"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well" - Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Back Forty - Came for Burgers - Stayed for Cocktails

Came for Burgers

Stayed for Cocktails

    In a wild swing from last weekend, with Patti out of town and good friend Pete flying right seat, Bar Eaters took off, in search of the best burger in town, (or at least an outstanding effort). In recent years there's been a revival of sorts for the humble hamburger. Some are nostalgic recreations, some try too hard, some are overhyped disappointments, (BLT Burger comes to mind). Word was good on Back Forty's offering and considering chef / owner, Peter Hoffman's philosophy of food, one would expect an exceptional result. An early proponent of local cuisine, he opened the Savoy about twenty years ago. There is an in depth ICE interview with him, on their site.

   We were not disappointed! A solid entry in the annals of burger history. Solid and simple, from the quality of the meat, to the preparation, (rare) they were first rate. The farmhouse cheddar takes it up a notch without going overboard. Pete went for the trifecta and added bacon. We haven't done an exhaustive study so it wouldn't be honest to use the word "best." But they sure are in the running. If you are doing your own New York burger survey a good benchmark would be Back Forty's. 

The bar.   

Relaxed and friendly, the place has a comfortable feel, like a well worn pair of jeans.

The cocktails we stayed for.

Nathaniel the right man for the job.

   Nathaniel would definitely get the Bar Eaters seal of approval, if we had one. (Maybe we should...) He's an excellent mixologist, a scholar (we assume) and a gentleman. His laid back style fits right in with the vibe of the place. We felt right at home.

Pete and I during cocktail trials. Photo by Nathaniel

   In keeping with the survey theme of the evening we sampled a variety of Back Forty's special offerings. Patti makes fun of me for trying the "froofy" signature drinks bars put out. (Believe me dear, these were not "froofy.")  All are made in an authentic way with fresh ingredients. Round one, we both had  The Back Forty, very tasty, sweet but not over the top. Round two, I tried the Loisaida Sling, (Cachaca Ginger, Beer & Chipotle) and Pete went for the Parisian Pal (Rye, Dubonnet, Compari & Bitters), both thumbs up. I wrapped it up with a couple of sidecars. I believe Pete was on to the straight George Dickel by then, (in a properly chilled glass, no ice, of course).

Ya, we'll be back.

Back Forty on Urbanspoon


  1. hello bar eaters... will enjoy the journey with you! bravo xx

  2. what on earth is wrong with froofy drinks? i say pace yourself.
    can i say..."wow" this is a great blog and i can't wait to follow the journey.