Cocktails and burgers are a winning combo. Thanks to Chef Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly and Brian Bartels from Bar Sardine, we have another delicious burger and a cocktail spot to add to our lists.
Chef Mehdi is a Canadian born chef (Go Canada!) who has worked in some of the top restaurants in Montreal including Toque and the legendary Au Pied de Cochon. While working in Montreal he became friends with Gabrial Stulman and the rest was history. He moved to NYC and became the chef at Fedora and in 2014 became the chef at Bar Sardine.
I had the opportunity to not only hang with Chef Mehdi but steel some time from Brian Bartels, the cocktail creator of the Happy cooking company which owns, not only Bar Sardine and Fedora, but Joseph Leonard (one of my faves) Jeffrey’s Grocery, Perla and Montmartre. Super laid back and really cool to talk to, I had the best time with these boys chowing down on chef Mehdi’s favorite bites and throwing back a couple of Brian’s cocktails- needless to say I was in heaven and feeling REAL good after this shoot if yah know what I mean.
The second I walked in, I was immediately invited into the kitchen with chef Mehdi and we got to cookin. What was on everyones minds…burgers of course.
Chef Mehdi created this burger for a burger competition he did upstate and loved it so much he gave it a permanent spot on his menu. This is a classic burger turned up. The meat itself was a beautiful juicy blend of chuck and brisket, cooked on a flat top to give it a beautiful crust and seal in all the juices. Served with quick pickled cucumbers, red onion, smoked cheddar, a simple yet necessary mayo and bbq sauce and some insanely crunchy shoestring potatoes- I loved these little guys. Since spring is here- this recipe is a must and a total inspiration for our burgers at home. But let’s be honest…if you are in the West Village-having it from Mehdi’s kitchen is the way to go. Tell him I say hi when you go.
Challah-style bun –We get ours from Hot Bread Kitchen, but you can also substitute another light and fluffy bun like a Martin’s Potato RolI
6 oz. hamburger patty (chuck and brisket blend)
New York Smoked Cheddar
BBQ sauce (Bull’s Eye recommended)
Shoestring potatoes (or potato chips)
For the pickled cucumbers:
Slice the English cucumbers thinly. Salt lightly and cover with cold pickling liquid (3 parts water, 1 part rice vinegar, 80 gr salt and 80 gr sugar).
To make the burger:
Take the bun and warm it on the griddle, pressing it down. Cook the patty medium-rare and let a slice of cheddar melt lightly over it.
Mix equal parts of your favorite BBQ sauce with your favorite mayonnaise. Spread BBQ mayo on both halves of bun.
Place the burger with melted cheese on the lower bun. Top with raw onion slices, pickled cucumber, shoestring potatoes and top bun.
We enjoyed this burger with Brian’s- Banksy’s Hawaiian Fruit Punch-
BANKSY’S HAWAIIAN FRUIT PUNCH
Bar Director Brian Bartels
1 oz. Banks 7 Golden Rum (or another 3-8 year aged rum)
3/4 oz. Passion Fruit Campari (Combine 2 oz. of Passion Fruit Tea in a 1 liter bottle of Campari for 2 hours; strain; re-bottle)
1/4 oz. Cointreau Orange Liqueur
1.5 oz. Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
0.5 oz. Egg White
Angostura Bitters (optional)
1. Combine all liquid ingredients in shaker and shake for 12-15 seconds.
2. Add ice and shake for another 10-12 seconds.
3. Strain into a coupe or martini glass. If you are adding Angostura Bitters, add a few drops on top.
*Named after Banksy the graffiti artist and, well, Banks Rum
*Variation on a Junglebird cocktail