NYC Eats: Brendan’s Bar & Grill

It was the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day and the manfriend and I were hanging out in the Big Apple for the day. We had some time to kill before our final destination to see a rock show in Brooklyn, so we decided to scope out a spot for appetizers and drinks, preferably near the R train, so we stuck nearby the Herald Square area. From way out in the foggy, rainy distance we saw a giant shamrock and yellow vertical letters that spelled out “Brendan’s.” It sounded Irish enough, so away we went, Brendan’s-bound.


We were expecting the typical Irish pub: dimly lit, small and cozy, bottles of alcohol lined up behind a bar that took up pretty much the entire place. But Brendan’s was a place of its own. Let’s step inside and you’ll see what I mean.

Enter Brendan's

Brendan’s was bright and spacious, and a friendly hostess dressed in black came to us immediately. As she led us down the large hall, we entered an open room of tables. The windows were decorated in stained glass, and it gave the place an old-fashioned church-like vibe. The perfectly-placed silverware, big lights, candles, and high ceiling reminded me of an old castle. I told my boyfriend, Tim, that it reminded me of Beauty and the Beast (Disney fanatic alert), and he said it reminded him of the movie, Titanic. So, to roll our observations into a few words, it had a sophisticated and elegant environment. Happy fancy St. Patrick’s Day to us!

Elegant Brendan's

After being seated, we scanned our menus, but already had an idea of what we wanted, since we checked out the menu outside before we went in. Everything was fairly priced for a busy, touristy area of Manhattan. Since we were planning to meet a friend for dinner at an Australian restaurant on 4th Avenue in Park Slope later on, we chose Brendan’s for a quick, tasty bite to eat, and tasty it was. I went with a chicken quesadilla and a glass of Pinot Grigio (which is a yummy mix), and Tim went with spare ribs and a beer. I don’t have pictures of our delicious appetizers, but they were so much better than we expected. The quesadilla was crunchy on the edges and cheesy in the middle, and filled with a spicy salsa with flavorful onions and peppers, which had a smokey, grilled flavor to them. It had a freshly-cooked taste and looked carefully prepared — not just your typical bar food that’s greasy and quickly swapped together. I traded Tim a piece of my quesadilla for a spare rib, and I must say, as a vegetarian of 13 years (I brought meat back into my diet in 2012) who is still picky with certain red meats, ribs being one of them, I LOVED these things. They hit the spot, and had a hint of saucy spice — no gamey taste at all, and they didn’t have that leathery texture I often find ribs have. The meat almost fell off the bones as if they were cooking in a Crock-Pot for hours (mmm).

Tim at Brendan'sTim the beer-loving carnivore was clearly happy, as you can see above.

If you’re interested in delicious food in a relaxing atmosphere, don’t overlook this fancy joint hidden in the Herald Square area. Brendan’s is located at 42 W 35th Street in Manhattan. Check out their website!

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