We went to Top Flr the other night for a little birthday celebratory action. I have had this place on the list for a few months and was pumped to be going. The menu looked very interesting, extremely well priced, and with a unique wine selection which also had very reasonable prices. I can’t stand places that have poor choices on the low end ($20-$30). Eric Asimov of the New York Times just had a great article on wines at the bottom end of the $ spectrum at restaurants. It is a great read, check it out.
Top Flr is right next door to Papi’s, directly off Ponce on Myrtle St. It’s a good location…Midtown be hoppin’ these days. We actually had to wait, funny for a Tuesday night, but we hung out at the hipsters bar for a while. Actually we thought they forgot about us we had to wait so long, but we eventually got a table, directly next to the DJ booth, which thankfully was not occupied this evening.
I wasn’t sure which wine I wanted as there are a lot of selections, and even varietals with which I wasn’t familiar, especially the French stuff, and this list is heavy on the French stuff. We were feeling white wine so we asked for input and the waiter suggested the Weingut Brundlmayer Gruner Veltliner. Oh and if someone from Top Flr ever reads this, I’m pretty sure someone misspelled Veltliner on your website, unless there is some alternate spelling.
I’ve never had a GV so that was something new to try – yay! It’s an Austrian white wine, with plantings of GV accounting for over 30% of all grapes planted in Austria. Arriving in a Riesling style bottle, it weighed in at $36 a bottle.
We ordered some hummus and a Margarita pizza to start, while we decided on our entrees. The white bean hummus (aren’t they all white beans? or does that mean it was cannellini beans instead of chick pea? dunno) was good stuff and the flat bread rocked. I would have told you how the pizza was if it ever came.
We ordered our entrees – I selected the papparedelle with duck confit, mushrooms, and arugula. Katie got the jasmin tofu with bok choy and masaman banana curry. I would have asked about the pizza except our entrees came out the next time we saw our waiter, less than 5 minutes after ordering our entrees.
Both of our dishes were superb. My pasta was fresh and decadent and they definitely didn’t skimp on the duck like at some places. The overall combination of the duck, mushrooms, onions, and arugula topped with large sheets of shaved parmesan created a complex, earthy, and rustic dish that paired fantastically with the Gruner Veltliner, which had a slightly effervescent tonic texture with bright fruit that transitioned into a lengthy stone minerality on the finish. I really dug this combo and the wine was a real standout experience to me.
Katie’s tofu was also awesome – thickly breaded and fried well, and the sauce had just a slight banana flavor that added interesting character to the dish without overpowering it.
There were some miscues – lost orders, lengthy waits, missing staff, oh and the waiter saw we had more hummus left and were out of flat bread so he said, “I’ll bring you guys some more flatbread”, then charged us for it. BUT the food can not be denied and I definitely want to try more stuff here, especially when it almost seems rare these days to find a place where you can have outstanding food with a very good bottle of wine and get out of there for under $80 for two people.
Better picture of the pappardelle dish here (source: yelp)