The Bromberg brothers are the duo behind New York’s wildly successful string of Blue Ribbon-branded restaurants, which include the flagship Blue Ribbon, which opened 20 years ago and is still going strong, several outposts of Blue Ribbon Sushi (including one in Las Vegas), the new Blue Ribbon Beer Garden, and the food menu at the popular Brooklyn Bowl. One of their most popular and enduring menu items has been the fried chicken, and at their newest endeavor, aptly named Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, the noble fried bird assumes its rightful place at the center of attention.
Click Here for the Inside Look: New York’s Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken Slideshow
“We first introduced fried chicken to our menu in 1992, and have used the same recipe since then,” Bruce Bromberg, who founded and runs the restaurants along with his brother Eric, told us. “We spent a long time messing around with the recipe, with all these different breadings, but we found that the simplest version was the best.”
And that version is certainly simple, but it’s been perfected over the past 20 years: The chicken gets a dip in egg white, then is coated with matzo meal and seasoned flour, then tossed into the deep fryer. The result is crispy, crunch, juicy, tender, and hits all the right notes.
As for why fried chicken is having such a moment, Bromberg believes that it all comes back to the element of fun. “It’s hard to argue with fried stuff!” he said. “All you have to do is put bacon on it or deep fry it, and people will love it if it’s done right. It’s fun, easy, you can eat it with your fingers, you can dip it, it’s crunchy, fatty, and delicious.”
As its name might imply, the restaurant, located in the East Village, is anything but fancy. “We created what we think is an awesome, casual environment,” he continued. “It’s just a place to come and eat fried chicken. It’s not a fine dining experience; it’s a place to hang out, drink some beers, and eat some fried chicken and burgers.”
Yes, burgers will also be on the menu (chicken burgers, at least), along with sides including fried beans and onion rings, salads, and offerings for more adventurous eaters that include fried gizzards and “beak to butt,” fried necks and backs. For the Brombergs, it’s clear that while doing one thing really well will suffice, it’s always better to do a lot of things really well.
Click here for an inside peek at Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken.
NYC's Ultimate Fried Chicken Guide
Fried chicken lovers should head to these Michelin-recognized restaurants serving up some exceptional fowl.
Fried chicken is an enduring classic and usually conjures a specific image of dining: a heaping platter of varied chicken pieces with thick, crispy crust and juicy meat inside, accompanied by sides like mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits.
These Michelin-recognized restaurants present this dish in ways that our inspectors noticed as exceptional, sometimes challenging tradition with unique twists. From a giblets platter at chef Antoine Westermann’s upscale poultry bistro Le Coq Rico in the Flatiron District to the yakitori bar Tori Shin to the Southern classics at Melba’s in Harlem—this finger-licking list leads you through as wide a range of interpretations as it does settings.
Clear the day, invite a friend or five and get ready for some delicious fried chicken. (Turn things up a notch by cramming as many spots as your stomach can handle into one day for a killer food crawl.)
What It Is: Doug Crowell's warm and relaxed Court Street favorite in Brooklyn.
What to Order: Buttermilk fried chicken sandwich served on house-made bread with butter pickles and savoy cabbage slaw ($15) and Catskill Brewery Freak Tractor wild ale ($7).
What Our Inspectors Say: "The name may refer to the tidal strait but also evokes feelings of comfort and cheer in a place that's already cute and where the close-set tables and large bar both add to the animated atmosphere. The kitchen seeks out worthy suppliers and with no little skill imbues each dish with that little extra something, be it the cod with Littleneck clams, the fresh linguini with beets or indeed the buttermilk-fried chicken. This care is even evident at weekend brunches on standouts like short rib hash."
Reservations: The restaurant accepts reservations for dinner for parties of all sizes, but does not accept reservations for brunch.
Inside Look: New York’s Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken - Recipes
Award-winning, New York-based Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken today announced that it has integrated Apple Pay into the iPad-based NorthStar Order Entry POS system from Custom Business Solutions at its newest location in the Downtown Summerlin shopping center in Las Vegas. The integration of Apple Pay broadens the scope of available forms of payment for guests at the popular fried chicken restaurant.
“We knew the guests in our Las Vegas location look for a modern, convenient, and delicious experience the second they enter our restaurant. When considering ways to enhance the guest experience, we knew that technology would play an integral role,” said Bruce Bromberg, one of the chefs and co-owners of Blue Ribbon Restaurants. “We wanted a system that would increase convenience and payment security, while providing a future-conscious answer for our guests.”
