Haymaker Bar and Kitchen is a charming new establishment right near Penn Station, in an area that was really lacking a good place to grab a drink and a bite. The ambiance is cozy with a scattering of edison lightbulbs, lush banquettes and a few TVs for the diehard sports fans.
The project came about from owner David Smith and partner Jeff Anzulewicz, who, according to Chief Bartender, Tristan Colegrove, used to work together at Dempsey’s on 2nd Avenue and waited for an opportunity to open up their own place. For Colegrove, who walked Socially Superlative through a tasting last week, from his perspective he feels he just happened to be in the right place at the right time to get involved in the venture.
In terms of beverages, there is a small but focused cocktail and wine list, but the star is the extensive beer list with 18 taps that are always rotating to allow for new obscure and buzzworthy beers to be featured. Colegrove is currently working with 12 different companies to source the beers he wants to bring in. We could mention the different types we were able to try that ran the gamut of beer flavor profiles, but they will probably be changed out by the time this article is published.
What I can say is that although I do not usually prefer beer as my drink of choice, this place might have converted me! Colegrove said he may repeat a keg every 5-6 times they’re changed out, but he wants to be able to offer something new every time a regular comes in. They’re also working out how to best update their beer menus as they go through them so quickly.
According to Colegrove, when it comes to the food menu, Executive Chef Jim Takacs does not have an extensive offering, but what they do have they make sure they execute well. For our selections for the night, we tried the Mac and Cheese, Baked Dry Rubbed Chicken Wings and Braised Short Rib Sloppy Joe on a Sesame Bun.
The mac and cheese, comprised of parmesan cream sauce, white wine, pancetta, cremini mushrooms and a bread crumb crust is hearty without being heavy and a perfect dish for the fall. The creaminess of the sauce and crunch of the bread crumbs balance each other out perfectly.
The wings, a mixture of lime, sweet chili, crispy garlic and a spice blend that is exclusive to Haymaker, are so juicy and flavorful that they don’t require a separate dipping sauce, although the restaurant will provide it if you ask. The sloppy joe, served with hand cut fries, is so tasty it does not last long on the plate at all.
We ended our meal on a sweet note with the Bourbon Glazed Bread Pudding. If you try nothing else on the menu, this is a must. Colegrove informed us that this was just added onto the menu, but after trying it we can’t imagine the Haymaker without thinking of this oozy dish. Takacs will continue to test out dishes until the menu is a full one-pager, so stay tuned for additions in the coming months.
Haymaker is a perfect intimate environment for a date, a get together with friends, or to catch the game in a classier setting than most. There is also space to host private parties or groups. While it has only been open for less than a month, the business is already becoming a must-see for beer aficionados and foodies alike. We’re excited to see what’s in store for the restaurant next and we hear brunch is on the horizon once they’re comfortable with current operations!
For more information on Haymaker Bar and Kitchen, please visit: www.haymakernyc.com.
– Stephanie Carino
Haymaker Bar and Kitchen
252 West 29th Strreet
New York, NY 10001
Photos by Socially Superlative and via Haymaker Bar and Kitchen on Facebook