The Back Room at One57 has been on my radar since last season’s Restaurant Week when my coworker dined with them for lunch. When they released their menu for the winter season of Restaurant Week, I quickly hopped onto OpenTable and snagged a reservation. The Back Room is located on the 3rdfloor of building 157. We arrived 5 minutes before our reservation and were led to a two-seater by bar since they were seating tables exactly at their time. I found this a bit odd, but didn’t mind all too much.
Once we were seated in their main dining room, our waitress explained their Restaurant Week menu along with the supplements and left us to peruse the wine list. After several moments, she returned to take our orders and supply us with some delicious freshly baked bread. She let us know that their dessert chef actually makes the dough for the bread every day and they bake them fresh to order. During our meal, they brought over another plate of bread just as we finished our first. I was absolutely in love with the bread and the cream cheese-like spread.
For my appetizer, I had the Mangalista Charcuterie Platter with pickles and toast. The cured meats included Coppa, Cacciatorini, Fennel Sausage, Soppressata, and Spicy Nduja. My favorites were the fennel sausage and the soppressata. The spicy nduja was super spicy and a bit too much for me – even with the pickles and toast. I wish there were more toast involved with this appetizer – I ran out halfway through my platter!
For my entrée, I opted for the Haweij Dusted Quail a la Planca with gem lettuce and spicy yogurt. The quail was mostly deboned, except for the drumsticks and wings. I appreciated this because then I wouldn’t have to use my hands! The quail was cooked perfectly and very flavorful.
Halfway through our entrées, my mother decided she wanted to swap dishes so she could try my quail. She ordered the Red Wine Braised Beef Cheek with parsnip, rutabaga, and red onion jam. The beef cheek is braised for 36 hours, according to our waitress. The result was a melt-in-your-mouth dish. I barely had to chew! The dish is very rich so neither of us could finish it because it was so filling!
For dessert, my mom decided on the with Hazelnut sandies, gianduja genoise, and salted hazelnut ice cream. The presentation of the dessert was outstanding; however I found that the darker colors of the Ombré were less delightful. The chocolate flavor was a bit too strong in those parts. The salted hazelnut ice cream was the standout.
I opted for the Meyer Lemon Zabaglione with whipped tea, Buddha’s hand confit, and earl grey ice cream. I thoroughly enjoyed my dessert. The lemon was a bit tart and really helped after the savory, heavy beef cheek dish. The earl grey ice cream was a new experience – just a bit milky and lots of tea flavor. I highly recommend this dessert!
Service was very attentive without being overbearing. Our waitress noticed my mother struggling with her big handbag and brought over a stool for her bag. That was so thoughtful! She explained everything on our menu and gave excellent suggestions when my mother didn’t know which entrée to order. Standout service!