Bromberg’s needs were quickly met by Custom Business Solutions (CBS), creators of the NorthStar cloud-based POS system that is currently deployed in numerous Blue Ribbon restaurants. CBS’ NorthStar provides Blue Ribbon with a native guest-facing capability, speedy staff interface and the ability to email receipts.
“Blue Ribbon Restaurants are innovators in the restaurant space and they quickly adopted our iPad solution in a number of restaurants. It was only a matter of time before they would take it to the next level and add Apple Pay,” says Art Julian, CEO of Custom Business Solutions. “Implementing Apple Pay truly embodies the spirit of NorthStar Order Entry – allowing the guest to create the exact experience they want.”
The NorthStar Order Entry with Apple Pay combination has already had a positive impact for the Blue Ribbon Restaurant group and the team has plans to roll this combination out in more of its locations across the country in the coming months.
About Blue Ribbon Restaurants:
Blue Ribbon Restaurants was founded in 1992 by chefs and co-owners Bruce and Eric Bromberg, and owns and operates 19 top-quality dining experiences in New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and London. Beginning with opening industry favorites Blue Ribbon Brasserie and Blue Ribbon Sushi on Sullivan Street in SoHo, the Bromberg Brothers’ latest ventures include The Ribbon on Manhattan’s Upper West Side neighborhood, a Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken in Las Vegas and a new Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill in Los Angeles at The Grove. Always defying convention, the restaurants range in scope from French-inspired brasserie, to Japanese Sushi Bar & Grill, a market, a wine bar and Brooklyn Bowl. Blue Ribbon also provides restaurant consulting services and operates a wholesale bread bakery in New York City. In 2010 Bruce and Eric Bromberg released their first cookbook, The Blue Ribbon Cookbook, which offers recipes for Blue Ribbon signature dishes and insider culinary wisdom. For more information on Blue Ribbon Restaurants and the Brombergs, visit www.blueribbonrestaurants.com.
About Custom Business Solutions:
Since 1994, the software solutions offered by CBS have helped numerous hospitality professionals operate their businesses more profitably. Restaurants and restaurant guests alike have benefited from CBS’s NorthStar suite of products that offer something new in both Point of Sale and dining experiences. Combined with full 24/7 Support, CBS serves up incomparable innovation. Custom Business Solutions is truly Changing POS As You Know It.
This Fried Chicken Sandwich Is Everything You Love About The State Fair&mdashOnly BETTER
If you've ever been to a state fair, you know it's all about the food&mdashmostly the fried food. Turns out, fairs aren't the only place you can get that kind of grub. When New York-based Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken tapped Los Angeles-based chef Jeremy Fall, he decided to create a fried chicken sandwich of epic proportions that outshines even the most iconic state foods around: He topped the whole thing with funnel cake. Funnel cake!
It's unlike any fried chicken sandwich you've ever had. It's sweet, crunchy, salty, savory&mdashbasically checking all the craving boxes. I could say that the star is the signature fried chicken, or that it's the golden funnel cake, but it's actually the maple mayo swirled onto the bun. Every element works together in perfect harmony, which is exactly what a sandwich should do.
The State Fair sandwich is available at Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken through the end ofSeptember only, so get there before it's gone. Book a flight if you have to: It's worth the trip.
It’s All About the Honey Sauce at Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken
In NYC, the Blue Ribbon brand has turned into a veritable mini-chain with restaurants spanning a variety of cuisines and levels of formality including high-end sushi, casual southern-influenced cuisine, and a modern American brasserie. Possibly the most hype has been about their very popular Brooklyn Bowl location, where they serve an array of fast casual pub food to the bowling masses.
At Brooklyn Bowl, people go absolutely crazy for the fried chicken. This exact chicken recipe from that menu has since become the primary focus of the Blue Ribbon empire’s latest spin-off, Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken. This East Village spot opened to a ton of press and buzz, so my expectations were understandably set high.
The shop was well-designed and felt enormous with high vaulted ceilings and large glass walls overlooking the busy East Village streets. It was a very bright space and was kept immaculately clean. This was no greasy-ass fried chicken dive, hole-in-the-wall.
Although the restaurant focuses on fried chicken, there actually are a number of other offerings on the menu such as chicken wings, chicken burgers, sides, and more.
