Rare Bar & Grill (Chelsea)
We like ScoutMob. The girls and I like to go out on Fridays, but it gets very expensive, so we’re constantly looking for deals and ways to save money while still enjoying ourselves – especially with a wedding in Hawaii coming up *wink*, every penny counts! So when a recent ScoutMob came up for Rare Bar & Grill in Chelsea, we dutifully trooped over to check the place out at 50% off (up to $25 value). (That’s one of our biggest problems; it’s 50% off, with a limit to the discount amount; with a group of 6-8 girls, we reach it very easily. Admittedly, our problem with BlackBoard Eats is similar but worse, and why we tend to shy away from those codes – even before it was pay-per-code – because they limit the number of people per code instead of the discount amount, and it’s usually capped at 4 people, so planning dinners got very aggravating to the point where it’s easier to deal with a discount limit instead of a person limit.)
I guess the discount limit is also easily hit because we drink. Well, the point of Friday nights is to drink the week’s troubles away! Above, I ordered the same drink I’d ordered at Rare (Lexington) – the blood orange cosmo, with the same substitution of Bombay Sapphire for the vodka, but the bartender at this one definitely wasn’t as good at mixing as the other one. It was OK… AB and BB both also ordered the same drink, keeping the vodka (since they both said they don’t like gin), but didn’t like it that much either. Oh well.
SpB really wanted fried pickles, so though I mentioned I hadn’t enjoyed them much at the other Rare, we got these. The batter was thinner here, not as gloppy thick as it’d been at Rare (Lexington), but still weren’t the best. Satisfactory, but not great.
Of course we ordered the fry basket again – three types of fries, waffle fries, hand cut fries, and sweet potato fries, for $10. It’s a good deal and great for munching, and we only needed one basket for our table of 7 girls.
… and of course the quintet of dipping sauce. Well, trio, really, since the two big cups are ketchup and who uses ketchup on fries when we’ve got maple syrup, chipotle, and garlic aioli?! I really like the maple with sweet potato fries, though I know some people (AB included) don’t like it. To each her own – more for me!
HB ordered the slider trio, though I didn’t catch what the server said the trio was that day. I also have no idea if she liked it or not, but she seemed happy and I didn’t hear complaining.
AB, BB and I all ordered the lobster burger, which was lobster meat with some scallops for binding (?). The server didn’t seem to know what I was asking, so I stopped trying to figure out what she meant by that. In any case – I didn’t feel like a burger, so this is what I got.
The lobster ‘patty’ – it was clearly cooked, then formed into the patty, and thrown back somewhere to heat up again, which rendered it a little overcooked and slightly rubbery.
The side, which intrigued me greatly, was cantaloupe topped with jalapenos and drizzled with some sort of soy reduction. I actually really liked this – sweet and savory, I thought to myself once again, why don’t I ever put anything on fruit when I eat it? When I think ‘fruit’ I always eat it plain, because I like it so much… it never occurs to me to add something to make it even better. Durp. AB, who is allergic to canteloupe, opted to switch this out for a bit of salad, and the server gave us no problem with that.
BB mentioned hers being pretty rubbery, and AB seemed only so-so on this. I found mine slightly fishy, to be honest, that sort of ‘stinky’ that seafood gets when it’s overcooked or slightly past prime. I mean… it was fine enough to dip into the butter and eat (I ate it plain, without the buttery brioche), but I would definitely not order this again.
Per usual – with large groups, I rarely take photos of everyone’s food because it just isn’t comfortable wandering around the table to get every dish. And now that I have the new camera, it just is easier to take whatever’s closest to me, instead of trying to pass the camera around for photos.
Dessert! Apple pie with cinnamon ice cream, which I thought would be awful, but the ice cream tasted like cinnamon… in an awesome way. It wasn’t overwhelmingly ‘spicy’ like cinnamon flavored items sometimes can be, but just right… I liked that a lot. The pie itself was only alright.
We also ordered fried Oreos cuz, um, we can. It was interesting, but not something I crave.. the cookie sort of melts inside the fried batter. The ice cream helped lighten its taste, but it was still just OK…
And after this, we headed upstairs to the rooftop bar to have a few drinks. Nice atmosphere upstairs, very expensive drinks.
Yvo says: Well, I don’t think I would go out of my way to go back to either Rare. They were tasty enough, but there are plenty of options around the city for good burgers (or lobster, if that’s what I feel like), that I wouldn’t be compelled to go here. HOWEVER, if someone wanted to go there, I wouldn’t object… it just wouldn’t be my first choice. There are lots of choices on the menu that are interesting, tasty, though it is kind of expensive otherwise.
not a bad burger place – fry sampler is great! – but not my first choice