The Experience: Say you’re a man. Say you’re a man whose name has been synonymous with food in uptown Manhattan for decades. Say you want to try something new in the same geographic area, but you want your new project to be infused with youthful energy. Eli’s Night Shift is your answer.
Eli Zabar is doing just that at new Upper East Side restaurant and bar with the help of his son Oliver. Oliver, fresh off of a stint at the Happiest Hour, tends to the bar during the eponymous night shift. Earlier in the day, the space operates as a grab-n-go cafe. But when night rolls around, the beer and burgers come out.
Burger Ordered: The Night Shift Burger
The Taste: The six-ounce burger is a chuck, aged ribeye, short rib and brisket blend. It comes served on a house-made brioche bun with LTO on top and pickles and fries and the side. Bacon and cheddar cheese are extra, but I’m going to come right out and recommend them as a necessity. You see, I opted out of the bacon, and regretted it immensely.
The patty, and bun were supple and had a pleasant texture. I did away with most of my rabbit food, but left the onion and chopped up my pickle to add to the top of the patty. The patty was very subtly seasoned, and were aided in no small amount by the crunch and punch of the cheese and pickle. Bacon would have put this over the top as a great burger, especially the way Oliver described the thick cut that Eli’s Night Shift uses. I have shied away from bacon in the last few months, as I feel it is sometimes put on a burger for the sake of it without adding much value. Next time the restaurant recommends bacon, I’m going to get over myself and listen.
The Verdict: Eli’s Night Shift is serving up interesting beer and a good burger. Your burger experience will be even better than mine, because you will learn from my mistake.
Eli’s Night Shift is located at 189 East 79th Street in Manhattan, New York.