I knew on my visit I had to sample their namesake — the fried chicken. I had read that their fries were nothing special, so I didn’t even bother with a combo and opted for a single side piece of fried thigh meat. Along with the fried chicken, I was also drawn to a dish called Liver & Onions and ordered that as well.
I watched as the kitchen individually shook red powder over every single piece of fried chicken which seemed like a good sign flavorwise. And once I received my platter, my mouth began to water just by looking at the crispy, fried crackly nooks and crannies covering the exterior of the thigh meat. To get that texture, I hear they bread the chicken with crumbled matzoh meal — pretty brilliant.
So, I grabbed a seat and bit right into the fried chicken with a satisfying crunch, but immediately felt the entire sheet of fried skin detach from the meat while releasing scalding hot greasy liquid onto my hands and into my mouth.
The meat inside was very moist, but it was definitely pretty unnerving to see the all of that oil pour out of the breading. Also, this fried chicken was oddly flavorless especially considering the amount of presumably flavorful red powder I watched them shake onto each piece.
Not a great start, but I crossed my fingers and moved onto the Liver & Onions that I was equally as anxious to experience for myself. I had high hopes for this dish too. As a Jew and lover of creamy, silky, and chunky chopped liver I figured this would be a no-brainer.
I was hoping for whipped nuggets of liver with a smooth and creamy interior and a crispy exterior crust — the ideal mix of creamy and crunchy combined. What I got instead were soggy, lukewarm, sponge-like hunks of liver that were barely crispy and came topped with soggy, charred onions. There was absolutely none of the creamy crispy contrast I was dreaming of and the onions came out tasting bitter. Honestly, these onions were borderline offensive.
The sauces, however, were the saving grace of my meal.
Every table was stocked with a bottle of Wildflower Honey, Honey Mustard, Chipotle Honey, BRBBQ Sauce, and Habanero Hot Sauce. By smothering every single bite of fried chicken and fried chicken liver with these sauces, I was able to salvage each of the rather underwhelming dishes. I was particularly fond of the flavored honey varieties and used a ton of the Chipotle Honey.
In conclusion, I was pretty disappointed by the over-hyped food at Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken. Next time I’m in the mood for fried chicken I’ll probably head to the better and comparably priced Dirty Bird To-Go. Actually, I found eating at this casual restaurant was really more of an excuse to drink a ton of honey than anything else.
Know a place with serious fried chicken that I need to check out? Let me know in the comments below.
Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken
28 E. 1st St. New York, NY 10003
Bromberg Bros. Blue Ribbon Cookbook Launch Party
While some of the dishes are too fussy for me to bother attempting beef marrow bones with oxtail marmalade, anyone? Zoe Feldman rated it it was amazing Apr 15, Lee Elliott rated it liked it Aug 17, Diane rated it it was amazing Dec 16, Serve with honey, if you’d like. They have innovative ways of dressing up plain ol’ toast, and I can’t wai While some of the dishes are too fussy for me to bother attempting beef marrow bones with oxtail marmalade, anyone? Lindsey Yonk added it Aug 13, To ribbno what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This is not a book for absolute beginners in the kitchen, yet there are a couple simple recipes one could start with. Greg McClay rated it liked it Apr 15, The photography is just what I look for in a cookbook – simple, cookboom dish that just looks scrumptious. Michael marked it as to-read Mar 23, Apr 12, Scottsdale Public Library added it Shelves: The brothers share insightful cooking tips in “Blue Ribbon Wisdom” boxes throughout the book.
Inside Look: New York’s Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken - Recipes
I had read many good things about this place, so my wife and I had to try it on our recent visit to Las Vegas (July 15, 2020). The building is small, with very little seating, if you want to escape the hot Vegas temperature, like it was on the day of our visit however, we visited during a time when we were the only people in the building, so that was nice, although others began to arrive after we had ordered. WE were welcomed by the staff the moment we stepped inside, and they were all very pleasant, and cheerful during our entire stay. Fried chicken is one of my favorite foods, so I was anxious to try out their recipe. My wife seldom eats fried chicken, so I was pleasantly surprised that she wanted to join me. I ordered the four piece dinner (Breast, wing, leg, and thigh), along with the French fries ($19.95). My wife had the two piece wing dinner, with fries (I cannot remember the price for her dinner, but it was under $19.95. The chicken was seasoned just right for my taste, and it was crispy on the outside, and juicy on the inside. My wife even stated that she enjoyed the chicken wings, as well, even though she is not a chicken eater. To make matter even better, we both love crispy fries, and the fries were just that. Overall, we both thoroughly enjoyed enjoyed our meals, and the very friendly staff made our meal even more pleasant. It was obvious they appreciated our business. My wife did have an alcoholic drink, which I thought was over priced at $15.00, but my wife enjoyed it, and it is Vegas, after all. We will definitely eat here again the next time we are in town.
