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The Early Word on UES Hot Spot The Penrose

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The Penrose is the two-week-old Upper East Side gastropub from the team behind Wilfie & Nell, The Wren, and Bua. Although a lot of the early diners have good things to say about the food and the atmosphere, some customers complain about the price point and the clientele. Here's a roundup of what people are saying about The Penrose:

The "Could be Cheaper" News: One Yelper likes the food and the vibe, but wishes the price point was a bit lower: "Cool addition to the UES but I think their prices need to come down on their food and drinks — rating bordering on 3.5/4. We got the oyster sliders, fried pickles, and fried sausage — though these were good (the fried sausage reminded us of a fancy corn dog), without the sauces they came with, they weren't that flavorful. Also, the portions were pretty small." [Yelp]

The Good News: Glenwood NYC files on the scene, the food, and the cocktails: "There are at least twelve beers on tap, from Sixpoint Sweet Action out of Brooklyn, to Belgium's Delirium Tremens, as well as another dozen or so in bottles or cans, plus several wines, and many, many whiskeys. And the house cocktails, none costing more $11 (which, in case you're new in town, is a bargain), read like a list someone's going to have a lot fun getting all the way through. Full disclosure: we only had the house-made Root Beer, no boozy spike, but it was outstanding....[the] menu is relatively short and heavy on the comfort food, but as long as it's good–and from what we sampled, it definitely is that–that's fine by us. The Fried Chicken at The Penrose, for example, was first-rate, a fat leg and a fatter thigh for only six bucks, crisp and juicy and well-seasoned.” [Glenwood NYC]

The Scene News: Blogger Chasing James Beard describes the scene: "I’m obsessed with Penrose in the Upper East Side. The food, drink, staff and décor are just on it. This new gastropub only has one major downfall. The majority of the customers I saw were that typical Upper East Side crowd that you always kind of want to avoid." [Chasing James Beard]

The Bad News: One Yelp reviewer thinks it has some kinks to work out: "It was still one of the cooler spots up here but not as awesome as I was hoping. The brisket sandwich was a bit dry and the seasonal salad was kind of boring. The beer battered pickles were good and the drinks were awesome. Hoping maybe there are some kinks still and will probably go back. Decor of this place is the big selling point. But it still has UES cheesy clientele but that's to be expected.” [Yelp]

The More Good News: The guys from Immalucate Infatuation give The Penrose two thumbs up: "When the book is written on the future transformation of the Upper East Side, there will be a whole chapter about how The Penrose revolutionized the social experience up north, paving the way for other not terrible places to follow in their footsteps. Despite only being a week old, The Penrose has already replaced J.G. Melon as the most popular watering hole/face stuffing establishment on 2nd Ave." [Immalucate Infatuation]

The Spiced Beef News: The blogger from PHUDE-nyc raves about the beef sandwich: “The beef was so juicy that it alone, save a scrape of mustard on the bread, held enough moisture to accommodate its bread, itself dried slightly from toasting. Merita and Danny had expected to be more meat on a sandwich that costs two dollars more than the burger. But even the stack of the similar-in-theory smoked meat sandwich at Mile End doesn’t get so lovingly prepared over such a longer period of time. Is is worth it? I’ll put it to you this way. Danny himself—after enjoying that whole burger—sliced off not one, but two pieces of my spiced beef sandwich, as well as admitted that he’d return for it.” [PHUDE-nyc]

The Good Cocktails News: The blogger from One Drink Ahead is crazy about the dirty pickle martini: "The Dirty Pickle Martini ($10; Tito’s vodka, McClure’s spicy pickle brine, pickle garnish) was perhaps the best vodka martini I’ve ever had–crisp and spicy with a hint of salty sweetness from the pickles, it’s a great example of a simple twist on an old classic resulting in something sublime. The Butlerstown Cup ($11; Pimm’s No. 1, Black Strap rum, Naval Strength gin, ginger ale, lemon, seasonal berries) was a bit too ambitious, though, with an overall funky flavor profile that was perhaps too complex. When you find cucumbers and raspberries floating in the same cocktail, you likely have a problem. The cold foamers picked up the slack, though, and washed down the hearty food nicely.” [One Drink Ahead]

The Oyster News: An Eater commenter loves the fried oysters: "Oyster Sliders are addictive----you cannot just have two! Good and friendly service. An asset to the UES-something different from sports bars and pubs with barely edible food." [Eater Comments]

The Foursquare News: Michael L: "Great bartenders. Nice cocktail list and nice selection of draft beers. Not a fan of the glasses they use for wine." Jon H: "feels wonderfully out of place on the upper east side. fried pickles. yum. also, spiced meat sandwich. also, beer." Sara D: "Awesome vibe. Downtown feel on ues. Try the Ginger Lee and fried pickles yum yum yum!"
— Ashley Mason
· All Coverage of The Penrose [~ENY~]

Wilfie & Nell

228 West 4th Street, Manhattan, NY 10014 (212) 242-2990 Visit Website

The Penrose

1590 2nd Ave., New York, NY

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