-crusted lobster clusters tinctured with spicy remoulade. Burger Bites are realized as tiny Hereford beef patties topped with American and cheddar cheeses, and housemade pickles, wrapped in crispy puff pastry. The bites are served with a side of secret burger sauce.
Lobster Bites are a variant concocted with lobster and shrimp, lemon zest, and chives, with side of homemade sweet chili sauce. The highlight, however, among the new menu offerings is the two-tiered Tower, pictured above. The extravaganza consists of any two burgers, any two lobster rolls, two whole one-pound lobsters, any three sauces, unlimited fries, unlimited salad, and any four (count ’em, four) specialty cocktails or a bottle of Cava. Needless to say, this mammoth gastronomic undertaking feeds more than one.
The verticality of that the Tower draws the eye to the soaring 24-foot room ceiling, bathed in provocative blue light, from which hovers a free-form copper sculpture representing different burger and lobster parts. Rich dark auburn meranti wood-paneled walls festooned with chorus lines of flowering plants lend additional drama. But the room’s eye-popping star is the raw cement and girder two-story north wall punctuated by the two rows of elegant white muntined windows that have distinguished the face of the Stephen Sondheim Theatre building since 1918.
Like the décor, the cocktail program embraces the environs’s theme. The Bryant Park Punch is fashioned out of El Dorado three-year-old rum, Lunazul tequila, Giffard Creme De Peche, pineapple, cranberry and lemon juices, simple syrup, and fresh mint. The Broadway Baby features Aviation gin, Giffard Pamplemousse Rose, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and Angostura bitters. The Beautiful is a nod to the mega-hit playing in the theater downstairs; it combines Dorothy Parker gin, dry vermouth, Giffard Blue curacao, fresh lemon and cranberry juices, and simple syrup.
A selection of classics serve as a counterpoint to their specialties and include the bees knees and the original Sazarac.
If beer is your beverage, the proprietary The Beer is made exclusively for Burger & Lobster by Sixpoint Brewery. The brew is available on draft.
A compact collection of wines is augmented by a reserve-worthy list of Champagnes, reds, whites, and rosés. And a selection of Soft Shells, a.k.a. mocktails, rounds out the liquid offerings.
The Bryant Park Burger & Lobster is located 132 W. 43 Street, between Sixth Ave. and Broadway, 917-565-9044. Open seven days for lunch and dinner. Major credit cards are accepted.