7 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002
Overall rating: ★★★
Manhattan is known for being full of diversity and culture — it is the urban metropolis where people from all different walks of life begin to venture on the same path. What is so great about New York’s highly diverse culture is that it affects the dining scene as well. There are so many restaurants and bars all over the city that bring a little taste of foreign food to the city’s streets — one of them being Loreley on the Lower East Side.
I woke up the other day just wishing I was in Europe trying new foods and having new dining experiences. Well, lucky for me, Google exists and after a while of browsing I discovered Loreley, the restaurant and biergarten with authentic German food and beer! Obviously, it is impossible for any restaurant in New York to have really authentic German food (in order to do so we would have to be in Germany), but I figured I would try dining at Loreley just to see what they had to offer. While looking at the menus, I saw that they had brunch so I waited for the upcoming Saturday to go with a friend.
After being misguided by iPhone maps about 4 times (yes it is possible, even if you have lived in New York for more than a year) we finally arrived. The first thing I saw was the bar and around the corner there were communal “family style” tables that aligned the brick wall leading back to the outdoor beirgarten. Unlike the Biergarten at the Standard Hotel, this one is low-key and laid back with a much more pub-like atmosphere.
The German culture was emphasized by the menu with every dish title written in its German translation. Never having eaten German food before, I decided to get the Schinken Rühreier mit Schnitzel und Kapernsauce. If you are like me and have no idea what that means, here is a translation: bacon scrambled eggs with pan fried schnitzel (thin slice of veal or meat), potato pancakes and a brown butter and caper pan sauce. As you can see in the photo below, this dish was not visually appealing and it was fine to the taste buds. The best part of it in my opinion, was the fried schnitzel, which tasted very good with sour cream. Other than that, nothing really stood out. The potato pancakes were a bit sour and the bacon scrambled eggs were pretty plain. The dish was not bad, but I wouldn’t go back and get it a second time.
My friend decided to take the plunge and get the Weisswurst mit Brot — two Weisswurst sausages served with sweet Bavarian mustard and fresh rye bread. Along with my dish, the Weisswurst mit Brot was not very visually appealing, but the sausages were very tender and each one was different than the other. The light sausage to the left was very light, airy and subtle. The middle sausage had a peppery flavor and was firm and dense. Finally, the last sausage tasted more like salami and was thicker and heavier than the first two. There was sauerkraut on the side which I was not a fan of, but the potatoes were pretty good. This dish (one of Loreley’s signature dishes) was very interesting and filling.
When it came to German beverages, my friend and I tried 3 beers (one being an Oktoberfest beer) and 1 cider that I will lay out and explain for you.
1) Spaten Oktoberfest: amber colored, medium-bodied, sweet/spice aroma, a lot of malt flavor — I really liked it because it was lighter and I liked the sweet/spicy aroma, but I have heard mixed reviews. If you like dark, heavy beer, this definitely isn’t up your alley.
2) Köstritzer Schwarzbier: dark but not as heavy, thick or frothy as Guinness, more bitter than Guinness, a bit smoky. If you like dark beer, this is an interesting one to try.
3) Schneider Wiesen Edel-Weisse: similar color and taste to that of Hoegaarden, but a bit more bitter and very smooth. Definitely try.
4) Woodchuck Cider: very sweet, no carbonation, amber, tasted like apple juice. Too overwhelmingly sweet, I like the Irish Bulmers more. Choose beer over this cider.
Loreley was definitely a fun, one-time experience where I could feel as if I was in Germany for a day and try new drinks and foods. However, the food did not blow me away — maybe that’s because I’m not an avid German food eater, I don’t really know.
I decided to split the rating between Food and Drink before giving the Overall rating.
Drinks:★★★½ — good selection, you just have to know what you’re in the mood for
Overall rating: ★★★
At the end of the day, if you like culinary adventures like I do, you should go to Loreley just to have a new experience . If you do not like to embark on experimental food adventures, then I suggest you go to a different restaurant, or, if you are in the mood to have a little bit of German drinking fun, check out the German-inspired Biergarten at the Standard Hotel. Even though Loreley’s atmosphere and food/drink selection minimally reflects the real German dining experience, I was able to enjoy this one-day eating expedition and it definitely inspired me to try some of New York’s best German restaurants, such as Schnitzel Haus and Zum Schneider, in the future.
Fun bar and atmosphere
Good for big groups
Very authentic German food and beer
Very helpful bartenders and waiters — they help you decide what to choose if you are unfamiliar with German food/drink