Last Friday was walky talky time with my friend Tina. We headed south east from 5th Ave. in midtown and did our usually catching up while we walked and observed our changing surroundings from block to block.
I have walked down 3rd avenue a dozen times before and for some reason always forgot that Rolf's German Bar Restaurant was here. Maybe because it was always dark when I'd walked this way in the past, I'm not sure. Anyway it was about 7pm and still daylight when Tina stopped in mid sentence and pointed to the window of this place. Me, being pretty much blind without my glasses only saw the big branch in the window display and thought "hhhm how nice, there's a tree branch in the window!" She kept saying, "Cool, look!" I got up real close to the window, looked inside and saw what she saw. The entire interior of the place was adorned with trees, branches, a cornucopia of greenery, stained glass lamps and some posts that mimicked signs with the names of the streets. "Aaaah, Ooh, I see!" There were less than 7 people in the bar but the interior beckoned us, so we went in.
Curiosity was what brought us here. I only realized it was Rolf's when the bartender handed us the beer list and I caught the name of the establishment on the top. This place has seen it's better days. It's been around for years and had gained the reputation of having good service, good food and a great festive Christmas and Holiday spirit. Today however, it was a bit slow. The menu sported all sorts of German brews, pilsners and hefeweissen. The decor is awesomely over the top, makes you feel like you're still outside.
I had a glass of already opened savignon blanc and Tina had a glass of red wine. Neither of us were in the beer mood. We also decided to have dinner there. The food menu of course had all sorts of German old world goodies and some new items. We did a prixe fixe of $19.99 which included our glass of wine, salad and entree. I chose the saurbraten, mashed potatoes and cabbage, while Tina chose the Tilapia with potatoes, we each had a house salad. I'll say this much, the food was so so. It wasn't aweful but I expected more. Lore has it that Rolf's has changed in the past 2 years. The tastiest thing on my plate was the cabbage which was surprisingly packed with flavor. Oh well! I still had a great time hanging with my friend and the environment was interesting. The crowd started to pick up after 8pm. Lore also has it that they make a great sausage and wiener shnitzel, maybe we can try that next. andmaybe next time we'll order a German beer to go with the sausage.
If anything Rolf's is worth a visit at least for a drink and the decor. It's still a good local establishment.