Tucked into the middle of the block on Avenue C between 19th and 20th streets, A&W is the place to go if you’re looking for something meaty.
Prominent on its menu are, of course, steaks. You can choose from a hanger, 10-ounce strip, 9- ounce beef tenderloin filet mignon, or 12-ounce Pepper Crusted Super Prime Rib.
But you can also order double cut pork chop, herb Dijon chicken, braised short ribs over pappardelle, or if you’re game, A&W’s Signature “Fat Cow” Burger. If you’re a fish eater, you might want to try the pan-seared ahi tuna.
If you’re looking for a nice light starter, try the baby green salad with greens, carrots, and crunchy cucumbers lightly dressed for $8.
Appetizers include mussels and crispy calamari, Shrimp a la Plancha with garlic, white wine, lemon and paprika butter, and crab cakes with sweet chili tartar sauce. The sauce has enough of a kick to give it taste, but isn’t overbearing.
Ordered medium rare, the beef tenderloin filet mignon was topped with white truffle fries. The hanger steak, sliced into thin pieces, was served with “smashed” seasoned fries.
The fries were crisp on the outside, but soft on the inside, with a nice even crust, but not burnt.
The dessert menu is short and sweet.
The apple square, sautéed apples in cinnamon and brandy in puff pastry, has a light, flaky crust encasing vanilla ice cream and is topped with confectioners’ sugar.
A Dulce de Leche Cheesecake is a New York-style version in caramel sauce.
The premier dessert may very well be the chocolate soufflé cake. A chocolate molten center, surrounded by chocolate cake and chocolate chips, is paired with vanilla gelato.
The server for the evening, Michele Nahrwold, was attentive and friendly, checking in frequently and making sure our coffee cups were full during the dessert course.
“We want everyone coming in to feel 100-percent welcome, all of the time.”– James Leo
Leo doesn’t want customers to come just for good steaks. He wants them to come for a beer, a glass of wine, to watch football, to try the restaurant’s Sunday brunch, or to book a party.
“We want everyone coming in to feel 100-percent welcome, all of the time,” Leo said. “For them to come to A&W to have a very high-quality meal, but also to enjoy the company of my staff and myself.”
The restaurant has 12 beers on tap and 12 in bottles, and has five large-screen TVs, so at March Madness time or football season, it’s a great place to get together.
In spring and summer, Leo opens up the two French doors at the restaurant’s entrance for an al fresco dining feel.
The restaurant’s back room accommodates 60 comfortably for special events.
A stage can be used for entertainment, and tables can be cleared for a dance floor.
New menu and first anniversary
Leo said he changed the menu in early April, adding and removing dishes. The restaurant is also planning to observe its one-year anniversary in May.
A&W is at 456 Ave. C. Its hours are Tuesday through Thursday: 4 to 9:30 p.m.; Friday: 4 to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday: noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday: noon to 8:30 p.m.
Reservations are suggested, but walk-ins are always welcome.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.