What happens when you take adorable, crunchy tater tots and mash them up with the barbecue world’s favorite moist meat? The ultimate bar snack, aka Jesse Schenker’s brisket tots ($9). Crispy on the outside, soft and meaty on the inside, the rich little bites are the food equivalent of a snuggie — warm, cozy, embarrassingly addictive.
“I wanted to create a craveable staple,” Gander chef/owner Schenker says. “I loved tater tots as a child and I wanted to come up with a sophisticated version.” Mustard crème and pickled apples lend that touch of sophistication. Try having just one. (Impossible).
Opened in April 2014, The Gander is the larger, more casual Chelsea sibling to Schenker’s Recette in the West Village. The menu is full of reinventions of approachable American plates, from a spaghetti and clams with bisque, guanciale and fennel ($22) to a lush dry aged sirloin topped with a garlic compound butter and hen of the woods mushrooms ($40). That edible comfort, along with the soothing, airy décor of the bar and dining room, is why locals stopping in for a peek end up staying for the night.
15 W. 18th St.