6 - 10 of 196 reviews
First visit, just ordered chicken tenders. Chicken was moist inside, crunchy and not too greasy on outside, had good flavor. Service a tad slow even though it didn't seem too busy at the time. Overall good experience and would eat here again.
JJCee5, Thank you for recommending our restaurant! We are happy to read you enjoyed your tenders and I have shared your feedback with the rest of my team so we can be sure to provide the best experience possible. All of our chicken is cooked fresh to order and the average wait time is 10-15 minutes. Thanks again! Kindly, BRFC
Willie Mae’s Scotch House
My love of fried chicken has been well documented on this site. My love of travel is alluded to frequently here, and honestly, traveling for food is pretty much the norm for me.
Which leads me to my trip to New Orleans the second week of May. Partially to visit my lovely friend Jenn, partially to eat a lot.
Jenn came to pick me up from the airport and took me straight to Willie Mae’s Scotch House, where I’d read a number of articles proclaiming it the best fried chicken in the country.
Wutttttt? Of course I had to go and see what was what. Because of the early hour – I landed around 10, we got there about 11, 11:30 – there was absolutely no wait. Which is great, because I hate waiting, and it was much more humid than I’d expected it to be – and waiting is done entirely outside the restaurant, since there’s no foyer or really a hostess stand area.
We quickly placed our orders when asked what kind of bread we wanted, Jenn responded cornbread. I declined any, as I knew I’d have trouble eating all that I ordered, plus I don’t love cornbread that much. I did try a small bite of hers as she graciously offered, and it was tasty. But I saved room for the main event…
Jenn’s fried catfish came quickly, overflowing the plate – look how HUGE that piece is! – fried expertly. Auspicious – the crust was a little too peppery for me, but it was well-seasoned and pretty tasty. Just way too much for one portion!
You get your choice of sides, and Jenn chose red beans and rice. I’m not sure you can completely understand scale here she took a few bites to sample it but most of it went home with us because this is just a large plate with red beans and then a scoop of rice on top.
For my side, I chose butterbeans and rice after our very friendly, nice server told me that was her favorite side. Creamy – to the point where the beans had been practically creamed – lots of onion, and a bit of chile pepper to give it a little kick – I pretty much scraped the plate. I thoroughly enjoyed this and wonder why I don’t see this on more menus it was a very hearty and delicious accompaniment to my fried chicken. Very tasty.
This picture is after I ate a bunch of the sweet potato fries already. I’m not sure what possessed me to add these on – I don’t care for sweet potatoes that much – but these were kind of sad. Not crisp, not particularly well-seasoned nor flavorful, they were just… okay. Oh well.
I asked for all dark meat, and our server said no problem – though what showed up was a thigh, a drumstick, and a wing. No big deal – I just didn’t want a breast. And I definitely wanted a thigh.
Crisp exterior. Lightly battered, with the thinnest crust ever, and a juicy, moist interior.
Very, very good fried chicken indeed. The best in America? Well, this is going to be tricky. It’s very, very good fried chicken. Extremely tasty. But this is not, personally, fried chicken that I’d want on a very regular basis. Were I to live in the same city, it would certainly be in the rotation, but out of every 5 times I had fried chicken, I’d want this one maybe once. Why? This is a different style of fried chicken I like mine simply floured and fried. You may wonder at the difference, but there is a distinct difference to fried chicken that’s been battered. I enjoyed my pieces greatly – and happily ate the thigh and drumstick (I kind of forced Jenn to eat the wing), considering it excellent fried chicken.
Just not my daily, go-to fried chicken.
That’s still Bobwhite. I go there more often than I care to admit… and it’s my “daily” fried chicken, without a doubt.
I will admit, however, that considering the secret recipe for Willie Mae’s… I started pondering what’s in the batter and I have plans/ideas for attempting to recreate it at home one day very soon. Not because I crave it, but just to see if I can.
Willie Mae, I tip my hat to you, good lady you make excellent fried chicken.