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March 13, 2015 |  195 Views
The Cutting Room
By Sara Kay

Murray Hill, a young and bustling neighborhood just below the east side of midtown Manhattan, can be considered a bit of a wasteland when it comes to finding really quality food and drinks. Mostly overrun with office buildings, quick lunch cafes and fraternity-esque bars, it can be difficult to set up shop as a legitimate venue, let alone a place that serves an above and beyond dinner with cocktails. When most of the restaurants and bars are hoping to appeal exclusively to the fresh out of college happy hour crowd, how is it possible for something to open something up that has more to offer? The Cutting Room, traditionally a music venue boasting some of the greatest musicians of all time, has managed to answer that question in the simplest possible way: build a strong food and drinks menu to compliment the music, and let the crowds flow in.

 


 
The Cutting Room isn’t new as an establishment, but it is a new transplant to the Murray Hill area. Previously setting up shop in Chelsea, Steve Walters and Chris Noth (you may remember him as Mr. Big from Sex and the City), co-owners of The Cutting Room, decided it was time to expand their efforts and move across town, and so far, these efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Billy Joel, Jennifer Hudson, Rhonda Ross and many other performers of their caliber have already graced the stage of The Cutting Room, whether they’re the headline act for the night or just passing through. The interior is reminiscent of the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas without being overly cheesy; plush couches, deep red and orange lighting and long bar in the shape of an electric guitar, make The Cutting Room a vacation from the standard bar and live music spots that are sprinkled around the city.


 
Since The Cutting Room opened its doors many years ago, they have been known for performance first, everything else second. However, with a change in location has come a change in priorities, making this east side gem not just a music venue, but a one-of-a-kind experience all on its own.

 


 
Eat This:


 
Sunburst Salad: Believe it or not, the real star of this salad show is the dressing, not so much the rest of the ingredients, though they are all tasty. A Tabasco Vinaigrette and Sweet Bourbon Reduction are drizzled atop a mixed green salad with cranberries, peppers, pecans and a wedge of savory blue cheese, making for a sweet, salty and slightly spicy bite all in one. Order extra dressing on the side, you won’t be disappointed.


 
Spicy Lamb Sliders: These baby burgers are a perfect starter to share, or to just keep all to yourself. Perfectly cooked lamb sliders sit in a toasted brioche bun, with a swipe of housemade tzatziki to provide a cool sweetness to cut through the meaty burger. On a recent visit, I made this and a salad my dinner, and was more than satisfied.


 
Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella & Heirloom Tomato Salad: Fresh, creamy pieces of mozzarella are complemented by perfectly ripened tomatoes, fresh basil, a cherry vinegar reduction and a drizzle of basil-infused oil. With summer in full swing, this salad is light enough to enjoy as a lunch on a hot day, or a starter before dinner and a show in the evening.


 
Super Lumb Crabcake Sandwich: As a Maryland native, I find it very, very difficult to find a worthwhile crabcake in this city. I had my doubts about it, but after taking a bite of this one, I was pleasantly surprised. Perfectly seasoned with more of an emphasis on crab and Old Bay Seasoning than other fillers, this sandwich was flavorful with a slight crispness from the griddle, and would make even the most judgy of crabcake-eaters satisfied. The spicy remoulade on the side is one for the books, so order extra.


 
CR Hotdog: The foot-long, wagyu beef hotdog here was a bit of a shocking experience, but one that I would happily go back to have again. Served on a thick pretzel bun, the outer casing was cooked to crisp perfection, making the meat within juicy and moist. The pretzel bun was a big aggressive for me so I mostly just stuck to the hotdog itself, however the refreshing pineapple salsa on the side made for a delightfully sweet and savory bite.


 
24th Street Burger: Finding a good burger in New York City is not a difficult task. Finding a good burger at a place that doesn’t specialize in burgers is a much, much harder mission to accomplish. However, The Cutting Room has managed to turn their 24th Street burger into something worth writing home about. My burger was cooked to the precise temperature I wanted (medium rare), and served with a spicy slice of pepper jack cheese, crisp bacon and creamy avocado. Simple and flavorful, this is a burger worth paying attention to.


 
Lobster Roll: Like an NYC burger, finding a delicious lobster roll in this city can be easy if you know where to go. While the effort to serve a unique lobster roll is definitely noted here, this is by no means their signature dish. The lobster meat was nicely cooked to a nice tenderness without going to a chewy place, however the addition of cucumber, avocado, tomatoes and onions was a bit over the top for my liking. If you’re more of a traditional lobster roll enthusiast, I’d order this knowing that it isn’t going to be what you’re accustomed to. The star of this show for me was the side of tater tots that come with it, which aren’t really tater tots at all, but little fried mashed potato puffs that I couldn’t get enough of. Don’t share these. I didn’t.
 
The Cutting Room
44 East 32nd Street
New York, NY 10016
http://thecuttingroomnyc.com
 
 

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