BRINE Chicken is taking chicken to the next level and elevating your causal dining experience in more ways than one. From the moment you walk in you know you’re somewhere different. The simple yet elegant decor reminds you of a visit to your cool, “fancy” auntie’s house. It could be the clean black light fixtures or maybe the wallpaper inspired painted walls, but there’s something about this place that feels welcoming. You know good things happen here.
Brine Chicken, a new self-serve restaurant featuring American fire-grilled, antibiotic-free chicken brined for 24 hours using a special recipe, is committed to providing a fine dining experience in a casual and comfortable environment. Created by entrepreneur Dan Mezzalingua and Executive Chef Joe LoNigro, Founding Chef Partner of Otto’s Tacos, BRINE Chicken sets itself apart from other comparable restaurants with subtle details. You may think that a self-serving restaurant would be impersonal but the general manager, Camron York, and his staff proved otherwise.
In a place like NYC, time is important and you never want to be the person holding up the line trying to decide what to eat. The high-tech, yet simple-to-operate, TRAY Kiosks (developed by MIT graduate and former Google Senior Engineer, Peter Kellis) takes the pressure off ordering and allows team members to interact with the diner in the way a cash register doesn’t allow. The cashless Kiosks features beautiful pictures of each menu item, highlighting the chef driven nature of the BRINE chicken experience.
What sets the restaurant’s chicken apart is the top-secret brine recipe that took over three years to develop. The birds spend 24 hours brining, then are brought to state-of-the-art ovens to ensure an even cook. They are then basted with a house-made blackened-chili honey garlic sauce and finished over a fire grill for a crisp exterior & moist interior. Though not required, as the signature sauce stand out on its own, diners have the option to customize their meals with a sauce bar, featuring five housemade options – spicy blackened chili & garlic, charred jalapeño, buttermilk red (a milder version of the chili & garlic), buttermilk green (a milder version of the jalapeño), and honey mustard.
Unlike some restaurants where sides are an afterthought, BRINE Chicken prepares their sides with the same level of care as their chicken. They include Yukon Gold crinkle-cut fries, Ecuadorian hearts of palm salad with marinated grape tomatoes, red onion & basil, flavorful white balsamic farro with cranberries, roasted red peppers, red onion and Italian parsley and candied yam like, brown sugar lemon carrots. Vegetarians can create an enjoyable meal from the sides or opt for an entrée-sized salads. The GIGI salad with crisp romaine, kale, buttermilk-tzatziki beets, roasted red peppers, goat cheese & white balsamic dressing is an option along with fresh takes on the classic Cesar & Greek salad.
BRINE Chicken’s also has beer and wine. The beverage menu features a rotating selection of micro and macrobrews, red and white wines on tap & soft drinks. The BRINE Chicken team sought out to create a fine dining experience in a casual setting and are executing their vision successfully. From the blue lined, tin dishes to the friendly and helpful staff, its feels like we are experiencing the birth of the fine casual restaurant and BRINE Chicken is definitely a pioneer.
By Brandy Cochrane, Plant Candy