Beer & Buns, the St. Giles Hotel’s newest addition to their Midtown location, has an innovative take on a classic American dish — the burger.
Abigail Tan, head of the St. Giles Hotel, said the idea for the restaurant, which opened March 20, stemmed from playful experimentation with burgers.
“The inspiration behind the idea for Beer & Buns came on a sunny Sunday afternoon, as we were experimenting with some recipes and ideas for an impromptu burger party,” Tan said. “We could say that everything that followed then was history as we asked ourselves why not bring these wonderful dishes and creations to the public, and add another food dimension to Midtown.”
The menu offers a wide variety of burgers. Diners can choose any three- or five-slider combinations ($12 and $17, respectively). With Beer & Buns’ intense flavor combinations, the sliders are a perfect size. While a bit overly decadent in taste, the Asian-inspired sliders feature distinct creations such as the Bangkok Dangerous, a traditional tom-yum shrimp burger with Thai vinaigrette.
The restaurant also offers a variety of sides including fried pickles, beer-battered onion rings and Parmesan truffle fries. They are priced around $5 to $9. These side dishes add to the authentic American portion of the menu, along with traditional desserts such as a New York cheesecake and a homemade bread pudding, both $7.
The true standout plate is the Seoul Secret — short ribs soaked in Korean beef sauce and served in a folded mantou bun. A deliciously abstract take on the American burger, the sandwich pairs well with the Estrella Galicia lager of Spain ($6). All of the burgers feature suggested beer pairings that complement the dish’s central flavors. The beer list is a solid combination of international brews such as the Brazilian malt Xingu and the Indian lager Kingfisher, as well as local favorites such as the Blue Moon and Stella Artois ($6).
The most extravagant menu item is the Indulgence Burger. Priced at $250, it is a full-sized burger outside of the range of most college budgets that includes a Kobe beef patty, foie gras, white truffles and a topping of Beluga caviar.
While the atmosphere feels like a hotel addition with its neutral lighting, white lounge-style sofas and Top 40 playlist, it does serve as a great vehicle for Chef Wisit Panpinyo’s vision.
Located on 39th Street and Lexington Avenue, the restaurant is a bit far from campus. However, these Asian-influenced burgers are worth the short subway ride.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, March 25 print edition. David Bologna is a staff writer. Email him at email@example.com.