Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Based on the incredible photos and recommendation of Kate over at Embarrassment of Riches, I sojourned down to Gramercy on Sunday to enjoy some incredible Christmas decorations and German ambience at Rolf's.

I am almost ashamed to post my pictures (taken with an iPhone, no less) in light of Kate's gorgeous photos, but absolutely no photo prepares you for the experience of walking through the door:

This is a full holiday assault on your senses. Rolf's was featured as part of Kate's "Christmas in the City" series, and it's pretty clear why. There are lights and wreaths everywhere, and from the lights and wreaths dangle ornaments, shimmering angels with trumpets, and glass icicles. The smell of sweet, fried German food mingles with the aroma of spices from mulled wine and eggnog.

The place is small and the bar was packed, but we managed to weasel into a seat after about half an hour. Even without seats, the ambiance was fantastic despite the packed bodies. Of course, had someone jostled my mulled wine into my dress, I might have felt differently.

If you live anywhere in the vicinity of NYC, you MUST make it a point to visit Rolf's before the decorations come down. We chatted with some folks at the bar who'd come from Connecticut. Admittedly, no, not that far, but still, it proves my point.

281 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 477-4750

The warm mulled wine was absolutely stellar, and served in a seemingly never-ending glass. (Is this the magic of Christmas I hear so much about??)

The food looked pretty authentic, too...in that it was either fried or looked like a wiener of some kind.

After Rolf's, we went to Pommes Frites. This is relevant to nothing, but SOMEONE needs to know how many different mayonaises we tried:

Smoked eggplant mayo (my favorite), Vietnamese pineapple mayo, pomegranate terriyaki mayo, rosemary and garlic mayo, roasted mushroom mayo, hot chili paste, BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, mayo, and mayo+ketchup+onions.


Thirteenlbs said...

Lol at the mayo!

My mom is coming in tomorrow (uh, today) and I am trying to decide whether to come into the city or not to see the windows. I dunno. That looks so worth it.

Jewish Girl said...

Getting to NYC from Philly isn't too bad. Where is your mom from, and how long is she staying? If you have a day to spare, you can't go wrong in NYC around Christmas time.

Are you staying up for the Anthro sale?

Kate (Embarrassment of Riches) said...

Thank you for the shout-out! You are too sweet. I'm so glad you went and experienced the insanity that is Rolf's. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't even order a drink (that mulled wine looks delicious!), I just waited for my husband to finish his (he had gotten there first) and then hightailed it outta there.

Also, I love Pommes Frites! It's always impossible to choose a dipping sauce, but I think Vietnamese pineapple is my favorite (with another savory sauce to rotate between). I will definitely try smoked eggplant next time.

Jewish Girl said...

I'm so glad you blogged about it - Rolf's was such a fun stop for me and the BF. The mulled wine was fantastic, and in a large enough portion that I didn't mind the crowds after a while. Not sure I would have had the same nonchalance without the red wine buzz going.

Pommes Frites is fabulous. I so rarely go because there's no illusion that you're going to eat something healthy, you can't beat it after a night out. If you like baba ganoush, you'll like the smoked eggplant mayo.

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