Add another good restaurant to the list of reasons that this part of Flatiron along Broadway might finally be turning the corner. Ever since the Ace Hotel opened a few years ago, we’ve been waiting for this area to become something more than a place for weirdos to sell cheap luggage on the street. And it just might finally be happening. Between the new businesses and the New York startup community deciding to settle around here, this neighborhood seems to be benefiting from some fresh investment. That’s exciting news for everyone - except the guys looking to sell you a suitcase/maybe stab you.
This one block of West 26th Street is a particularly good example of our food-focused optimism for Flatiron, as it’s home to not only Hill Country and our new favorite Korean spot Hanjan, but also Maysville, a restaurant from the folks behind Char No. 4 in Brooklyn. Much like Char No. 4, this new spot is all about brown liquor, and they serve an excellent menu of things that have been “smoked and charred” to go along with a massive selection of bourbon and whiskey. But this is definitely not a BBQ restaurant. This is an American restaurant with Southern influences. You’ll find far more smoked fish here than you will slow-cooked meat, and there are also lots of vegetable and seafood-focused dishes that are both interesting and delicious. We made two trips for dinner to Maysville, and on both visits were totally impressed with the quality and creativity of the food. Not that we had low expectations - but we think we’re just a little bored with restaurants that are somehow paying homage to the American South. Fortunately, Maysville is anything but boring.
There are, however, two small grievances that we feel need to be mentioned along with our very high rating of this place. First of all, at both of our dinners, our server seemed a little bit lost. Ok, not lost - clueless. To the point that when we asked about one of the bourbon drinks on the menu, she speculated that it might be rum. Yikes. Also, Maysville is a really loud restaurant. The main bar/dining area is big and sparse, and lots of people hang out here for drinks after work. The end result is a room that amplifies the conversations of many buzzed people into one load bourbon-fueled roar. It’s hard to hear yourself think, let alone hold a discussion. If you’re looking to have a proper meal, we recommend making a reservation for a table in the smaller, more intimate dining room in the back. You’ll be much happier. We also recommend doing a little research before you come, so that you don’t have to depend on the expertise of the staff to guide you through the menu. At least not until they’ve had a few more months on the job.
This is one of our favorite dishes at Maysville. We don’t know why the smoke from hay tastes so good on these guys, but it does. Order 'em up.
Another of the good seafood options here. It’s a nicely seasoned crab salad on toast with aioli. Not quite as good as ABC Kitchen’s version, but we liked it a lot.
A jar of light and airy white fish mousse, topped off with some trout roe. Get it for the table, and eat on it throughout your meal.
How do you one-up all these restaurants putting things like bacon in their brussels sprouts? Put a f*cking pig ear in there. And a quail egg. Now what’s up?
A big pile of quinoa with goat cheese and peanut brittle mixed in for good measure. That’s right, peanut brittle. Crunchy and sweet goes nicely with soft and grainy.
What would a New York restaurant menu be without at least one pork belly item on it? This is exactly what you want it to be, assuming you want to eat some pig.
A whole smoked fish, served with some pickled mushrooms and charred red onion. It’s light but also incredibly flavorful and really awesome. Get it.
This plate of chicken is really good, especially the leg, which is tender and perfectly cooked with a nice crispy skin. It’ll go nicely with your glass or three of whiskey.