EAT: Highpoint Bistro & Bar
Highpoint Bistro & Bar
216 Seventh Avenue
(Between 22nd & 23rd)
Upon entering Highpoint Bistro & Bar I was immediately satisfied, having been greeted promptly and taken to a cozy table in the back of this quaint upscale pub filled with black and white New York City and rural Hudson area photographs and candles lining the wooden columns on the walls. Our server Kristina was friendly, informative, and attentive, a combination that is often hard to come by in the service industry. Upon receiving menus it was clear that making a decision would be difficult with so many enticing, interactive culinary ideas to choose from.
The complimentary naan served in a mini shopping cart was light and delicious, baked in the tandoori oven in the kitchen courtesy of Indian owner Raj Bar Sing. The menu boasted a wide variety of New American favorites and various local ingredients — but with a twist. From the “Snack Bar” we tried signature appetizer Potato Chip Nachos ($5), the rich cousin of the classic tortilla version featuring potato chips topped with melted goat cheese and serrano peppers. The Bucket O’ Mussels ($12) was a solid choice, but the broth flavored with garlic, shallots, and lemon zest left something to be desired.
As an entree we ordered the Whole Roasted Branzini ($27) as recommended and were beyond impressed. The sea bass was neatly presented and completely de-boned and the buttery bites left us fighting over the fork. Our other choice was the Watermelon “Steak” au Poivre ($20), a grilled watermelon prepared as a filet which was juicy and unique, served with a classy version of cole slaw.
Drinks (all $12) included the most popular, Sunny Day in Chelsea, a clever mixture of vodka, honey, grapefruit and elderflower, and the Twisted Sister, which grouped pineapple, cardamon, and pink peppercorns with rum. All of the drinks were flavorful but not overly sweet, featuring freshly squeezed juices and seasonal fruits. The Waterloo, a frothy vodka drink with fresh watermelon and hints of blueberry, is a cocktail worth returning for. Dessert was a no-brainer: the Caramel Himalayan Experiment for Two ($12) was a simple fun display including melted chocolate and caramel poured over a huge chunk of rock salt with an array of fruits, mini cupcakes, pretzels, and popcorn to complement them.
As we were enjoying our food we were pleased to have 28-year-old Executive Chef Phil Deffina pay us a visit to ask about our meal and discuss the one-year-old restaurant. The CIA graduate has an impressive resume including work at La Folie San Francisco and Icarus Boston, as well as several years work with David Burke. He made several trips around the room to visit tables, which added even more charm and comfort to the atmosphere. There was no high point of our visit; the overall experience was so satisfactory that it would be difficult to choose one superior aspect. This is a consistent, enjoyable restaurant experience worth returning for again and again.