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Oldcastle Pub – New York, NY

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Oldcastle Pub & Restaurant – New York, NY
160 W 54th Street
Meal: Lunch / Weekend / 12:45p
Price: $39 (For Two – Excludes Tip)
Website: Oldcastle Pub Website

When you’re wandering around New York City doing the whole ‘tourist’ thing, picking a restaurant isn’t easy. There are dozens of pubs, small cafes and pizza shops, and of course, high end restaurants that I wasn’t adequately dressed for. Our criteria was mainly finding a place that didn’t look too crowded and had indoor seating. We knew that we were flying blind, but Oldcastle appeared to have a nice spot just away from most of the major pedestrian traffic. We decided to give it a shot.

Upon entering, the door was opened for us and we were greeted warmly. We were given the choice between a regular table, regular booth, or elevated booth, and noticed the atmosphere was more geared towards an after-work dinner than a weekend romp. Expect beautiful polished wooden tables and chairs, very polite service, a few LCD TVs (featuring Rugby games), and near-spotless floors and surfaces. We were really taken back on how empty the place was for what we thought was still a pretty good lunch hour in the busiest city in the world.

The lunch menu was well populated and had plenty of choices across just about any taste you could have. We ordered a couple of drinks to start things off. The Coors Light bottle ($5) was probably a little more than I want to pay during the daytime, but the ($6.50) malibu and diet coke Autumn ordered was a good size and fairly potent. They had a dozen beers on draft, which a good selection of domestic and foreign choices. Service was very quick, which was important because there could certainly be no excuse as to any delays due to the restaurant being too busy.

For our lunches, we tried a cosmopolitan club and a roast beef sandwich on garlic bread. Both came with a side of fries and a pickle, and both were out of this world. The cosmo club, in particular, was a favorite of both of us. It consisted of mouth watering turkey, ham, bacon, mushrooms, mozzarella, and a terrific sundried tomato mayo on a delicious foccacia bread. It may have been the best ‘club’ that I’ve ever had, although it was certainly not presented in traditional ‘club’ fashion and is probably better described as more of a traditional sandwich. The fries were perfect, with a mid-sized cut, ample supply, and terrific russet flavor. The roast beef was a nice fit for the garlic bread and was exceptionally tender. The au jus was more than enough for frequent dipping, and all the entrees were presented with good visual appeal on the plate. Everything we might have needed (ketchup, etc..) was offered to us.

We were concerned that our terrific lunch would trump our dinner plans later – and it did to some extent – but that’s certainly no fault of the restaurant. The service, from start to finish, was wonderful and our waitress earned a sizable tip. I wasn’t crazy about one of the staff putting it in neutral and texting during most of our lunch, but that’s forgivable as she wasn’t involved in our visit otherwise. The price wasn’t the cheapest you’d find, but very fair in our estimation. If you’re trying to save every penny, you can definitely find two lunches in the city for under the $25 we paid. That said, we saw plenty of places looking for $20 lunches that we couldn’t imagine would have tasted much better than what the pub provided us. In all, a very positive first impression for our first New York City review.

Pros:

– Excellent quality food
– Clean atmosphere
– Polite, prompt service

Cons:

– Nothing we observed

Guru’s Score: 4.7
Autumn’s Score: 4.5
Combined Score: 4.65 Chews

 ★★★★½

Subjective rating: Highly recommended.

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