Earlier this week, one of Northern California's most popular chef/restaurateurs opened an ambitious, design-heavy dining concept in Midtown Manhattan. It's hard to describe the cuisine here — Italian dishes sit alongside Mexican ones, and some items mix and match ethnic flavor profiles and preparations in ways that New York has never seen before. No matter how you look at it, Guy's American Kitchen and Bar is certainly one of the biggest Times Square restaurant openings of the second week of September, 2012.
Here's what early diners are saying about Guy's American Kitchen and Bar:
The Disappointing News: One fearless diner at Midtown Lunch is not impressed: "Pat LaFrieda blend burger w/ natural cut fries. Smashed? Check. Flavorless? Check. I can't eat this? I might need to order something else. On the positive side the super melty cheese is indeed, super melty." [ML]
The Mixed Bag News: One Yelper encounters some hits and misses: "The sashimi taco was the best thing we had, and there was 4 of them even though the menu said trio, so we got a bonus. I was hoping to get more tuna, but the mango salsa was all I really tasted. The Buffalo bleu-sabi wings were a disappointment. The skin was rubbery and the meat was dry. The buffalo sauce was a bit too sour and salty, and left a bad after taste in my mouth. The bleu-sabi sauce was decent, but I am not much of a fan for bleu cheese. It was the first time I did not finish wings. The Root Beer Pork Ribs was well below average. The appearance was nice, but It was not tender at all, hard to pull off, chewy and dry...I had to force myself to finish the ribs." [Yelp]
The Good News: One Village Voice writer is not wholly impressed, but he is happy with how the meal ended: "For dessert, I tried the Baked Alaska upon recommendation from my server. I've maybe only had one other Baked Alaska in my life, but holy crap, this was delicious. I don't know what else to say. It's a thick, wonderfully consistent mound of Neapolitan ice cream, pound cake, and torched meringue, encircled by an orange liqueur that provides just the right amount of sweetness. This is a dynamite Baked Alaska." [VV]
The Pricy News: Most Yelpers are in agreement that the food lands somewhere in the the "okay" to "decent" range but one diner is not pleased with the prices: "In all, we had an order of wings, fries a small salad, a PBR and a margarita for just under $60. I know its a celebrity joint and in Times Square but damn." [Yelp]
The Mojito News: A beverage aficionado over at Uproxx files on the mojito: "Ideally the mojito balances out the rum taste with mintiness and it ends up tasting like a fresher gin and tonic. Guy's version doesn't. Instead it uses "Bacardi Artic" (not sure if the spelling error is on purpose) and a blueberry reduction with mint fizz (read: syrup) and a single sprig of mint. It's overly sweet, like something an Arizona State sorority girl would make for a Sex and the City viewing party." [Uproxx]
The Ambiance News: Another Yelper has this to say about the décor: "It's new, it's huge,it looks the Hard Rock Cafe date raped a Cheesecake Factory and they produced some not-so-upscale Nascar/Rock and Roll themed restaurant where the servers are dressed like they know what they're doing. Not necessarily a bad thing, just has a very chain restaurant-like feel. But it's Times Square so..." [Yelp]
The Merch News: You've just had the meal of your life at Guy's American Kitchen and Bar and want a memento to remember it by? Fortunately, according to this Zagat review, options abound: "And what would any restaurant that caters to courists be without a signature dish? And we're talking about an actual signed dish here, people. There is a wall of merchandise for sale near the entrance of the restaurant – from Guy's cookbooks to some T-shirts to platters that the chef himself has signed, with inscriptions like 'Flavor Town' and 'Keep Cookin.' Just don't be fondling these things- a nearby sign says 'Please do not touch the display.' This is clearly to avoid smudges from the 'Ain't No Thing Butta Chicken Wing" sauce.' [Zagat]
The Foursquare News: Bobby F.: "Gorgeous waitstaff. Delicious carbs." Kelly R: "Our waiter is so friendly and so handsome! Everyone is so nice!!!!!!!" Christina T.: "I came, I saw... I got fieri'd"
· All Coverage of Guy's American Kitchen & Bar [~ENY~]
— Aaron Baer-Harsha