Location: 1007 Lexington Avenue
Cuisine: American Fine Dining
Items: 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 desserts
Overall: A quaint eatery with retro charm and a warm inviting atmosphere. A good space for a quiet meal with family and friends.
Every now and then it is important to dust off your good shoes break out the retro gear and enjoy fine some fine dining. My companion and I did exactly that last week at Swifty’s on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The small eatery is located in an affluent area of the city populated by “old money” or wealthy people who got rich the hard way with hard work and inheritances. The vibe here is more grown up and low key than some of the other areas in Manhattan. Folks in this part of town dress for dinner, so don’t show up in ripped jeans and a tee. Though the dress code isn’t enforced you may not want to stick out like a sore thumb. We entered the venue on a cool winter evening and after checking our coats were ushered from the front space into a more intimate back room. Dim amber lighting covers the space occupied by carefully set tables and booths. We sat quietly in our corner booth as our serer read off the evening’s specials and offered us our menus.
The menu is simple and straight forward with a selection of gourmet goodies only real foodies understand. With many eateries trying to follow the trend of the moment Swifty’s sticks to its guns offering the tasty items that have made it a favorite among its regulars.
We started our meal with the corn fritters and the lump crab meat appetizers. I remember my mom making corn fritters for me as a child. They were a crispy little corn filled cakes that we usually topped with syrup for an extra burst of sweetness. These weren’t moms fritters, these were an elevated version served with delicate salmon roe and crème fraiche. The salmon roe adds a note of salty freshness that seafood lovers will surely enjoy. The creamy crème fraiche provides a neutral note to balance the sweet of the corn cake and the saltiness of the roe.
The lump crabmeat appetizer was a delicious treat. Copious amounts of sweet crab meat were piled high and served with a lightly dressed micro greens salad.
With all our reviews we share each entrée and compare notes. For this review we went with a surf and turf duo of dishes. We tried the Swordfish and the Meatloaf. The swordfish is served with green rice and a generous helping of haritcot verde (green beans) The rice is well seasoned an herbaceous its soft texture worked nicely with the crisp buttery veggies. The swordfish was thick and meaty with a savory rub and crisp crust. I found the fish to be a little salty but my companion felt it was seasoned perfectly. This rare difference of opinion is why we share dishes. Our advice is to steer clear if you are watching your sodium intake or are sensitive to salt. If that’s not an issue for you order it and enjoy it as it is a tasty dish.
The meatloaf is classic comfort food. A thick slice of the meat loaf is served on top of creamy mashed potatoes and topped with green beans. To make this dish a little more interesting we also ordered a serving of crispy fried onions which added some texture and more flavor to this standard dish.
We couldn’t leave without sampling dessert. We tried the honey crisp apple tart and creamy crème brulee. The apple tart arrived warm with a scoop of creamy vanilla bean ice cream.
The test of a truly great creme brulee is its crust, Swifty’s does not disappoint. Cracking open the thin layer of caramelized sugar gave way to the creamy custard inside.
For a walk on the retro side visit Swifty’s and have a slice of classic American cuisine.