ABC Kitchen

This is the final and sixth post in the series A Casual Weekend in New York. Other posts include Frank Pepe’s PizzaSalumeria Rossi ParmacottoSzechuan Gourmet15 East, and Angel’s Share.

Are we crazy or what?
Bryan and I were en route to Australia for a family trip with his parents and sister. We had an overnight stopover in New York City – essentially 12 hours in New York. Bryan thought it would be fun to go all the way into Manhattan just for dinner.
Since our flight didn’t arrive into JFK International Airport until around 8:30PM (and JFK is a good 45 minutes away from Manhattan) we made a 10:30PM reservation for dinner. I don’t think I’ve ever had dinner so late in my life!
I felt like a real New Yorker.
We decided to visit Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s wildly popular farm-to-table, locavore, sustainable, organic, things-are-recycled-or-reclaimed, environmental etc. etc. restaurant. On top of all that, it’s located on the first floor of the ABC Carpet and Home department store.

We’d heard great things about it, and the location intrigued us.

Plus, we were starving. It was 10:30PM after all (how do New Yorkers eat so late?).

The waiter recommended several of the starters and seemed to have an affinity towards vegetarian dishes. I was personally intrigued by the entire menu too, especially the variety of interesting produce reflected on the menu.

We decided to try and order from every section of the menu, hitting each one (Market Table, Appetizers, Pastas, Main Course) with the exception of Whole Wheat Pizza, which we thought would make us too full.

We began with the Roasted Kabocha Squash Toast which came with fresh homemade ricotta and apple cider vinegar ($12). It was actually quite filling, and I wondered whether I should have eaten that and the bread.

The Ricotta Cavatelli came with ruby red shrimp, crushed tomatoes and chili crumbs ($18 for small; $27.00 for large). The homemade cavatelli was gorgeously chewy and the flavor of the pasta sauce was deeply flavorful and rich.

I was a bit disappointed with the Brussels Sprouts, which I wished to be just a bit crispier. It was OK, but I much preferred the version I make at home (all nice and crispy with touches of bacon).

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The Fried Chicken, on the other hand, is one of the most popular items on the menu and was incredible. The skin was coated with some sort of light and airy batter – almost like corn flakes or crispy tempura. The chicken itself was wonderfully juicy. Bryan even said, “this is the best fried chicken I have ever had”.

Wow, that’s definitely saying something.

Our dessert, the Sundae, is one of their signature dishes and it’s really good. Three generous scoops of salted caramel ice cream is served with candied peanuts, caramel popcorn, whipped cream, and a deep, rich chocolate sauce. ($13). It was excellent.

First Impressions
All in all, the food was all good, though none of it blew us away. I walked away a bit underwhelmed, especially considering how popular this place is (and how difficult it is to reserve!).

Sure, some of the dishes (like the fried chicken and the sundae), were excellent and probably worth a return trip. And the locavore focus is nice as well. You won’t go wrong coming here.

However, I think there are many equally great (if not better) places to dine – both in New York and in Boston. It’s most certainly enjoyable, though perhaps not quite worth the $80 round trip cab ride from the airport.

ABC Kitchen
Gramercy/Flatiron
35 E 18th St
New York, NY 10003
ABC Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Comments

  1. dory says

    Hi Jen. Did you use your Panasonic Lumix to take picture of this fried chicken?

    How much was the fried chicken dish ?

    thanks for the post!!

  2. says

    Hi Dory,

    I used my new Sony DSC-RX1 to take that photo. That camera recently replaced my Lumix as my restaurant camera (it was a Christmas present last year). The fried chicken was $31.

    Jen

  3. Christina Chiu says

    was the cavatelli whole wheat/grain? looks a bit darker than i’d expect. i’d love to eat a really nicely prepared whole grain pasta.

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