bridge cafe – this time with food

Back in June I went to Bridge Cafe in Manhattan.

I was back on Halloween, and this time brought a guest. My dad took the train from Rensselaer to Penn Station Friday, did some touristy stuff, and I met up with him early afternoon. I’m going to allow him to comment on his lunch choice – either as a separate post, or in the comments below.

When I was there in June, they had had a kitchen fire the night before, and therefore had no food.

This time around: no kitchen fire! I ordered their Chicken Rigatoni special, while my dad got the Hanger Steak.

Before our meals came out, they brought a selection of artisan and snack breads to try. We sampled those, and I enjoyed each of the choices. My favorite was a cranberry-raisin-nut bread which I had a couple slices of.

The atmosphere at lunch time was lively, and even though we arrived after the typical lunch rush, it was still busy, but not cramped or over-crowded. Our waitresses were attentive, and seamlessly switched-off between each other amongst the tables.

When my rigatoni arrived, at first I thought it was a little on the small side. Then I started partaking. While it may have been slightly small in the bowl, it was overflowing with voluminous flavors. Roasted red peppers lightly seasoned with a mix of spices, then doused in a rich, but flowing cream sauce covered the grilled chicken slices and pasta.

After finishing the fantastic pasta, I decided to go a little crazy and get dessert. I thought I wanted a sorbet, but the sorbet of the day was pear; I’m not a big pear fan, so I asked about the gelato.

That was the ticket: they had a malted milk gelato, so I ordered that.

Three scoops of gelato on a warmed cone-like saucer drizzled with chocolate sauce, and topped with a mint sprig greeted us when our waitress set the plate down. We split dessert due to its insane richness. It tasted like a frozen, creamy, super-smooth middle of a Whoppers malted milk ball.

Even sharing dessert, though, wasn’t enough: we left a small remnant on the plate because it was just too much.

I’m happy to be able to add another reason to return beyond just a great bar and friendly staff: the food was the best “American” food I’ve had in a few weeks, and I look forward to returning the next time I’m in Manhattan.