Translation from English

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

P. J. Clarke's

Too tell you the truth, I am sort of surprise that P.J. Clarke's is still around, considering it was so trendy at one time many years ago. Places like that eventually fall from favor and disappear in NYC it seems to me..I can just think of all the discos that have come and gone, for instance.

Well, has P.J.'s manage to re-invent itself with the time from that "hail fellow well met" reputation it used to have ( with only a bit of the singles bar about it WAY back).

We turn to Yelp again and I hope to find people not as reverential as they are about St. Patrick's cathedral...

Well, to start with the more enthusiastic ones..

P.J. Clarke's

406 reviews Rating Details
915 3rd Ave
(between 56th St & 55th St)
New York, NY 10022
Neighborhood: Midtown East
(212) 317-1616
Nearest Transit Station:
Lexington Av/53 St (E, M)
51 St (4, 6, 6X)
59 St (4, 5, 6, 6X)
Mon-Sun 11:30 am - 3 am
Takes Reservations:
Accepts Credit Cards:
Good for Groups:
Good for Kids:
Price Range:
Waiter Service:
Outdoor Seating:
Good For:
Juke Box
Best Nights:
Thu, Fri, Sat
Happy Hour:
Full Bar
Coat Check:
Noise Level:
Good For Dancing:
Has TV:
Wheelchair Accessible:

Review Highlights   What's this?

  • "Wow - this was truly the best burger I've ever had." In 25 reviews
  • "Great drinks and great music on the old school jukebox." In 29 reviews
  • "Plus, bartenders make a really nice dirty martini here." In 36 reviews
Show more review highlights
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402 reviews in English

  • Review from

    • 23 friends
    • 31 reviews
    We were in from out-of-town and our son is a picky eater. A friend recommended this place and what a find!

    The front is a bar, but a sit-down restaurant is in back. I love a good burger and other reviewers gave their's great reviews. I opted for one with some fries and it ranks up there with the best burger I have eaten. (I can't say it's the best, but it's right there with it). My son opted for chicken fingers (not on the menu, but they made special for him).  They were great, as were his sweet potato fries. My wife opted for their chili with some extra jalapenos. She said it was the best chili she's ever eaten.

    All-in-all this place was great and we may even return before heading home. I don't give five stars to many restaurants as there is always room for improvement. So, this place will be no exception. The space was tight and the server could have been a bit more on his game (not bad, but room for improvement).
  • Review from

    My friends and I came to this bar after leaving MOMA. It looks like an old school pub. According to their website, this is the original PJ Clarke's and the owners have retained most of the original decor.

    Crisp Parmesan Tater Tots were pretty good. My friends thought they were a bit salty, but I thought they were fine the way they are. In fact, don't dip them in the ketchup that comes with your order. They are perfect the way they are.

    Cadillac Burger comes with American cheese and bacon! Who doesn't love bacon? Though it seems a bit small for a burger over $10. It's still a good burger, but not a great one.

    Irish Salmon Scramble- was yummy. I should have ordered this instead of the burger.
  • Review from

    I love this place! My boyfriend and I stumbled in last year while we were staying on the east side for a music festival. It's been around for such a long time. You can tell by the old architecture and the narrow doorways.

    I remembered the name from an old episode of Mad Men. The cocktails are delicious. We tried the Sister Mary for brunch which was perfect. You have to order the Cadillac Burger, which was named by Nat King Cole because he called it the "Cadillac of Burgers." The sides are a la carte. We went a little overboard ordering the creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, french fries and bacon brussel sprouts. Everything was filling and scrumptious. Definitely make an effort to stop here for lunch for the perfect old New York experience!
  • Review from

    • 9 friends
    • 12 reviews
    7/22/2013 1 check-in here
    So my mother recently started hanging out with a news anchor from MSNBC and wanted to go out to a restaurant that had good reviews and good American nothing to fancy food, with a toned down non-touristy dining area where they wouldn't be bothered. So I was dragged to about 30 restaurants last week to find the best one. P.J. Clarke's I was definitely skeptical about from looking at the menus online. Well boy was I surprised! You first walk into what seems like a dive bar, then find yourself in a cozy little dining area that was just about perfect. The staff is amazing and the food was to die for. We shared a Chicken Caesar Salad that was out of this world. It might be the best grass fed chicken I have even had! The burgers were phenomenal! I had the Cadillac which I read from fellow reviewers was great. It sure was! I understand that some people don't like there meat Med-Rare but its the only way I get it! Its a must. They have to use some different type of oil for the fried food because it had a slightly different taste compared to your average French fry. I did recently come here to show an out of town friend this place and I will have to say that it is definitely not a place you bring kids during midtown rush hour. It was filled with young business type football watching loud men. Other than that this place is a must! A server also told me that they do have an upstairs available for bigger partys. There are two different locations. I hear the one on the west side does not even compare to this place. So make sure you take the hike over to 3rd ave to check out this gem! P.S. Not everyone is into this but Frank Sinatra apparently used to sit at table 20. Liza Minelli also holds a bill at this bar. Wiki it!
  • Review from

    I quite like the old-school feel, and the oyster counter in the front. The service is pretty attentive, however one of the servers kicked my chair when he tripped over it and slammed it into my back. He didn't even look back..much less apologize. Grrr.

