139 Duane Street between Church and West Broadway
$80 each for ten, with a lot of drinks, with tip
♥ ♥ ♥
Updated, December 2008: The Dr. and I returned for Christmas dinner and it was still the same hearty and filling food for half the New York City price.
After two bottles of wine at the Monday Room inside Public Restaurant, eleven of us had dinner at Blaue Gans for my early birthday celebration. We were seated in the middle of the room, a long table arranged with decorative wreaths and surrounded by vintage posters from former tenant Le Zinc. Blaue Gans doesn’t take reservations but because my initial plans at Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner’s other restaurant, WallsÃ©, could not be accommodated by the staff, they nicely arranged for my gathering to be held in Blaue Gans instead.
I don’t remember much because there was a copious amount of alcohol and a trip to a strip club after dinner, but I know three of us shared a few exceptional dishes. The blutwurstgrostl or blood sausage was minced and served like a pattie on top of sautÃ©ed potatoes and sauerkraut. The rindsuppe, griessnockerl oder leberknodel or beef consommÃ© came with semolina quenelle and really delicious calf’s liver dumpling. It was light and very clean, the perfect winter treat. I was just pissed that one of the waiters took it away from me before I was done with it. The weisswurst or pork and veal sausage was also good and the pretzel that came with it was the best pretzel I think I will ever have. We were stuffed after the appetizers but of course, we couldn’t help but eat the schweinsbraten, rotkraut and serviettenknÃ¶del or the roasted pork belly with red cabbage and brioche dumpling, as well as the rack of lamb that was perfectly medium-rare and melted like butter in my mouth.
The restaurant is meant to be casual, where guests can just sit, talk, eat and drink wine. We did exactly just that while the faint music played in the background mixed with a good buzz of conversation and laughter. I wasn’t able to take good photos because I was inebriated (and because I also need a new camera) but that just gives me another reason to make a return trip and enjoy the food again. For now though, happy birthday, me.