We ventured out of our normal playground of the Hudson Valley and traveled into the world famous New York City to have dinner at the Neely’s Barbecue Parlor Manhattan’s Upper East Side on First Avenue. Funny, I’ve grown up just about an hour outside of NYC and have never had an overwhelming desire to go into the city unless for a specific adventure/event or show and dinner and yet people travel from all over the world to visit the famous “Big Apple.” -Not that I don’t enjoy an evening in the city every now and then because I do, I just don’t know that I would make that my vacation destination of choice, perhaps that is because I have such easy access and can visit anytime….
Well, back to the Neely’s! My mother (Mama D as my honey calls her) LOVES to watch the cooking shows on the Food Network- including Down Home with the Neely’s. So when my mother told me that the Neely’s recently opened a new restaurant in the city and suggested we go for dinner one night, we agreed.
So we booked our table via Open Table and off we went. Arriving a bit early, we enjoyed sitting at the bar looking around at the various dining rooms that surrounded the bar and chatting with Nicki. Nicki and her friend “Wilbur” filled us in on the how and when Pat & Gina Neely came to be part of the Merchants and how warm and friendly they really are. Each dining room is uniquely decorated each with its own ambiance and flare.
As we normally do, we decided on two different dishes that we would share/sample. First we started with the Candied Thick Cut Slab Bacon which is bacon strip coated with brown sugar & slow baked until it’s crispy and it was definitely crispy! We then settled on the Pork Sampler Platter of Spare ribs, baby back ribs & pulled pork and the famous “Blue Ribbon” Chicken (Aka Pat’s beer can chicken) a free range chicken cooked with a pabst blue ribbon beer can in its belly! The chicken came with 2 side dishes and the pork sampler came with one side so we had the delicious corn bread, the southern creamed corn and the sweet potato fries! The chicken was great1 It was moist and juicy and I added the Neely’s Spicy sauce and all I can say is hmm hmm good! The corn bread was delicious (which actually isn’t considered a side we just made it one of our sides) as were the sweet potato fries! For me the southern creamed corn wasn’t all that creamy but, none-the-less it was good.
Then of course there is desert, our favorite! Now, for those of you that follow WonderfulWonders, you know my honey and I always split a dessert, well, this time we didn’t . . .shocking right! We thought we probably wouldn’t be back to the Neely’s so we should be fair to them and experience as much as we could (LOL). We did of course share; so together we shared the Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese icing, which honesty was a bit dry for my taste and the Blackberry Cobbler with vanilla ice cream which was my favorite of the two.
A small selection of merchandise is available in a small curio cabinet in the foyer and on their store page of the website.
So, for all you southern folk livin here in the north, we would say the Neely’s Barbecue Parlor is a “must-do” the next time you visit Manhattan!
As always, I wish you days filled with wonder – take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!