The Collective (Meatpacking)


So what’s a girl to do in the city the Friday before Memorial Day weekend at 3pm?? (READ:  early close on Wall Street)  This is when Lil Miss Chatterbox came to the rescue with her Happy Hour email blast out to the crew.  2:30pm @ The Collective.  The Collective??  Who’s collecting what?  Hmm.  This should be interesting, so I go and check out the website.  I couldn’t tell whether the place looked kitschy or what, but I decided to focus on the menu.  Veal and Ricotta meatball?  Grilled watermelon salad?  Vermont Cheddar Mac & Cheese??  Yummmmm.  This place sounds like it has promise.  So LMC continues to say that they have a half-priced punchbowl special which serves 6-8ppl.  Really?  Ok.  Sold.  I’ll be there at 2:45pm.  Thanks.

So as I walked in, I thought so this what Betsey Johnson and the Chelsea Flea Market’s love child would look like:  old vinyls cut into butterflies on the wall, a chandelier made out of pill bottles, a bar made out muffin tins, pillows made from seatbelts, wall hanging made from laundry-detergent scoops, couches made from cut out bathtubs and everything else there was purchases used to give it a second-chance at life.  This place was basically the mecca for sustainable art.  Brilliant.

Now onto the booze.  And yes, at 3pm on a 80-degree Friday, it will be what starts off the festivities and the holiday weekend!  So what’s this famous punch-bowl that the Metro was advertising this morning?  Voila…it’s all the Walk of Shame punchbowl–all for the bargain-basement price of….$95?!  Really?  For close to Ben Franklin, there better be some serious liquid love in there.  When it arrives, it looks….light.   It comes served in a punch bowl that looked like could have jumped off of Daisy Buchanan’s picnic table.   THAT is what purportly is going to make me do the Walk of Shame tomorrow morning?  Really?  Ok.  I learned a long time ago not to judge anything clear or fizzy as being weak because there are very evil libations out there that are 180-proof.  Yes Everclear, I’m looking at you.  So this drink is comprised of Malibu Rum, lemon-lime soda with a bunch of berries and kiwis floating around.  They top the bowl off with prosecco at your table.  Nice touch, but the punch was not strong.  At all.  Did I mention we had TWO bowls that night between 3 ladies?  Weak.

Onto the food.  I had my heart set on the Veal and Ricotta Meatballs so that order was a given; but LMC and I also shared the daily special for the day, the Turkey Club.  The meatballs were insane.  Incredibly moist with the right amount of flavor compliments of the tomatoe sauce they were enrobed in.  The only complaint was that there weren’t enough of them.  The club is a ginormous size–especially for the female persuasion if you are watching your portions–so it’s recommended to share.  The sandwich was good, but not memorable.  Anything with bacon is going to get at least a C+ from me due to the fact that the dish has those salty, crispy strips of heaven in it.  This sandwich was bordering B-/B.  It was good, but not great.  The turkey was a bit bland and dry, but they offer a red pepper aioli to add some flavor.  The aioli + the bacon gave the sandwich the flavor it was lacking, but not enough for me to say, “I have to go back for that turkey club!”   No.  Not even close


This place is a absolute gem for being located conveniently plus having an uber-friendly staff.  They made the…oh, 7 hours we were there a sheer delight without rushing us out.  Rare in this city I’ve found.  The music gets pretty good after 6pm (I wonder why) so it’s the perfect place to have a group congregate…especially thanks to their ample outdoor seating for the summer months.  The club may not have impressed me, but the meatballs definitely demonstrated a pretty capable kitchen, so I definitely will be going back to taste some of the other goods.  See you guys there this summer!


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