Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Todd English's Sexy New CrossBar

Dreamy lobster guacamole
Is it sacrilegious to say one of the sexiest new summer spots in the city stands in a former Gothic church? Todd English's ode to pork CrossBar, in Limelight Marketplace, is undeniable seductive from the second you walk through the shiny red doors.

The interiors, with a fireplace rotisserie surrounded by regal reds and dark woods, look like a scene from "The Tudors." Picture Henry VIII gorging on a spit roast pig.

Lil' pulled pork tacos
If that's your fantasy, starting this weekend your dreams can come true. On July 9th, CrossBar is introducing the all day Saturday Backyard BBQ.

A $24 prix fixe menu gets you roast suckling pig, two sides and house made sweet tea or lemonade. If you don't eat pork, you can get BBQ chicken instead.

Summertime action centers around the lavish courtyard that recalls an exotic Moroccan riad. On a recent outing, the steady stream of gorgeous food - much of it sharable - kept heads turning. And the staff graciously identified everything we kept pointing to.on the "global American" menu: pulled pork bites, duck sliders, elotes, giant pork schnitzel.

Score a cabana
The best seats in the house are outdoors. Two seductive cabanas flank the courtyard. These plush daybeds, adorned with cozy cushions and  discreet curtains are perfect for two. Planning a special date? Book one of these beauties and thank me later.

Now that the mood is set, share some nibbles and tipples. The lobster guac ($16) is meaty, decadent and delicious. The lil' crunchy tacos - which come in four options - tuna tartare, fish, chicken or pulled pork - are also popular sharable snacks. The pulled pork taco ($12) is really tasty. Sticky sweet meat comes alive with soft hominy and fresh jalapeno.

Drink this
Was dying to try the puffed pig's ears with smoked paprika ($8), but got vetoed by the table. Is it as good as the addictive spicy pork rind at Chicago's The Publican?, I ask myself, while sipping my thirst quenching One and Don tequila cocktail ($13) with strawberry-jalapeno mash and lime. I'll worry about that next time.

For now, I'm loving my oversized copper mug just as much as the kicky booze inside. (The beverage menu is carefully designed: cask beers, whisky flights, 'Old + New Testament' wines, and cocktails with housemade infusions.)

Sunday brunch begins July 19th. And daily specials including Confessions after Dark on Thursday nights sound very intriguing. It's luring me back already.

47 W 20th St near Sixth Ave
212 359 5550
Whole suckling pig dinners are available.

CrossBar on Urbanspoon

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