At The Malt House, there are no gimmicks. It is an American tavern, with many of the qualities of a gastropub, but far less of the pretension that has become associated with trendy bars for foodies. The menu is populated with elevated American comfort classics, cooked to perfection, made with choice ingredients and served in a warm and timely manner. If there’s any theme to be found, it’s quality and consistency. The inviting space and universally heartwarming dishes make for a memorably intimate tavern experience in an unlikely neighborhood.
The Malt House is owned by Irish restaurateurs Darren Shore and Eoin Foyle, with Executive Chef Armando Avila at the helm in the kitchen and Alan Ngo as General Manager and Beverage Director. Avila’s previous credits include STK and Five Napkin Burger. This experienced team runs a smooth operation at their Greenwich Village restaurant, attracting a lively, sophisticated crowd and overcoming the overwhelming tourist vibe of the area.
Winter is the perfect season for a trip to The Malt House, as many of the hearty dishes were made for brisk days. The Mac & Cheese is essential to try at least once. Although macaroni and cheese is a common dish, it isn’t actually easy to get right. Many restaurants either err on the side of Kraft-style sauciness or over-bake their noodles. The Malt House cooks the macaroni just enough and presents it with a cohesive blend of White Cheddar, Fontina and Parmesan. The result is addictive, particularly when paired with cool, fresh lobster to give the dish even more texture and dimension.
The Malt House has just one hamburger option, but one turns out to be more than enough for any true burger aficionado. The house-blended patty is cooked to order and enhanced with hickory smoked bacon, housemade Queso, pickles and onion marmalade. It’s a hefty burger, but every single bite is delightfully rich, moist and flavorful. Meat lovers will also enjoy the Steak Sandwich, which employs an exceptionally tender cut of meat.
The dessert menu is limited–there are only two options–but once you try the creme brulee, that likely won’t matter to you. This housemade creme brulee is one of the best in the city, a creamy, cloud-like confection that you will not want to share. With vanilla bean and caramelized sugar, it’s straightforward and no-fuss as everything else on the menu, and that simplicity allows the stellar flavor and consistency to shine. It’s good enough, in fact, that no one would judge you for ordering two for yourself.
All of the pub snacks you might expect are available at The Malt House, including nachos, onion rings, wings and fried chicken bites. It’s worth a trip to the Village to sample their appetizers at Happy Hour (every weekday from 4-7 pm) not only for the reduced prices, but because you will be hard-pressed to find better iterations of barroom standards within this price range. The BFG wings–standing for “Baked, Fried, and Grilled”- are wonderful, cooked with a hint of spice and served with indulgent housemade dipping sauces. The irresistible fried Cheese Curds and Beer & Bacon Battered Onion Rings are also difficult to pass up, especially if you opt for one of the restaurant’s tailored, American-made beer flights.
The Malt House is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, and boasts an impressively affordable bottomless brunch on weekends, from 11 am to 4 pm. Go to www.themalthousevillage.com to view the full menu and make reservations.