Until recently I had a pretty low opinion of Thistle Hill Tavern. A few years ago I had a lousy veggie burger there, and then I had a brunch so terrible that I didn’t even want to write about it. So I wrote it off and didn’t think about going back. But those experiences happened before Dale Talde became a partner in the restaurant. I had joined my friends Matt & Phaedra at Thistle Hill for cocktails a few times since Talde’s takeover, and they were very good, but I still couldn’t bring myself to eat there. But a few weeks ago we stopped in around 11pm, and I was hungry. There were a few vegetarian items on the menu, but one side dish in particular called out to me: buffalo cauliflower. Matt highly recommended it, and I can see why. The blanched cauliflower was drenched in buffalo-style hot sauce; tangy, salty, and really spicy. And the crumbles of salty, creamy blue cheese just added to the flavor overload. Thistle Hill Tavern’s kitchen is open until midnight, so it’s a perfect spot for a late night meal with some killer cocktails — I particularly recommend the Howard Hughes.
Thistle Hill Tavern — 441 Seventh Avenue