I was so excited when I saw the Hill and Bay construction in my neighborhood. I was so not excited when it looked like it would be a little overpriced. It looked cute but not cute enough to warrant what looked to be a very limited and slightly overpriced menu. I mean, as much as we want to be cool, us Murray Hillians are never going to be East or West Villagers. We crave unique, independent restaurants, but we know our place. We don’t need anything fancy before heading across the street to see the latest X-Men movie at that giant theater. What we do need is something with good food that’s a step or two up from a dive bar.
Hill and Bay got the message because when I walked past recently it looked like they added some items to the menu, thereby expanding the price range. The large plates still average $23, but I would just stick to the starters. They may still seem expensive, but when you realize they’re actually large enough to fill you up, the price is justified. I would have been happy to pick one off the apps and eaten it as my entree, but we were hot (rosé to cool off was necessary) and very hungry, so our group of three shared several of the starters. We got the buttermilk fried boneless chicken (good, but just call a spade a spade – it’s chicken fingers, just like my brother loved to eat when he was 6), meatballs (a good amount of fresh shaved parm), some creamy mac and cheese, fish tacos, and the kale caesar (a good salad but the dressing was a vinaigrette that took it away from caesar-land). They may have fancified the names, but most of these dishes are just good plain comfort food and that’s exactly what I want to eat when I leave the movie theater.