New York rolled out its red carpet last night to welcome Neely’s Barbecue Parlor to the city’s Upper East Side. Do not be fooled, however, this is not your dad’s typical backyard grilling. It is evident that a little taste of Memphis soul is just the mouth-watering menu New York ordered. The moment the opening of Neely’s was announced reservations began pouring in.
Co-owners of Neely’s Bar-B-Que, Pat and Gina Neely, began their journey together into the delectable world of barbecue with several restaurants throughout Tennessee started by Pat Neely and his three brothers. The two made it big when they turned restaurant success into television gold with their popular Food Network Show Down Home with the Neelys where they welcomed America into their home to share their mutual love of family and quality food. Additionally, the power couple released their first cookbook Down Home with the Neelys in 2009 which reached the New York Times best-seller list and are expecting their second, The Neelys Celebration Cookbook: Down Home Meals for Every Occasion, out this November 2011. Now Pat and Gina Neely have paired with Merchant Hospitality’s Abraham Merchant, Richard Cohn and Andy Emmet to introduce New York City to their upscale, contemporary take on American barbeque classics.
The Neelys are not the only Food Network veterans involved in the opening of the restaurant. Executive Chef Wade Burch, winner of The Food Network’s Chopped is excited to get in the kitchen and show New York City residents just what they’ve been missing. The menu offers a wealth of Southern comfort food, seafood, delicious desserts, perfect cocktails and of course barbecue. Burch’s favorite dish on the menu is the Grilled “Harris Ranch” Cowboy Ribeye Steak which he describes as a huge, long bone of red Angus steak that is moonshine glazed with bell peppers. The appetizing slab of meat, that the Texan chef claims he can eat in one sitting, is served with a grown-up version of creamed corn and tobacco onions that he specially seasons with smoked sea salt and smoked paprika to give it just the right amount of flavoring. Burch, who has worked all across the United States including The Plaza Hotel, the Pan Pacific Hotel and the Club Corporation of America, oversees all of Merchant Hospitality Group’s restaurants.
The only thing that could possibly rival the welcoming attitude of Chef Wade Burch is the ambiance inside of Neely’s Barbecue Parlor. Though the space is large with 180 seats including an outdoor café and private dining area, the restaurant has all of the warmth of a true Southern home. There is a sizable bar area that invites guests into the other more intimate rooms to enjoy their meals. Each space has a unique feel as they are all decorated with hand selected vintage furniture and accessories.
Neely’s Barbecue Parlor will be open daily for dinner and will open shortly for brunch so stop on in and enjoy New York’s own inviting slice of Memphis.