Thursday, August 11, 2011

ABC Kitchen

ABC Kitchen was at the top of my “must try” list last summer.  It was Jean Georges, it was American, it was seasonal, and it had this chocolate marshmallow cake that haunted my dreams…apparently, it was haunting the dreams of everyone in Manhattan, because I could not get a darn reservation.

Well, I finally made it this summer.  To start, I had the crab toast, which has quite the following on yelp.  The crab salad is fresh, and not a mayo-ey concoction—the mayo is placed sparingly in dollops on top, and a squirt of lemon takes care of the rest of the meat.  It was a refreshing and light dish.

What most impressed me at ABC Kitchen was actually the squash.  Not because the squash is so amazing that you have to rush to ABC to try it, but because I have spent the last 4 years eating bad watery dining hall squash.  It’s actually a miracle that I even ordered the squash.

But wow—squash can be good!  It was cooked with spices and parmesan (more please! ) and lemon. 

(Update:  As I was writing this post, I discovered that ABC Kitchen won “Best Squash” in NY Magazine for a different incarnation than the one I tried.  Best squash…I think ABC just invented the category.)

The fish entrée—a sea bass—was a bit disappointing.  The broth was a little bland and the potatoes swimming in it didn’t add much flavor.  (How did the kitchen manage to rock the squash and ignore the delicious potato?)

And then there was that cake.  We met at last.  But it wasn’t…as great as I was hoping.  I can’t put my finger on why.  Maybe it’s because it looked/sounded so decadent but it tasted much humbler.  Maybe it’s because I could hardly taste the ganache in between the layers.

Or maybe it was because my dinner companion was eating this:  the salted caramel sundae.  Salty, caramel perfection with peanuts, and popcorn, and chocolate sauce…

Sometimes the grass is just greener on the other side of the table.  Good thing the bowl was only an arm’s length away.

ABC Kitchen
35 East 18th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 475-5829

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