Take a bite out of Midtown’s new 5 Napkin Burger

Despite the heavy crowd, our reservation was filled promptly after a brief stop at the bar. Limited to specialty drinks and draft beer on opening night, we tried the frozen strawberry mojito, thyme lemonade and spicy watermelon drinks. Each was unique with fresh ingredients, but lacked the sweetness we expected with such fruity names, particularly the more-thyme-than-lemonade concoction.

We ran into 5 Napkin PR rep Michelle Gralitzer before we sat down. She told us that even though the restaurant’s owners aren’t gay, they were excited to be in the neighborhood and mentioned a particular interest in the street traffic.

Looking over the appetizer menu, the three of us were quick to find several items that suited our tastes: hot spinach and artichoke dip with endives and french bread crostini, cornmeal crusted onion rings and a combo platter of sushi.

A friend on the patio said she was surprised when she saw sushi was a part of the gourmet burger joint’s menu, but our table thought it interesting, as a place like 5 Napkin could accommodate simple and more experienced palettes.

Of the three apps, we’d recommend the dip as our favorite, but unless you’re specifically into endives, we’d suggest subbing for extra french bread.

Each of the three of us ordered burgers: one “Original 5 Napkin Burger,” a bacon and cheddar burger and, for a twist, an ahi tuna burger. Prices ranged from $9.95 to $12.95.

When we asked the waiter to have the beef prepared to chef’s suggestion, he said that it would be medium-rare with a cool center. Both of our beef eaters asked to have them prepared medium, which was still a little outside our comfort zones, but we agreed that we would eat our meals as close to the chef’s recommendation as possible.

Our beef burgers were more rare than we would typically eat, but we could taste the potential in the beef, as it was rich and its toppings well-seasoned. The best of the three by far was the bacon and cheddar burger.

Gourmet flavor? Absolutely. Best burger ever? We’ll let you decide.

We tried three desserts — the cheesecake, the expresso brownie sundae and the chocolate milkshake — with the cheesecake rating at the top of our list.

We were truly excited to try everything we ordered at 5 Napkin and we love the location. When we return, we’ll do things a little differently, particularly with the temperature of our beef, for an even better experience.

Let us know what you think after you try it.