Jack the Horse Tavern Gets Michelin Listing

BHB photo by C. Scales

Jack the Horse Tavern, at Cranberry and Hicks Streets, has been listed among the “bib gourmand ” restaurants–those offering two courses and a glass of wine for less than $40–in the latest New York City edition of the prestigious Michelin Guide.

New York Daily News: “These restaurants are our inspectors’ favorites – the ones they’ll go to on the weekend with their own pocket money,” said Michelin guide director Jean-Luc Naret.

Naret’s in town to dole out the awards – and to sample some of the more than 40 types of cuisine his inspectors have singled out as world-class among the borough’s best hidden gems and cheap secrets.

Other nearby restaurants so recognized are: Frankie’s 457, Char No. 4, Prime Meats, Good Fork, and Buttermilk Channel (thanks to BHB reader “Justaneighbor” for this list).

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  • Topham Beauclerk

    Good food isn’t enough though it might be in a city poorer than New York in first-rate restaurants. The room is very cramped, the portions ungenerous, and the staff inhospitable.

  • north heights res

    How many options get you two courses and a glass of wine for under $40? Not many, I’d say. Maybe the pizza and an appetizer? Maybe?

  • Tony

    I’ll give my Jack the Horse horror story again because it’s worth repeating. A waiter once chased me down the street after a meal and chastised me in front of my date for not giving a big enough tip. This would be appalling under any circumstances, but in light of the fact that I gave him a 20% tip it was enough to drive me to homicide. The idiot could not do math. I will never step foot in that place again; I don’t care how many accolades it wins.

  • Victor

    I’m not the biggest fan of the waitstaff, but I love the bartenders and so I typically sit at the bar. And the owner is pretty cool. I would also assume the $40 doesnt include tip. But it’s pretty doable if you get maybe the mac n cheese app and the burger plus a glass of wine. I think that’s a great meal in itself…although you’re probably good enough with just the burger, which I really love.

  • Hicks St guy

    great food, Tim the owner is a terrifc guy & chef, but the Hostesses there are inevitably dingbats & morons. one time I was told there was a 30 minute wait. 15 minutes later, I was told 45 minutes. enough.

  • clark st chica

    There is absolutely nothing scanty about the portions at JtH. I am hardly one of your little birdlike girly eaters and about half the time I can’t manage to finish two courses there. I suggest you try Olive Garden.

  • http://www.flashlightworthybooks.com Flashlight Worthy

    Just to balance things out, my wife and I have had several dozen meals at Jack the Horse and really love it. The food (except for dessert) has always been fantastic and the service has generally been spot-on, especially if you get Chad as your waiter.

    The one exception to good service? Any time you get a waitress instead of a waiter. I don’t know, but we’ve had nothing but good waiters there and 3 different utterly dingbat waitresses. I guess the good news is that they never seem to have more than 1 waitress at a time.

  • Alanna

    Waitstaff is not exactly the best but the bartenders are top-notch and I prefer to sit at the bar and mangia and speak with them (especially Jay on Sundays – Tues nights, he’s awesome).

    Both their $40 prix fixe and Henry’s end $25 price fix + $14 wine pairing are totally worth it. THe owner’s of both establishments are just as top-notch as the menu items they conjure up!

  • cascascas

    I can’t believe the negativity on this thread. I have eaten here three of four times and the food is always great – the chef really knows what he is doing. Service has always been professional and I have no complaints. For a neighborhood joint, JTH is a real gem. My only complaint is the lack of a vegetarian entree option.

  • ABC

    I once told a waiter that my eggs (in a benedict) were cold — like from a refrigerator cold — and he said, maybe they didn’t get heated. and that they cook their eggs before they open. I couldn’t believe it, and he said all restaurants do that. Of course, since I’ve worked in many restaurants I knew that wasn’t true. Cooking eggs to order — of all things — isn’t hard to do. Anyway, he didn’t even offer to heat them up. “They’re all like that”


  • Topham Beauclerk

    The variety of opinion is revealing. I eat out every night, mostly across the river. I never have to choose between quality of food and service because both are almost always equally good in a restaurant where one spends $60+ per person. Not so at Jack the Horse. The owner imagines that so long as his food is good, his customers will tolerate anything. That may be true in Pocatello, Idaho, but not in New York.

