The Verona Inn has been here since 1947. What intrigued me most about the Verona Inn is the fact that they get their burger meat from one of Manhattan’s most famous butchers, Pat LaFrieda. They are known for blending ground meat to order for some of Manhattan’s most notable restaurants. The blends are a secret and proprietary. They might use part short rib or brisket along with the ground chuck beef, but of course, all of that is a secret.
Their burgers do not come with fries. However, if you do get a side of fries, it is enough for 2-3 people, or at least should be. The variations are insanely good. Jersey Disco Fries, Truffle Parmasean, Buffalo Fries, etc.
They have a great list of appetizers like corned beef egg rolls, artichoke dip, and of course the regular list of bar grub like chicken wings, chicken tenders, nachos, potato skins and a bunch of others that are not so typical to a local tavern.
When it comes to cocktails, this really is not the place for it. I would call them drinks, and some are good like this Kemosabe Old Fashioned. It is made with mezcal instead of whiskey and it is quite good.
The “cocktails” at $11 each, here is the Southside, which is supposed to be lime, mint and gin. This version has lemons, and supposedly muddled cucumbers. Its served in a beer pint glass and was loaded with ice, not to mention club soda. It is a tasty drink, but certainly not a cocktail.
The next example would be the South Beach. You would think that such a fancy, sophisticated drink might be served in a stemmed glass, not a bar beer glass. Where is the garnish? Where is the Midori Melon liqueur float described on the menu? This just tasted like another generic drink from the 1980s with coconut rum. It should have been called Miami Vice instead. A cocktail that is best left in the 80s along with those unstructured sports jackets Don Johnson would wear.
They do have reasonably tasting flights of whiskey, Scotch, Bourbon, and Irish Whiskey.
While it might seem like a no-brainer to only order beer or whiskey in a tavern and pass on the cocktails, there are a lot of small local places doing cocktails right. Here, definitely stick to the beer, burgers and whiskey.