A recent lunch hour found me in Chelsea. Not the cool, food oriented part of Chelsea – more like the dirty, crowded part of Chelsea. I didn’t expect to find a great meal here, other than the hot bar at Whole Foods, but then I remembered that I had a freestanding invitation to dine at Highpoint Bistro and Bar. Well, okay.
Highpint Bistro and Bar is located on busy Seventh Avenue. It sits amidst nail salons, bars offering 2-for-one shots, and a few scattered fabric stores. Once you step inside, you leave all that behind. The bistro is slim but well designed, with comfortable tables and booths in the sunlit space. The high ceilings and long bar make it ideal for a leisurely lunch with a friend.
The menu is full of modern American dishes that take cues from Asian and Europe. Think your classic neighborhood joint with a bit more international flair.
These 4 tiny tacos are an ideal starter because they are small enough to be light but flavorful enough to whet the appetite. Dices of mild tuna are marinated in a salty soy and ginger mixture, then topped with ruby beads of tobiko and a smooth cilantro-seasoned avocado mousse. Drag it though the Sriracha spiced mayo for a final touch of heat. The cucumber noodles are also delicious – sweet, sour, and a little spicy, they actually taste like al dente noodles.
The only way to make something with bacon better is to add avocado – Highpoint took that advice and did it to great effect. Buttery avocado lay on crisp, thickly cut bacon, juicy tomatoes and crunchy romaine lettuce. That same Sriracha mayonnaise added a bit of heat ot eh sandwich, and the combination of spicy, creamy, salty, and meaty, was thoroughly enjoyable. The one issue I had with this sandwich was that the bread was very dense and cottony – a thinner, more artisanal bread with better holes structure would better serve the excellent ingredients. The accompanying homemade potato chips were a bit salty, but overall a welcome side dish.
This pizza succeeds because it is properly titled – it is a flatbread/pizza hybrid. Thicker than a flatbread, but less charred than a pizza. My expectations were met in every way. A bright tomato sauce under nutty manchego cheese, thick slices of spicy, garlicky chorizo, and a perfectly baked egg. The egg was runny and rich on the pizza, adding another layer of indulgence. The final, inspired touch was a pile of lightly dressed arugula, adding acidity to the dish. This was the winner of the day.
Highpoint Bistro is a fantastic addition to a part of the neighborhood where a nice restaurant is in high demand. Service is amiable, prices are fair, and the food is really high quality. Next time you need a break from the unrelenting heat, stop in at Highpoint Bistro, and treat yourself to a really delightful meal.
*Disclaimer: The restaurant paid for my meal. I was not required to write a review, and the opinions are my own and unbiased.*