    Henry’s End is unfailingly good all round.

  • Annie

    I’ve never had a problem with the waitstaff, just the food. I’ve had bland, undercooked/rubbery scallops and overcooked burgers, (with a burnt — really charred black!) bun. Every time I walk by and see the place packed, I just can’t understand it.

  • RamonaQ

    I’m surprised that Jack the Horse got a Michelin star. The food is good, I’ve never had a real problem with the waitstaff, but I have a problem with the hostess about half the times I go there. But, aside from the hostesses, JtH is really good; I just don’t think it’s awesome enough for a Michelin star. Then again, I was never a fan of Saul either. I guess I am more surprised that Vinegar Hill House did not get one.

  • Pineapple Street Patron

    We have many great meals at JtH and many missed opportunities due to not having a reservation and it’s packed to the gills! The brunch is also great. I’m not sure about the portion complaint because I think they are all reasonable particularly given the richness of the food. The waitstaff has definitely left something to be desired. Steve Martin’s absent-minded waiter often comes to mind…but we deal with it and feel lucky that such a great restaurant is two blocks away.

  • Arch Stanton

    We stopped in there for a drink one night. The bartender was snobbish and condescending to my date. Sorry, that’s unacceptable so I have never gone back to try the food.

  • travy

    i don’t think it got a star, just a sub listing. i find the food is just meh though good for the hood

  • Bongo

    Such nasty posts. We’ve been going to JtH since it first opened. True, the wait staff can be a little spacey at times, but they’re generally good, well informed and pleasant. All the bartenders there are competent, entertaining, and knowlegable. The food is a triumph, portion sizes are utterly appropriate for the quality and richness. Current standouts are the mac-n-cheese, trout salad, and utterly delicious duck. The room is great, with such a leafy view, and a nice big bar, which as popularity increases becomes harder and harder to get a seat at. Congratulations Tim and team, this is well-deserved accolade.

  • Clark Street Resident

    Always had a great meal @ JTH although on our last visit, the hostess chased us for almost 3 blocks in the rain. She told us that we didn’t leave enough to cover the bill. Kind of weird since I usually tip 20% but I went back to settle up. Upon returning, the waitress was standing next to the manager and claimed that we short changed her. She then proceeds to open up the bill and wouldn’t you know it, she couln’t understand/explain where the extra cash came from. She offered to return my tip for my troubles but I declined….we all make mistakes.

  • zburch

    Have eaten at JTH at least 8 times. Our last meal last weekend was truly delicious. We both had specials…a delicious lamb shank and well cooked (not overcooked) fish. Often have the smoked trout and the chicken. Never had the scallops, but I am dubious of scallops bigger than a bay scallop. People love the moules frites. I mean really, for this neighborhood, I think its pretty good. Have never had major problems with the service. I think Henry’s End is kind of tired, the food doesn’t seem to be prepared with much care, last time I had duck, it was a giant portion slapped on the plate…just looked unappetizing, no one should eat that much duck in one sitting.

  • Henry Cranberry

    I’m absolutely appalled at this shocking array of denigrating comments about the waitstaff. Especially Flashlight Worthy–“three different utterly dingbat waitresses.” Do you realize what kind of awful sexist comments you’re making under the safety of a pseudonym? If a waitress is friendly or bubbly, she’s considered an airhead. If she’s professional or reserved, it comes off as severe. It’s a lose-lose situation. My personal experience has been nothing but excellent at Jack the Horse.

    Moreover, that a neighborhood restaurant receiving such an accolade results in a a deluge of negative comments is kind of (very) petty. We all know that Yelp reviewers and people who comment on message boards are exceedingly well-equipped to judge the caliber of food and service. Those people who give Michelin recommendations? Utter dingbats.

  • Arch Stanton

    @ Henry Cranberry, Just because you have had good experiences at JtH doesn’t mean we, who have had bad experiences there, should not voice our opinions. Do you think Tony is being petty with his horror story? And I don’t find Flashlight Worthy’s comment to be sexist; he simply made an observation that the 3 of the waitresses there are dingbats. He didn’t say all waitresses everywhere are dingbats. or they are dingbats because they are female. Would you have the same opinion if some one called some of the waiters dingbats? I think not.