19 October 2011
We've been curious about The Fulton, as we'd heard rumblings online and had a menu passed to us on the street. The new kid on the block has a massive open space guarded by two very tall and thick black bouncers, donning black suits. The atmosphere boasts pitch black walls, grey finishes and several retired cheerleader-types in sequined tanks. If you're not getting the "modeled after sports bar on Murry Hill vibe" yet, TVs are embedded in every wall, behind tragically glaring glass.
We arrived with the intention of catching the Steelers-Jaguars game, a hope which shouldn't be out of reach, considering the copious TVs, loaded with Direct TV. However, the hostesses and bar keeps seemed to lack the mental gymnastics to program TVs for patrons (the couple next to us were itching to catch the Giants and Redskins games).
We decided to exercise patience and ordered two bloody marys (note, these are tasty, but certainly not $15 a pop good- reserve that honor for Balthazar). I requested the onion soup with melted Gruyere and garlic crostini and the warm spinach dip to nibble on, while we decided whether or not to camp out. The soup is decent, but could be improved with sliced baguette. The crostini was also served on the side and had the consistency of stale biscotti- thick and slightly chewy- becoming a lump of wet dough. The spinach dip: on par with TGIFridays (boxed in the freezer section of your grocer).
Midway through our plates, the waitress announced that they couldn't sort out the TVs, but the Steelers game happened to be on in the back room. We agreed to have a parade of bus boys relocate us.
I hopped into the bathroom, while we waited for our second round of drinks. The L-Shaped space was armed with an attendant, a collection perfumes, various brands of cigarettes, candies and all the other emergency items you expect to find within this set-up. I was mildly impressed, until I realized the stall was freakishly small- my knees were pressed against the door while sitting (I'm 5'7"). To boot, the bathroom attendant did not offer me a towel to dry my hands. What is her function? Perfume and Hershey's kiss guard? I won't even get into the confusion of sports bar meets high-end restaurant bathroom arrangement...
Back at the table, my fiance seemed to want to order more food. Sure, let's give these folks clad in matching black converse shoes one more chance, to win our affection. We requested the Angus slides with truffle oil and Gruyere, as well the truffled fries. When in doubt, go truffled. We sipped through a few more rounds of drinks before we realized it had been quite some time since we ordered. My fiance inquired about the delay, to which the waitress offered sour face and said, "the kitchen is backed up." This happens. We understand. Unfortunately, the space was only 1/3 full. What happens on a busy night?
The eventual arrival of our food managed to offer only disappointment. The sliders were too small for the burnt buns and overcooked themselves. The fries were decent, but nothing to write home about.
They'd do well to focus on the Bridge and Tunnel crew.