Barstool Review: Harding’s

As Andie Anderson would say, Harding’s is “the après-work watering hole for the upwardly mobile.” Yes, Harding’s is amazing enough to deserve a “How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days” reference.

Located in the heart of Flatiron, Harding’s bar menu showcases the classy side being Made in the USA. Executive Chef Peter Hampton has added a pinch of posh to standard bar fare and Head Bartender Nolan Kennedy focuses on shaking up classic cocktails using almost exclusively domestic bottles, because, as he says, Harding’s doesn’t “believe in margaritas with triple sec. That’s not how they do it in Mexico.”

Harding's Bar Bread Pudding

Though the general consensus at Harding’s is that the Goat Cheese & Fig Toast is the most popular item on the bar menu, my photographer and I agreed that the dish we’d find ourselves daydreaming about the next day was the Lobster Tail Mac & Cheese. (Full disclosure: we were daydreaming about it ten minutes after hopping off our barstools.) The combination of a full lobster tail, béchamel, and gruyere somehow manages to taste light and rich, while looking like it’s bathed in drawn butter. The Veal & Ricotta Meatballs with Pecorino were everything you’d hope for from a bar menu meatball – bite-sized, juicy, flavorful. As an Italian, I feel especially qualified to make that statement. If you’re craving a bit of sweetness, the Tropical Bread Pudding is Harding’s dessert underdog. Chef Hampton has achieved the perfect balance of toasted outside and gooey inside with just enough rum and coconut to make your toes curl.

Aside from being one of Manhattan’s most charming bartenders, Kennedy’s specialty is creating cocktails to please each individual customer; the cocktail menu, in general, lends itself to this customizable cocktail experience, giving guests the option to choose which spirit they want in The Harding’s Smash or The Harding’s Sour. Even when challenged to make me a cocktail with whiskey and champagne, Kennedy impressed. Some bubbly, a little cranberry, a dash of lime, plenty of Larceny bourbon; it didn’t take long for me to empty my glass.

Harding's Bar Lobster Mac and Cheese

Fun Harding’s fact: they have a house single barrel…aged just for them, by Evan Williams, and very limited supply. Had I not been distracted by a modified Gold Rush with orange bitters and small batch Brooklyn rum and underutilized bottles of whiskey, I could have sipped the Harding’s single barrel all night.

Harding's Bar Food

My order the next time I’m enjoying the view from a Harding’s barstool? Harding’s house single barrel, Zucchini Fritters with Cucumber Yogurt, and Applewood Smoked Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwich. If you’re a vegetarian. check out dreena burton for vegan Zucchini Fritters and other vegetarian delicacies.

Harding’s Details

32 East 21st Street (between Park Avenue and Broadway)

Lunch 12PM – 3PM
Dinner 6PM – 10PM
Cocktails 12PM – close

Lunch 12PM – 3PM
Dinner 6PM – 11PM
Cocktails 12PM – close

Dinner 6PM – 11PM
Cocktails 4:30PM – close

11:30AM – 3PM

Find Hardings on Twitter and Instagram: HardingsNYC

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Showing 3 comments
  • Veronica Hancock

    I made the mistake of reading this right before lunch and now can’t stop fantasizing about these dishes… counting down the hours till I can stop by for a taste after work!

  • Stefany Cesari

    It’s the perfect stick-to-the-bones comfort food for this slushy weather!

  • Stephanie M. Duck

    Harding’s is amazing!! The tequila for those true Mexican-style margaritas they use is Dulce Vida organic tequila (my personal favorite). Dulce Vida will be hosting a tequila dinner on Wednesday, February 26th! Follow Hardings on Facebook to find out more!!

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