NYCReview

Mischa image
6.6

Mischa

This spot is Permanently Closed.

American

Midtown East

$$$$Perfect For:Business MealsCorporate Cards
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We’re not here to tell you that the dry-aged hot dog at Mischa is worth its $29 price tag. And we’re not here to tell you that it’s not worth it either. That’s been talked about enough, perhaps too much, and ultimately it takes away from what actually matters: that we wouldn’t recommend coming to this New American restaurant unless your office is in Midtown East, and your company is covering the bill. 

Mischa is the latest spot from the chef who previously brought us crab nachos with uni queso, and lime sorbet in the shape of an avocado at Empellón. He develops dishes that are the food version of gag gifts, his restaurants are pretty successful, and he likely doesn’t care what we think. But we’re here to tell you anyway. 

Mischa image

photo credit: Evan Sung

Mischa image

photo credit: Evan Sung

Mischa image

photo credit: Evan Sung

Mischa image
Mischa image
Mischa image

Wrapped around the mezzanine of The Hugh, a food hall on 53rd and Lex, Mischa feels somewhere between a hotel restaurant and an airport restaurant. You almost expect an iPad on each table for easy, pre-flight ordering. There’s a collection of art that looks AI-generated on one wall, some equally generic sculptures in glass cases, and large booths where people wearing vests discuss prenups after a long day at the office.  

This cavernous space is more crowded on Tuesdays than Thursdays, probably because an early-in-the-week work dinner means nobody will drink too many Mischa Martinis, which are stiffly made, with vodka and three pickled carrot slices each. Your server might tell you that the rest of the menu—with influences from the chef’s Ukrainian and Italian roots—is an “ode to New York.” If you feel like you’ve heard this before, you probably have (see: Torrisi, Tatiana). And you might spend the evening trying to trick yourself into believing it. 

Mischa image

photo credit: Evan Sung

Maybe that $29 hot dog is a nod to hot dog carts. Maybe the grease level on that mushroom patty melt is a reference to a 3am diner burger. And maybe the reason that chopped iceberg salad is limp and soggy is because it’s an homage to the shredded lettuce on your local deli sandwich. Maybe. 

It’s a hard sell though, and more often than not, you’ll feel like you’d be better off spending your own money anywhere else. But, if you do end up here for some business-related occasion, at least the meal won’t be as predictable as a burger at some other Midtown spots full of people in suits. They don’t even have a burger at Mischa (how quirky), and the whole ordeal will give you a lot more to talk about than quarterly reports or last night's game.

@infatuation_nyc we’re not here to talk about the $29 hot dog... our issues with this place go beyond that #mischa #nycrestaurants #honestrestaurantreview #mischanyc ♬ original sound - Infatuation NYC

Food Rundown

Mischa image

photo credit: Evan Sung

Hot Dog

If this hot dog is an ode to hot dog carts, it’s the hot dog who won the lottery, got a whole new wardrobe, and ditched the friends and family who supported them. This dry-aged hot dog is considerably sausage-like, and the most prominent flavor is smoke. The chili and five condiments served alongside it do bring a play-with-your-food element to your evening. There’s spicy mustard, pimento cheese dip, housemade chili crisp, relish, and kimchi that should probably just be called sauerkraut.

Deviled Egg Floating Island

For this appetizer, egg white is whipped to a meringue-like texture, topped with a deviled egg yolk, and served in a pool of savory cream. After experiencing this dish, we can confidently say we prefer the regular version. They don’t skimp on the trout roe though, which is good, considering one deconstructed deviled egg will run you $18.

Mischa image

photo credit: Evan Sung

Mushroom Patty Melt

This vegetarian sandwich is a level of greasy that we didn’t think something made with mushrooms could ever achieve. It is impressive, but not in a good way.

Long Tot

This tater tot (also pictured above) is the best thing on the menu, and it is a very long tot: shredded potato rolled into a log almost five inches in length, and fried to a level of crispness that gives it the ability to stand up on its own.

Mischa image

photo credit: Evan Sung

Duck and Foie Gras Mortadella

We like grown-up bologna just as much as the next person, but this half inch-thick slice served on a bed of mustard and topped with pistachios is a reminder that you can have way, way too much of a good thing.

Brown Butter Spaetzle

The ratio of pine nuts to spaetzle here is approximately 1:1, which made us first wonder how many dollars worth of pine nuts are in each bowl, and then wish that there were a few less. Needless to say, your server will probably describe this as an adult mac and cheese, and that description holds up. It’s the second best thing we've tried on the menu, after the long tots.

Onion Dip

This dip is thick and grainy, like store-bought hummus, and it’s served with a lot of cold, crunchy vegetables. It’s a fine pre-hot dog bite, with somehow citrusy sticks of cucumber, radish, and carrot.

Chopped Iceberg

Imagine an Italian sandwich, topped with an abundance of slightly soggy iceberg lettuce. Now imagine all that lettuce falling into a bowl and landing on your table. That is the best way we can describe the chopped iceberg salad.

Mischa image

photo credit: Evan Sung

Sticky Bun Pie

We’ll hand it to Mischa for this one, because more apple pies should be topped with small sticky buns. We found it a bit heavy-handed on the cardamom, but definitely do make your boss pay for this dessert.

Dark Forest Cake

This is an easy one. If you like chocolate, you should order this. It’s a rich, moist, cake made with rye flour, and it feels like something you’d be allowed just a few bites of as a small child, but now you’re an adult, and you can eat a whole mini cake if you want to.

FOOD RUNDOWN

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