D&D London restaurant group has expanded their landmark Chelsea restaurant, Bluebird London, to none other than the Big Apple itself and, ladies and gentlemen, they have not disappointed. Bluebird London NYC has over 10,000 square foot of “multipurpose eating and drinking venue” and is located on the third floor of The Shops at Columbus Circle, giving visitors the opportunity to take in stunning views of Columbus Circle and Central Park while enjoying beautifully crafted plates and beverages.
My sister, Grace, joined me at Bluebird London NYC for an early Monday evening snack and bevvy during happy hour. When we arrived, we took in the view of the cute (and I mean that in the most elegant way possible) entryway. Lush greenery and a few small tables sit below the bright Bluebird London marquee. The hostess brought our attention to a comfortably inviting wooden swing, a current promotion in collaboration with Whispering Angel Rosé, and offered for us to have a seat there while we waited. As lovely as it looked, we opted to take a seat in two stationary chairs instead.
Shortly after we were greeted by Morgan, the manager, who took us on a tour of the restaurant. The first area of Bluebird London NYC is The Parlour, a sleek-looking cafe offering draft lattes, cappuccino and pastries all day and a selection of wines by the glass as well as bar snacks at night. The Parlour is open from 8am – 8pm.
Next we strolled through The Gallery, named by inspiration of the contemporary wire art adorning the walls. According to Morgan, the Gallery is an excellent place to grab a quick bite. On any given evening in the Gallery, you can find people meeting up for drinks and a short meal after work, shoppers ending their sprees with a snack, as well as families in and out for a swift pre-show dinner. The Gallery is open for lunch and dinner, 11:30am – 10pm daily, and for brunch from 9am – 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The expansive Dining Room lies just beyond the Gallery and Cocktail Bar with a window-lined wall where guests are able to take in the view of Columbus Square, New York City in all of its glory. High Tea is served in the Dining Room from 2pm -4pm. The rear third of the Dining Room can be utilised as a semi-private dining area and Bluebird London NYC also offers a separate private dining room which seats twenty.
After our tour, Morgan led Grace and me to “the best two seats in the house” at the Cocktail Bar, looking over the dining room and out to the City views. The last two seats on the end of the gorgeous marble bar not only allowed us to watch the outside world, but also gave us a great panoramic view of most of the restaurant. Once we were seated, we were introduced to Kareem and Steven, our bartenders for the evening. Morgan let us know she’d be sending out a selection of plates and made some drink recommendations off of the cocktail menu.
Grace and I both opted to start with tequila, of course. Grace had the Strawberry Up, featuring Don Julio Reposado, and I chose the Thai Paloma, with Volcan Blanco Tequila. The Strawberry Up is aptly named as it tastes just like sipping on a fresh strawberry. Grace swore she felt a bit of a spicy bite, possibly from the Reposado, however I wasn’t getting that bit in the sip that I poached off of her cocktail. Either way, we would definitely recommend this cocktail if you like a just-rightly sweet, yet refreshing drink. The Thai Paloma, did provide some heat, with its peppered rim and garnish. I’ll admit that if you don’t like tartness, this may not be the drink for you as the Kaffir Lime did seem to dominate the flavor. I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless.
We were served the Maya Shrimp, served with crushed avocado and cilantro; the Crispy Lobster and Avocado with wasabi dressing; and the Parmesan and Truffle Fries. I was pleasantly surprised by the shrimp dish as, when it was first placed in front of us, I’d been a bit skeptical about what appeared to be shrimp cocktail served with guacamole rather than cocktail sauce. The crushed avocado was the freshest of the fresh and paired very well with the well-portioned shrimp. The dish is offered in two sizes which can be shared depending on the size of the dining group.
Grace described the Crispy Lobster and Avocado dish as “the best thing I’ve ever eaten.” I’m on the fence about best EVER, however, I do agree that if you enjoy seafood, you MUST try this dish. The tempura battered (generous) chunks of lobster and avocado were cooked to perfection. I was expecting heat from the wasabi dressing but it was not at all spicy. That being said, it was an excellent blend of wasabi and avocado flavor and a divine compliment to the crispy fried lobster and avocado. Not a crumb was left on the plate when we were through.
Finally, we had the delectable pleasure of noshing on the Parmesan and Truffle Fries. They were fried to an impeccable crisp with amazingly generous truffle flavor. I had to ask Steven, who I would add was extremely personable and willing to answer all of our menu and drink questions with knowledge and prowess, how so much truffle flavor was infused into the fries. He explained the preparation process which includes truffle oil from the start. Trust me. If you love truffles, you will be in heaven with this dish.
Next up would be dessert, but first, our glasses were running empty so it was time for another round. I chose the All-Rounder through drink envy of others at the bar, seemingly a popular choice, and Steven suggested the Cardamom Daiquiri for Grace. The All-Rounder was a selection from the Gin & Tonics menu, featuring Hendrix Gin and Fever Tree Elder Flower Tonic. It was quite crisp and refreshing so it made sense that it was a popular choice on this hot summer day. The Cardamom Daiquiri though? THAT might be one of the best things I’ve ever tasted! Spicy, earthy and divine with a sweet pineapple endnote. This is another must-try menu item for those who imbibe and love complex flavour.
For dessert, we opted to share the Blackberry Victoria Sabayon. Why share and not each get our own? Because the portions are so generous that two separate desserts felt like a monumental task after our luscious snack course. The beauty of the Gallery menu at Bluebird London NYC is the value that comes with the quality of the meal. Morgan emphasized that the Gallery is a great place for people to have a delicious and filling small meal to be in and out within 45 minutes and off to the show or next venue on a night out on the town. That’s not to say that you can’t take your time, but if you’re looking for a high-end quick bite that won’t leave you searching for more, you will be happy that you chose Bluebird London NYC. Now back to dessert. The elegantly garnished Blackberry Victoria Sabayon was an excellent choice to complete our visit. The sweetness of the creme fraiche sabayon along with the perfectly tart lime curd in combination with the ever so subtle savory flavor of the olive oil sponge was such an amazing palate pleaser after the fried snacks we had enjoyed. Overall we were quite pleased with our Happy Hour endeavour at Bluebird London NYC.
Whether you’re a New Yorker looking for an after work Happy Hour locale, a traveller seeking a snack between attractions, or a family after a quick bite before a big Broadway show, the Gallery and Cocktail Bar at Bluebird London NYC is a great choice! I’ll certainly be returning sooner than later to see what the more extensive Dining Room menu has to offer.
Bluebird London NYC
10 Columbus Circle