Set in a neighborhood that for more than a hundred years was rife with corruption and crime, Onieals former occupants include a brothel, a speakeasy and a gambling parlor. In fact, back in the day it was connected via a tunnel to the police station directly across the street so that uniformed NYPD officers could step across the street for some cheer, undetected. The tunnel, which ended up coming in very handy during Prohibition, is still visible in Onieals and is used today as the wine cellar.
Today, Onieals delivers a sense of history, beautifully coupled with a modern sophistication. Add to that elevated comfort food and you have a real winner.
Mixologist inspired drinks like the Rye Old Fashionable (Michter’s rye, amaro, fresh mint, blackberries and raspberries) and Ruby Slippers (ruby red Absolut, triple sec, raspberry puree and lime juice) are featured alongside a nice selection of wine. Of note was the one large ice cube used in the Rye Old Fashionable. A thoughtful touch which is greatly appreciated as it does not introduce too much water and keeps the integrity of the cocktail intact.
Next up was the Yellowfin Tuna Tartar (watercress, green apple, daikon, ginger soy emulsion) and Grilled Oysters on the Half Shell (herb parmesan butter). This seafood segue was a welcome and delicious wave of freshness.
The entrees of the roasted Lemon Chicken (Yukon Gold mashed scallion potatoes and asparagus) and the Drunken Short Ribs (8-hour braised short ribs, jalapeño Napa cole slaw, grilled Mexican-style corn on the cob) were spectacular and just one more example of comfort food done just right!
We ended our delectable meal with a classic Molten Chocolate Cake and a Crème Brulee, paired with a specialty cocktail consisting of cognac, amaretto, chocolate bitters, egg white and lemon juice—a great experience and one I look forward to repeating in the not-too-distant future.
174 Grand Street, New York, NY 10013