Fortunately, Bill’s Bar and Burger is right there at 22 Ninth Avenue. It opened in October and it’s been the toast of this burger-loving town ever since. It’s been thoroughly covered by everyone who covers food in New York . My favorite quote on the hand-out postcard at the bar: “It was magnificent. It restored my faith in hamburgers and the country that produced them.”- Vanity Fair (!) Wow.
And tops out at $7.50 for a Tuscan Turkey Burger (Puleeze…). We took Cybil, the gorgeous bartender’s advice and ordered The Fat Cat, Caramelized Onions and American cheese on an English Muffin and the oddly named “Sunset and Vine” (pictured at right) which comes with American Cheese and “Special Sauce” (Pictured above). Both were really good, very basic. Certainly not your $25.00 DB Bistro Moderne’s offering with the foie gras and short rib in the middle. Nor the spectacular $16.00 Lamb Burger we’d just had at The Breslin on W. 29th St. These are familiar burgers on familiar buns. Certainly worth every penny you pay for them.
Now about the recipe for Chicken Parmigiano Burgers with Mozzarella and Marinara Sauce. This is a riff on one I saw in Bon Appetit this month and wanted to share with you. I did change it mostly because I wanted to use more basil—at 3.99 a bunch that only seemed reasonable. Also, I used lettuce that I had on hand. Bon Appetit recommended radicchio—which is never a big hit in our house because of its bitterness. I have had requests for some lower fat options in some of my posts and this one certainly fits that bill. They come in at 550 calories a piece and throw in a couple of grams of fiber. They’re easy to make and a great way to satisfy a desire for a healthier option to a hamburger. They don’t take much time at all and they do taste as good as they look. Of course you can substitute regular hamburger buns for the French Bread but the bread does make this dish look fancy, don’t you think? You can use store-bought marinara sauce and no one will know the difference. Here’s the recipe:
10 1/2-inch-thick slices French bread (4 inches in diameter); 8 slices toasted, 2 slices (crust removed) diced
Blend diced bread and Parmesan in processor to fine crumbs. Transfer to pie dish; mix in 2 tablespoons minced basil.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook patties until bottoms are crusty, 4 minutes. Turn patties over; top with cheese. Cook 3 minutes. Cover; cook until cooked through and cheese is melted, about 1 minute.