    Definitely recommend the blistered shishito peppers to start. They come out piping hot and are all kinds of deliciousness. The burgers are pretty darn good, and I really like their specialty ketchup with a jabanero kick. The onion strings were a complete disappointment. They had obviously been sitting out for a while, so by the time they ended up on our table they were cold and flaccid :(
  • Review from

    This place is one of my faves for sure. (The one on 3rd and 55th.)
    The Cadillac burger changed my life!
    So far everything I had on the menu is spectacular. Steaks, salads, the apple cobbler makes me say screw the diet.
  • Review from

    I came to this place because my friends insisted we go. I arrived and asked how long the wait would be for a party of 5 and was told 15 minutes. We weren't seated until a half hour later, which was a bit annoying. Once seated, service improved.

    I generally do not seek out pubs or burgers, but I have to say that the burger was awesome. I had it covered in smothered caramelized onions and blue cheese. It was on a white bun, the kind that you buy at the grocery store and reminds you of backyard barbeques when you were a kid. I asked for it to be cooked to a medium and it was perfectly prepared. Plus they had bottles of ketchup sitting on the table, always a plus in my book.

    Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this place. Was it the best burger I ever had? No. Was it worth trekking up to midtown for? Probably not. But It was a good burger and hit the spot on a cold day in NYC.

    Now from some people who were less than thrilled...and these are not even the worst ones, I had to omit one because of foul language!

    Regularly at a place like this, I'd give it at least 3 stars.And here, the bartender (Sean I think) was great. He made me a special beer with some lime juice and a lime wedge to make it more summery. And it's seems like a good place for women to meet men.

    But it's insanely packed at the bar. On a Wednesday, on a Friday, every day. If you can get a table - do it. Or go really early to get a spot at the bar.

    The men's restrooms are pretty creepy. The doors open out and are in the middle of the bar area. While some might find this unique, I found it unsettling.

    And a note to those non-American tourists, I'm unsure you should have children in a bar. And secondly, if you do, maybe make sure they don't keep running in and out of the mens room leaving the door open. And to one of the Mothers of those children, you opening the mens room door to speak to your son while ADULT men you do NOT know are peeing - just absurd.

    I know I'm the only one of my friends to not love PJ Clarkes. But I have to be honest.

    Review from

    2/26/2013 3 photos 1 check-in here
    I regularly crave two things: steak ... and burgers.

    I was desperately craving the latter and wanted to have a low-key dinner with some good friends for my birthday that landed on a Monday. Multiple people had recommended P.J. Clarke's, and it was actually a backup since the other place we were planning on going to was closed for a catering gig.

    What was the consensus? Overrated and overpriced burger.

    Two friends and I stepped in on a Monday night around 7:30pm to the narrow restaurant/bar, and the atmosphere was bustling. We had to wait about 20 minutes for a table of 3, so we headed to the bar to grab some beers. We uncomfortably stood by the bar with our heavy glass beer mugs, constantly having to step aside as best we could to let people get through and to go to the restrooms. When we finally were seated, we felt as though we were on top of the other table, and no one had the luxury of personal space. Any diners better not have claustrophobia when dining at P.J. Clarke's or they'll just have to suck it up.

    We started with the house-made potato chips with buttermilk blue cheese dip. The chips were very thinly sliced and resembled kettle chips, and the dip topped with scallions and breadcrumbs was creamy and rich with warm cheese.

    My friends and I all ordered burgers. I just got a regular burger (that came with lettuce and a pickle on the side) and added avocado and sauteed mushrooms. We also ordered a side of onion strings since there were no sides to the burger like fries. The burger was extremely underwhelming -- although they cooked the burger to the correct temperature (medium rare), it was not particularly flavorful. They have bottles of spicy ketchup on their tables that have a bit of tang, so I ended up putting that on my burger, so it didn't taste like smoky but bland meat. Definitely not worth $13.50.

    On the other hand, the onion strings were very crispy, and the towering plate of the onion strings was more than enough for my two friends and me (all people who have large appetites) with some leftover still.

    I've finally tried what everyone has been buzzing about, but it's best to not believe everything you hear. P.J. Clarke's burger was a flop, and I have no plans to return for their burgers.