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Credit: NYC Plugged

Last week, we were invited to dine at the new, soon-to-be hotspot of Hell’s Kitchen, The Woodlot NYC. Their menu is hard to describe as it varies between some American classics and Mediterranean twists.

As you first enter, the space gives off a British pub vibe, and the staff is incredibly helpful and receptive. They’re quick to seat you, but I realized their biggest flaw may be how close together their tables are. But they fixed that pretty quickly when they noticed me struggling a bit to get seated.

After speaking to our waitress, we decided to give a cocktail with a twist a try. The Sandpiper, was our first introduction to their Mediterranean additions. It’s a tequila based drink, infused with za’atar and mixed with grapefruit/lime juice, ginger syrup, and luxardo. As we dined into the night, we also tried the Scarlet Ibis, usually made with vodka, pomegranate juice, ginger syrup, lime, and rose water spritz—we subbed in tequila, but it was still really great!

As for the food, we honestly took us a while to decide. Between the incredible sounding menu options and eyeing the dishes of the tables around us, it was a pure struggle.

We ended up mixing up the restaurant’s culinary influences, by starting with their Cauliflower Shawarma and then moving to the Mushroom Burger and Deep Dish Pizza (which they are well known for btw!)

The Cauliflower Shawarma had an uncannily similar flavor to real shawarma, right down to the dipping sauce it sat in. It was perfectly soft and smothered in sriracha, which is the key to my spicy-food-loving heart.

It was a tough act to follow, but the entrees totally brought it. The Mushroom Burger already scored points because it wasn’t your typical portobello mushroom on a bun. It was actually a combination of various mushrooms, ground and formed into a patty, like a real burger; covered in Muenster Cheese and layered with BBQ sauce. It was savory and served alongside sweet potato fries with two different dipping sauces.

Next was the pizza. Now to preface, I’m not at all a deep dish person. When I speak to friends who laud the flavors of Chicago-style pizza, I reply in true New Yorker fashion by calling them crazy, and espousing the superior nature of the thin crust pizza we know and love. But even I had to admit, this Sicilian style Deep Dish Pizza was incredible—and I don’t say this lightly. They choose well, when it came to the supplier of their sauce and cheese. They also managed to produce a crispy crust, which can be difficult when the crust is so thick

The Woodlot is a great first date spot as it’s quiet enough for conversation, but lively enough, as there was steady stream of people all night without it being overcrowded. Located in Hell’s Kitchen, it’s also perfect for a pre or post Broadway show. If you’re looking for great classics, with some interesting variations, you should definitely add this spot to your list!

The Woodlot
756 9th Avenue
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