Review: The Piccadilly at Manhattan in Maplewood
Owned and operated by the same family since the 1920s, The Piccadilly at Manhattan at 7201 Piccadilly Ave., makes patrons feel more like houseguests than customers. Graced with an intimate, inviting outdoor space including a covered patio, this neighborhood mecca of casual, down-home fare is a delightful spot to drop in for lunch. The menu, available Tuesday through Saturday, teems with time-tested family recipes.
Smoked Prime Rib Sandwich
This sandwich starts with whole rib-eye loin hickory-smoked in a well-worn charcoal barbecue pit proudly parked in the lot outside the kitchen. Smoked to medium-rare, the meat is finished on a flattop grill, then tucked in a buttery, toasted brioche bun along with melted Swiss-American cheese and a dollop of house-made horseradish-dill cream sauce for some kick. Served standard with thick-cut french fries, the sandwich is supremely satisfying.
The Patty Melt
The patty melt at Piccadilly is happiness on bread – thick, toasted slices of marbled pumpernickel rye, to be exact. The 8-ounce patty consists of ground brisket, short rib and chuck, a beefy trio that results in a juicy, red-centered burger that doesn’t fall apart as you tear into it. Gooey, melted Swiss-American cheese and house-made Thousand Island dressing mix and mingle with a soft pile of grilled yellow onions to complement each bite. Comfort food at its finest.
Fried Chicken Plate
Per the homestyle family recipe, the chicken is treated to a simple coating of salt, pepper and flour. The golden-brown crust has a light, satisfying crunch that gives way to a marvelously moist bird. An entire half-chicken serving (or your choice of white or dark meat) comes with boiled green beans and mashed potatoes topped with rich chicken gravy.
Piccadilly’s owners estimate they serve up to 10,000 potpies in a year. By far the most popular item on the menu, it lives up to the hype. Thick chunks of white meat are roasted then tossed into a stew rich with lima beans, carrots, corn, onions and heavy cream. The savory mixture is ladled into a bowl, topped with puff pastry and baked to crispy perfection for a simple-yet-substantial execution of the classic comfort food dish.
Piccadilly’s is a superb take on the Southern classic. Plump shrimp dusted with house-made Cajun seasoning are seared to not-quite-blackened, then folded into a toasted hoagie roll and finished with a drizzle of remoulade that brings zest and creaminess.
One of the sadder dishes was the seared tuna steak salad. While the sushi-grade fish was served with a nice medium-rare, purple-pink center, the salad needed something more than romaine and just-satisfactory sesame-ginger vinaigrette.
Matt Berkley is a longtime contributor and critic for Sauce Magazine.
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