111 East 18th Street
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 673-2467
Site: Visit the restaurant site
2nd Cuisine: Bar Food
Area: Union Square
With sport season in full force, Ainsworth Park is an ideal place to hang this winter. Like any New Yorker, I'm at home in a classy, elevated environment, even if I am just trying to watch a little football. Ainsworth Park is designed with this mentality in mind.
The roar of all of the shouting and beer-chugging is amplified throughout the high ceilings in this 7,000 square foot, bi-level space swaddled in lush curtains, elegant black wood, and dim, sexy lighting from strategic candles and the glow of flat screens. On Sundays, the trendy crowd reminds you more of your Saturday night packed in at the bar, only now your in sneakers.
Whether you are hanging out for Happy Hour, having dinner, or setting up shop at one of the party-gathering tables on a Sunday afternoon, Ainsworth provides classic American bites, buckets of beer and some expensive cocktails in true New York style. $15 dollars is the norm on this menu, with locally inspired names like the bittersweet Gramercy Park with grapefruit vodka and The Park Ave with Pimms and gin. I personally enjoy a pitcher of the Sweet Breakfast Tea, spiked with Aperol and Belvedere Lemon Tea. To share, of course.
Taste buds beware, every comfort dish on this menu elicits uncontrollable mouth-watering. If you have any room after devouring the truffled mac and cheese, creamy spinach and artichoke dip and hearty goodness of the gigantic nachos supreme (EVERY chip is burdened with toppings to my utter delight), make way for the plethora of sliders, like the outrageous fried oyster. Burgers abound as well, like the satisfying wagyu beef, all on a neat little pretzel bun. Waist lines, fear not, Ainsworth has crafted a selection of salads like the roasted beet and kale that is tasty and fresh. Brunch is offered on the weekends as well, with classic items like Eggs Benedict.
With great fare and atmosphere, having a bite at Ainsworth is not only satisfying but fun. Ainsworth makes you feel pretty okay about indulging. Sunday is my cheat day after all, so it's all good.
Review By: Rachel Sult