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The Ainsworth

122 W 26th St
New York, NY 10001

A massive (like really unfathomably large for New York) space that serves up good enough eats, but better drinks, all in front of some awesome TVs. The Ainsworth is a good choice if you're looking for sports bar amenities in a significantly upgraded space.
While I wouldn't come back to the Ainsworth for an ordinary dinner out, I'll definitely be back when there's a game on TV that I want to watch. With thick leather seating and dark wood covering the walls, the space immediately feels upscale, and the plethora of large screen televisions hanging all around the dining room prevents excessive crowding.
For your food options, again think upgraded sports bar fare. I tend to stick with one of the appetizers like the Tuna Tartare with yellowfin, housemade ponzu, and guacamole, because, truly remarkably, The Ainsworth can claim one of the worst dishes I've ever put into my mouth. Those Buffalo Chicken Tacos still elicit a post-traumatic wave of nausea in me, with greasy chicken heaped into a cold soft shell straight from the supermarket, with absolutely no spice and an overpowering blue cheese gone bad sauce. You would think anything "buffalo" based would be successful in what amounts to a classy sports bar. Nope. Far from it. Most of the tacos should just be avoided entirely, because even the simple Beef Tacos are chewy and overdone, with virtually no flavor or salt. It's really the average burgers that deserve a try and are likely the most successful options on the menu, and I have to admit that the Mac and Cheese Burger with panko-crusted macaroni and cheese on top of a beef patty is an indulgent favorite, because who needs to look trim at a sports bar anyway?
Service is standard for such a large space with a perpetual bar atmosphere, but the Ladies Mile cocktail with Ciroc peach, Moet, cranberry, and lime juice, satisfies all my requirements for a signature drink, despite being a bit pricey at $16. Fun for groups and games, don't expect The Ainsworth to provide much more.
122 W 26th St
New York, NY 10001
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