NYC
Updated April 17, 2022, Posted February 4, 2022

Near where we live, they semi-opened this restaurant on Jackson Blvd at the start of the pandemic only to shut it down pretty quickly. We’ve walked by here several dozen times, and it was never really opened until the last 6 months. Reading online, it seemed they had to change their menu several times for adjustments for some reason, and the menu itself initially seemed basic and not overly attractive. It felt they were trying really hard to attract a brunch crowd, so we have not been enthusiastic about trying. They sent coupons to neighboring apartment buildings to lure in. Finally, we decided today would be the day that we would give this a shot, and we were able to walk in without reservations at 6 PM on a Friday easily.

Ambiance

The interior of the restaurant was quite spacious and very tall and open. The tables and decor were very modern centric, and it gave me a lot of West Village vibes for some reason.

Adjacent to the restaurant, they have a very long cabana set up. We’ve seen them set this up past summer, but patrons were very sparse at that time. When we ate, they actually had a pretty decent indoor crowd where most tables were occupied. I can imagine as notoriety grows, this restaurant can easily accommodate.

The price is pretty reasonable for what the food is, but it can easily go up if you recklessly order things. In terms of quantity, we definitely were full at the end of it such that we had to take food to go.

The service was very attentive, and for us, the spacing of each course was on point.

Edit April 17, 2022: they charged us $2 for filtered water which seems humorous, and they have torn down the outdoor seating area completely.

Food

The screwdriver (left, $16) came with bling nova vodka, blood orange apertif, orange bitters, citrus juice, and soda. This drink was very smooth and did not taste like a screwdriver in the traditional sense. It reminded me of a light orange soda without all that sugar. It tasted clear and fresh with a hint of bubble and a bit of citrus notes that were not heavily concentrated.

The mezcal paloma (right, $17) came with Del Maguey Vida mezcal, grapefruit cordial, lime, and soda. Like the screwdriver, this had a very fresh and clear taste to it. The smokiness of the mezcal was very noticeable, but the complement of the citrus ingredients gave it a nice counterbalance. The soda added a lot of airy fluffiness to it such that I think this would be an excellent summer drink. Usually you get that overly alcohol taste as you let the drink sit, but I felt it was very balanced and smooth to the very end.

The spinach and market greens dip ($16) was complimentary and came with artichokes, chilies, and spiced pita chips. Usually this is not something we would intentionally order, but we were quite surprised at how delicious this was. The cream sauce that surrounded the vegetables was quite delicious and reminded me of the “farm to table” freshness. The vegetables were covered by the cream mixture, but you can still taste hints of it. I think I was reminded of tzatziki dressed greens basically. The pita chips were very fluffy and had an excellent taste and texture to it. Coupled with the dip, it was pretty good.

The albacore tuna crudo “melt” ($19) came with warm toast, olives, marinated peppers, and house lardo. The presentation threw me off a little as this was not what I was expecting, but I guess that’s why they had “melt” in quotes. The toast was warm and was lathered with an olive and marinated pepper medley. This mixture seemed to have a lot of citrus doused on top of it. At the very top, sat the lardo and tuna. The tuna was pretty fresh, but I wish the pieces were maybe cut in thinner strips. As you bit into the toast, it was difficult to keep all the ingredients on the toast because the tuna didn’t have a soft enough texture such that you can cut it with your teeth cleanly. Despite the messy nature, it was still pretty good though we prefer the greens dip above.

The 24 hour chuck steak ($34) came with herbed spinach, bacon, crispy potatoes, and sweet & spicy ketchup. This was a little surprising to me as I was not expecting the steak to have a ketchup dressing with slathered bacon bits on top. As you can probably imagine, this actually made the steak quite salty for my partner, who loves salt way more than me. The spinach was pretty good, but that was also salty too. For my partner, they found that there was no escape of the salt other than drinking their cocktail. The crispy potatoes were thin chips, but had a nice texture and aftertaste to them. Despite the salty nature of this dish, the steak was cooked wonderfully tender and had a nice chew to it.

The pb burger ($25) came with double patties, crispy onions, “pimento cheese”, and thousand island dressing. Similarly to the chuck steak, there was quite a bit of salt seasoning on the smashed patties. However, eating all the burger together helped make it a bit more balance though skewing to the salty side. The crispy onions and the butter lettuce definitely gave it a welcomed crunchy texture. Taste wise, it was pretty good, though I’d definitely suggest the cook to be a tad less liberal on the seasoning of the patties. This came with thick fries that were perfectly fried and crispy. They weren’t soggy or greasy at all and had a delicious crunch all the way to the end. It’s similar to In-N-Out’s “well done” texture, and it’s how I love my fries.

The banana’s foster sundae was an came with chocolate-almond crunch and amaretto whipped cream. It had some of the banana foster flavors on the side intermixed with the chocolate almond crunch. On top, sat some ice cream, with a split banana glazed with torched sugar similar to what you’d find on top of creme brulee. The dessert itself was perfectly sweet (and I don’t have a crazy sweet tooth), and it was a satisfying end to our meal.

For brunch,

The Grapefruit Elderflower Limeade ($8 - left) was pretty tart and not super great to drink if you don’t like sour.

The Elderflower Lemonade Spritz ($8 - right) was pretty good. Keep in mind that I specifically asked the waiter to add bubbles, which they were able to do.

For $8 though, both of these drinks are definitely a little too expensive for being non-alcoholic.

The pb nachos for brunch were complimentary from the kitchen and came with English peas, avocado, burnt chili, and crema. The chips were pretty good, though the chili had a very distinct but potent taste. It was quite sour and did not taste great in huge amounts. If you mix it with everything else, it’s much more balanced.

The grilled chicken club ($20) for brunch came with bacon, spicy tomato jam, and arugula. It also came with a side of potato wedge fries. The fried were as good as I remembered from last time with the caveat that they are a little salty. The chicken club though was much tastier than the burger. It was cooked perfectly and was very tender.

Final Verdict

We were pleasantly surprised at how good Penny Bridge was. It’s definitely a place I would take visitors to for an easy dinner or even a weekend brunch. The atmosphere is very welcoming, and despite the saltiness of some of the dishes, the food was pretty good. The cocktails are very good. If you’re in the LIC area, this is definitely a win.

Yelp Jabs

the only thing being is that the food is on the heavier side - perhaps we ordered too many fried items? The food choices are quite rich and a lot of them fried so perhaps order a salad on the side if you want a bit of balance.

This Yelper ordered the fried mozzarella sticks and nachos, so yeah it’s a bit one sided. I don’t think you need to order a salad to offset. You just shouldn’t order 2 fried appetizers. Our tuna crudo and market greens dip did not give us an overwhelming since of heaviness.

The spinach was obviously microwaved and super hot while the chuck steak was basically lukewarm with some caked on ketchup on top.

This was probably more of a timing issue in the cooking line than it being microwaved. Spinach counts as garnish which is usually cooked towards the very end because it’s fast to heat up. The steak could have sat there for a bit, but if it’s cooked to the right temperature, it’s inevitable to come out slightly lukewarm.

Revisions

  1. Mar 6, 2022 - Added brunch items: lemonade/limeade, grilled chicken club, and pb nachos.
  2. Feb 4, 2022 - Initial revision.