I was meeting a friend on the Lower East Side, and needed to grab a quick dinner (alone). I decided to check out Epstein's, the new bar/restaurant supposedly modeled on Corner Bistro.
When I walked in at 7:45, there were two other diners. All the other tables were empty (there were about four four-tops, a few more small tables, and the bar.) I sat at one of the tables at the invitation of the bartender.
The menu was more extensive than I had expected - I'd thought it would be pretty much just burgers. In addition to the burger, the menu offered fried chicken, grilled chicken, steak, roast beef (on weekends) and an array of appetizers - chili, nachos, etc. There were also several salads, including one with shrimp "in season" (which I thought was kind of odd.)
I decided to get a basic burger, medium well. The basic burger is five dollars, and for seven dollars you can get the burger with cheese, bacon and fries. That is clearly the better deal, but I wanted to eat (relatively!) light and so just got the basic. I also ordered a Greek salad (seven dollars.) There were two very basic red wines by the glass and I opted for the Shiraz.
The Shiraz was perfectly drinkable. The salad? was awful. It was a plate full of shredded iceberg lettuce, a few hard disks of carrot and radish, and some sad fingers of feta tossed about. The dressing was two bottles of oil and red wine vinegar, like in a diner. Lousy. I ate it anyway, because I needed my greenery, such as it was.
The burger, on the other hand, was very tasty. It had a slight charcoal-y taste, and came with lots of pickle chips (which I love and was thrilled to see), raw onion and one piglet-pink slice of tomato.
There was one waitress, and she was very pleasant and attentive.
Long story short, I would return for the burger at an off time when the bar is not crowded. Based on the salad, I would not get anything green.
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