In the basement of Atera is its lounge, a cozy little space with jet-black leather sofas and a handful of shiny wooden tables.
While restaurant guests can come down to the lounge to enjoy a pre-20 course drink,
anyone can come visit the lounge (they take reservations !) to try a number of Atera's small plates (like the signature lobster roll or caviar macaron) or the soon-to-be-ultra-famous burger.
Naturally, we did all of the above. Though there's a small menu of cocktails, the mixologist is more than happy to make you anything that tickles your liver's fancy with a variety of bitters and housemade juices at his disposal. He will also, very patiently, explain any kind of alcohol question you may have - like history of the drink and the full creation process. (We watched the mixologist's patience being tested by a particularly clueless gent during our visit.)
|Cute cocktail with egg whites and citrus|
|The penicillin, with whiskey and ginger|
The mixologist described how the beet jerky is cooked six ways to Sunday - it's baked, dehydrated, rehydrated, steamed, and whatever else possible, and whatever they do, it's delicious.
The texture impeccably like beef jerky, but with the irresistible subtle earthiness of beets. The added cream is absolute icing on the beet jerky cake.
And our excitement for that novelty vanished after the main attraction appeared before us.
The Atera burger is made with a house-ground blend of four meats: short rib, chuck, marrow and tendon, topped with perfectly melted white cheddar, and encased in the most beautiful possible sesame-studded brioche bun.
With the burger comes a set of accoutrement: pickled red peppers, pickled red onions, butter pickles and lettuce, alongside a neatly stacked set of the most incredible fries known to man. You should know me. I don't like to use hyperboles, but there really isn't a large enough hyperbole to capture just how amazing they really are.
The fries are blanched 6 or 7 times prior to frying, which creates the most velvety potato texture that instantly melts in your mouth, but yet somehow maintains a lovely little crunchy exterior.
AND THEN. As if your life could not get even better, the fries are served with a duck pate mousse, (because ketchup would just be too declasse).
While the Atera burger is simply one of the best burgers I've had in New York, or even ever (it's so meaty, textural and wonderful!), the fries certainly outshine it, and for both of them to embody a single plate, well you simply have to wonder what have you done to deserve this, and you are probably not worthy, and that's probably true, but welcome to burger heaven anyway.
Han's Nonsensical Rating: Go! How often can you get a two Michelin-starred burger? Seriously the best burger and fries in New York.
77 Worth St
New York, NY