A year ago, Eric Jensen, an editor and writer for Viva! Lifestyles, joined me for lunch, after a long, exhausting meeting discussing ideas and accomplishments for our cultural/entertainment magazine in New York. Toward the end of that first business meeting, Mr. Jensen asked me to take him to a nice, casual restaurant in the neighborhood that Sunday afternoon. Well, we certainly have quite a few good choices of excellent restaurants in Murray Hill, and because I’ve always loved looking at the big buffalo horns decorating the inside, seen from outside the windows of Rodeo Bar & Grill every time I passed by it on the sidewalk, that’s where I thought we’d go for lunch. (Of course I had also read some good reviews of Rodeo Bar beforehand.)
As we walked in, Eric immediately noticed and talked about the big bar and its rustic style. When he looked at the floor, his reaction was very spontaneous: “There are peanut shells on the floor!”. The peanut shells had been there from the previous night, because guests eat and drop them on the floor while they enjoy their drinks. It’s kind of interesting to be inside Rodeo Bar, a place that doesn’t look or feel like Manhattan at all — not Manhattan as you know it –, and, at the same time, be able to see the Third Avenue street sign showing “yes, it is Manhattan outside”. You feel almost like you’re in a Broadway theater, whose theme for decoration is — in my words — “our Texas within”.
A few weeks ago, Eric and I went back to Rodeo Bar for another meeting and to celebrate the good standard of quality of our cultural magazine. He’s been a writer/editor for Viva! for a year now. We took the same table and ate the same food we did back in 2011. This year, we actually ended up eating more appetizers than last time — because they’re so delicious! — , among them beer battered onion rings, chicken fingers, and shrimp and jalapeño peppers wrapped with bacon. We also enjoyed some frozen strawberry margaritas.
Don’t wait too long before you go dine at Rodeo Bar. They also have live music in the evenings, you can see the schedule on their website (listed below).
Location: 375 Third Avenue, southwest corner of E 27th Street
Neighborhood: Gramercy/Murray Hill/Midtown East
Closest subway: 6 train to 28th Street
Price range: $12.95-$20.95
Phone number: 212-683-6500
EXCELLENT RESTAURANTS by Lucas Eller