British Chef to Show New Yorkers How to Make a Great Cheeseburger

New York is jammed with burger joints, is there room for one more?

You might think April Bloomfield took a risk in 2004 when she opened a gastropub in New York's Greenwich Village: Would Americans go for the British chef's full-on dishes such as sliced beef tongue with salsa verde, farm egg and croutons, served in a noisy bar?

The Spotted Pig turned out a hit, with diners willing to wait hours for a  table. Now, Bloomfield and her business partner, Ken Friedman, are going a step further, with plans for a hamburger joint to tempt the palates of picky New Yorkers who are already spoiled for choice.

Chef April Bloomfield. Photographer: Melanie Dunea/Becca PR via Bloomberg
Chef April Bloomfield. Photographer: Melanie Dunea/Becca PR via Bloomberg

Bloomfield is going to buy whole steers and then grind them for the patties, while also making her own cheese, pickles, mustard and buns at Salvation Burger, which is scheduled to open in mid-November on East 51st Street, near Third Avenue. The meat will come from At Ease, a farm in upstate New York.

"I'm very excited about it: I wanted to start grinding my own beef and it started from that," Bloomfield says in an interview at the Breslin, another of her New York restaurants.

"We're going to do hot dogs. We're going to do boozy milk shakes -- fun stuff like salted caramel and banana with bourbon. We are going to have a little take on Filet-o-Fish, and then we've got a classic beef which is the two skinny patties, and then an 8-ounce with a bun and maybe some smoked short-ribs with funky cheese."

Bloomfield, who formerly worked at Kensington Place, Bibendum and the River Cafe in London, is already known for her beef burgers at the Spotted Pig and lamb burgers at the Breslin. Her other restaurants include the John Dory Oyster Bar in New York and Tosca Cafe in San Francisco.

She and Friedman also own Salvation Taco, near the site of Salvation Burger, which will seat about 75 diners. The area isn't known for its restaurants. Why there?

"Every spot in New York deserves its own little place," she says. "And I live right there, which is good."

Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter @richardvines.

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