The New York Bitches recently had the true pleasure of indulging in quite a Sunday Funday.
We started the morning early as judges for the Brooklyn Bloody Mary Festival and, a tad tipsy after 13 great Bloody tastings, we waddled to a Williamsburg photo shoot for our new spring looks.
Then, in true “girl about town” fashion, we finished our day by heading to the newly opened Umami Burger for a special burger tasting.
What none of us realized was that this tasting wasn’t just a typical test-the-menu dinner with tiny portions and bites. Oh, no. This was going to be a uniquely curated dining experience that paired eight courses of burgers with sides and specialty cocktails, sodas, and wines.
Yes, you read that right. Eight burgers.
We didn’t know what we were in for when we settled into our comfortable corner booth and took in the Umami surroundings. Spacious, full of light, and decorated with floor to ceiling reclaimed wood (we were in Brooklyn, after all), the interior felt special and not what we’d expected from a flourishing burger chain.
Our friendly waiter walked over and talked us through course one: cheesy tots, tempura onion rings, and sweet potato fries. The star of the course was the housemade sauces, especially the signature ketchup, which made the classic fast food dishes feel artisanal.
In restrospect, we should have paced ourselves, but the sweet potato fries were way too good.
Each of the burgers came out with Umami’s signature stamp seared on the top bun, and they were dramatically plated like toppling pieces of art on a long white dish.
The first burger was a favorite, the Truffle Burger, served with housemade truffle fondue, truffle glaze, truffle malt, and truffle aioli. It was full of truffle flavor. What’s not to love, if you’re a mushroom fan?
For the guy’s guy, we loved the Manly Burger, served with bacon lardons, beer-cheddar fondue, smoked salt onion strings, Umami ketchup, and mustard spread. It was juicy and delicious, with just the right amount of crunch. This was paired with a pretty epic maple bacon old fashioned, a top contender in the cocktail favorites.
For the seafood lover, the Ahi Tuna burger was top notch, served with sprouts, crushed avocado, gingered carrots, wasabi flakes, and wasabi tartar. It was Becca’s favorite burger of the lot, and the perfect option if you want something lighter for dinner.
We’d also be remiss to not mention the Umami Original, recognized for its Parmesan frico, shitake mushroom, roasted tomato, caramelized onion and Umami house ketchup. We thought it was inventive that the cheese was served as a crisp instead of a melted smother, and by this time we were becoming big fans of the ketchup.
Somewhere around burger six, the Cali Burger with caramelized onion and house cali cheese, I put my hair up, Becca took a restaurant lap, Nikkia couldn’t stop giggling, and Ally changed back into her “Fit Bitch” workout clothes from the photo shoot. We were getting insanely full. Things were getting weird. But we all agreed everything was delicious.
Eight burgers is a lot of burgers. Even divided by four hungry Bitches. We started off strong, and we left with the red-meat giggles. Literally. We asked our server if anyone else had finished the eight-course tasting menu. “You’re the first to try it,” he confessed, saying he was well impressed with our tenacity when it comes to eating.
We all unanimously thought Umami was special. You don’t get the chain vibe at all here, and there wasn’t a bad burger in the bunch. Some of the burgers felt just as special as some higher end $20+ burgers you find on menus in New York, but with a $12 price tag.
158 North 4th Street