Located on the corner of Bowery and Stanton, The Bowery Diner is an irony; a semi-haute francophile interpretation of a diner, a quintessential down-to-earth American institution that serves homey dishes.
The man behind the operation at the diner is Motorino’s Mathieu Palombino, who comes from an incredibly strong European fine dining background. Prior to opening The Bowery Diner, Palombino had worked under celebrated chefs like David Bouley and Laurent Tourendel, cooking in prestigious kitchens of Bouley and BLT Fish. Palombino’s decision to open a diner, then surprised a lot of people.
However, it is not a typical diner you see in the rest of the country. Instead of homey and tacky “diner decor”, The Bowery Diner embraces the chic New York City glam through sleek booths, black message boards, and minimalistic chandeliers. The setup is rather appropriate considering its location, neighboring rows of nearby nightlife spots.
Unfortunately, breakfast here is a hit or miss. Perfectly crisp Belgian Waffles ($12) are accompanied by a delightful trio of frozen custard, chocolate sauce, and bacon. Frozen custard elevates the dish, as it lightens up more heavy components on the plate. Corned Beef Hash ($13), on the other hand, is rather disappointing. It is quite greasy, and the richness of sunny side up eggs is quite overpowering. Omelets seemed to be slightly undercooked and runny.
What’s impressive is the beverage program. There are 34 different varieties of whiskey available, ranging from wheated Maker’s Mark to Lagavulin 16-Year scotch. Signature cocktails like Grace Kelly (Sapphire gin, Aperol, St. Germain, prosecco, and grapefruit; $10) and The Concord (house-made grape juice, Tito’s vodka, prosecco, lemon, and sage; $10) sound mouthwatering. You won’t easily find a diner with more extensive liquor cabinet than The Bowery Diner.
Milkshakes are stellar as well. Served classic American style with whipped cream and a cherry in a parfait glass, milkshakes at The Bowery Diner are a shout-out to childhood diner experience. You can spike your milkshakes as well, and turn them into “Feel Good Shakes.” A shot of Buffalo Trace Bourbon ($4) adds extra depth to Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Cake Shake ($8.50) with an adult twist. It is worth paying a visit. Who doesn’t like milkshake.