Dear AHT: Wagyu Burger at GILT Bar in NYC

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Dear AHT, Letters From Our ReadersI am not usually a fan of "Kobe" burgers, as they're typically overpriced and indistinguishable from your typical burger, but I made my trip to the two Michelin-starred restaurant GILT in the New York Palace Hotel in Midtown just to try the Wagyu Beef burger on their bar menu. At $28, the price point is high end, but the presentation is fantastic and fits with the Gilded Age surroundings.

The bun was a soft, fluffy, sesame seed brioche baked in-house that was slightly charred on the outer edges. At first glance I thought the Wagyu patty was small but realized it was much thicker than I first thought. At around eight ounces, the charred, wood-grilled patty was cooked medium-rare just as I requested and was well-proportioned with the bun. The beef actually was distinguishable from other burgers I've had: It had a slightly more gamey and creamy taste, without a doubt from the much higher fat content than your average 80/20 beef burger. Seasoning was kept to a minimum to let the beef stand on its own. The quality of toppings was also first rate: The house bacon (an extra $2.50) was thick and well charred and the lettuce and pickles were fresh. The burger comes with excellent onion rings.

Although I've had better burgers for much less money, the execution of GILT's Wagyu burger was just as I hoped for. The price and proximity of other amazing burgers in NYC make it a tough sell though, unless you're not on the hook for the bill. I also was impressed with the attentiveness of the service as I decided against ordering any of their $15+ cocktails at the bar. The bar area was not very busy at around 8 p.m. when I went.

—Braxton F.

GILT Bar at the New York Palace

55 Madison Avenue, NY NY 10022 (map) 212-891-8100; Note: Burger is only available at the bar.