Your First Look at Nelly Spillane’s
Irish eyes have been smiling on 33rd Street. Just a month or so after Hickey’s closed it’s doors, Nelly Spillane’s opened for business two blocks east. The new pub has been open for about a month now in the space that long ago was Latin spot Caridad. I stopped in last week to grab lunch and see what it’s all about.
Just like K Foods next door, the space is deep and narrow. The bar is up front, with screen after screen of sports flashing overhead and classic rock blaring from speakers. I’ll leave the booze news for a future Midtown Happy Hour, but I couldn’t help but notice that the dozen-plus taps included a pretty good selection. It’s certainly got some brews that would lure drinkers away from often-crowded neighbor, Rattle N Hum.
The menu is full of typical pub grub. There are buffalo wings and sliders, burgers, shepherd’s pie, fish & chips and a Reuben that’s probably best left alone. Nearly everything but the appetizers are over $10, but during the lunch hour (until 2pm), they offer soup and half a sandwich for $8.95. The idea of eating half a sandwich is a little odd to me. Outside of a muffaletta, I expect my sandwiches to be a single serving. Even so, I decided to give it a try:
The soup of the day was split pea, which was tasty and warmed me up nicely on a chilly day. The half cheesesteak could have been filled with napalm given how it scalded me on my first bite. Once it cooled below weapons-grade temperatures, I enjoyed it enough to wish I’d gotten the other half. The onions were caramelized and sweeter than what you usually get in a cheesesteak. The cheese was American, but was so melty that it could almost pass for whiz. It’ll never beat Carl’s in a steak-off, but it’s also much less of a schlep.
There are plenty of other sandwich options available in the lunch specials and although I’m still not sold on this half sandwich business, I could definitely imagine coming back to try some of them out. We’ll give them a little time to get their feet under them before going in with the full +/-, but suffice it to say you could do a lot worse than lunch at Nelly Spillane’s.
Nelly Spillane’s, 18 East 33rd Street (btw. 5+Mad). 212.792.9673