Restaurateurs Zach Neil and Brian Link are bringing a unique brand of whimsy to Manhattan's restaurant and bar scene. The duo, who launched the Will Ferrell-themed bar Stay Classy New York in October, have just opened Beetle House, a Tim Burton homage named after the director's 1988 hit film Beetlejuice.
Inside the surreal movie set-like space—decked out with vintage medical equipment, insect diagrams and movie memorabilia, not to mention musicians, magicians and dancers—you can dig into dishes inspired by a number of Burton's films. There's the "Edward Burger Hands," made with organic ground bison, organic smoked bacon, pepper jack cheese, a quail egg, sriracha cream, avocado and tomato on a honey garlic bun. And you'll find a 16-ounce seared filet with sautéed mushrooms, onions, and a red wine reduction. Its name? "Sweeney Beef."
Beetle House equals Stay Classy New York in its obsessive attention to its subject: At Stay Classy, the walls are adorned with playful movie-themed artwork, including a portrait of Mugatu, Ferrell’s evil villain character in Zoolander. Even the cocktails have a Ferrell bent. The "Shake and Bake" (a reference to Talladega Nights) combines whiskey and sour mix with a splash of ginger. "You’re My Boy Blue!" (an homage to Old School) mixes gin and blue curacao with sweet and sour and pineapple juice.
The Burton-centric drinks at Beetle House range from the "Beetlejuice"—a stiff blend of tequila and blackberry schnapps with muddled blackberries, lime, concentrated bitters and splash of cranberry—to the "Barnabas Collins" (a reference to Dark Shadows) made with rye whiskey, crushed brown sugar, chocolate bitters and aromatic bitters. While you're imbibing, don't be surprised if "the ghost with the most" steps up to greet you. Yes, Beetlejuice himself roams the halls. Just don't say his name out loud three times.
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