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goldenticket posted a topic in New York City Restaurants and DiningI was hoping to try the brunch menu at ABC Kitchen, but got confused about the time/date info on the website. Despite arriving just a few minutes after the noon opening time, we were told all of their tables were 'committed'. Fortunately, there was space at the rear bar, which was bright and relatively quiet and looks into the ABC Home store. The $28 3-course prix fixe was a steal, given the quality of the ingredients and the care and attention that were apparent in each dish. We shared each course, so I sampled the following 6 dishes: Cauliflower soup - topped with rye croutons and a few red chili slices. Very good flavor, though it could have stood to be thinned a bit. Roasted beets with homemade yogurt - a beautiful dish made with pretty, colorful beets. A neighbor at the bar commented that she thought it was strawberries and cream - which it did look like. The taste was all fresh beet and thick tangy yogurt - lovely and refreshing. Braised hake with cabbage, chilies, and seaweed - this was one of the most perfectly prepared fish dishes I've had in a long time. The savoy cabbage and seaweed paired nicely with the meatiness of the hake. Duck yolk and ricotta raviolo on ...* ragu - An impressive presentation - a single saucer-sized raviolo with a runny duck yolk topping the ricotta filling. (*damned if I can remember what the meat was, but it was delicious) Cranberry upside down cake - moist and tangy, with poached cranberries and orange creme fraiche on the side. A gorgeous fall/winter dessert. Sundae - salted caramel ice cream, candied peanuts and popcorn, chocolate sauce....what more can I say. Decadence in a bowl. Service was good, attentive but not too formal. Just fine for the bar. Kudos to the young man who handled a complainer unhappy with not getting a table "they should know who people are..." Definitely near the top of my list of best meals of 2011. (I still want to go back for the buttermilk pancakes with berries and lemon curd at brunch. )
An interesting and ambitious new venture which could up DC's bread game. Seylou Bakery & Mill will be milling local grain on-site and baking 100% whole grain breads in a wood-fired oven. Jonathan trained at the San Francisco Baking Institute and Washington State University's Bread Lab. He was also Baker-in-Resident at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Looks like they have abbreviated hours this Wednesday-Friday 1-4pm and then 8am-6pm Saturdays and Sundays. Closed Monday & Tuesdays. Regular hours Wednesday-Friday will be 7am-6pm. Besides bread, they offer daily pastries, coffee and teas. Pizza and seasonal salads will start up in January. Washington Post story
Culture Espresso is a single location, midtown-based, very high-quality, coffee shop staffed by friendly hipsters. I know, contradiction in terms: friendly NY hipsters. Address: 72 W. 38th St Go figure. Among a sea of Starbucks in the coffee desert of Midtown is an oasis called Culture Espresso. Small shop with super beans rotated frequently. All the majors: Intelligentsia, Counter Culture. Stumptown, etc. Pour overs and a focused menu. We were told 3 or 4 different espresso roasts per week. Probably reminds me most of Filter in DC but even smaller than Filter. Also, unlike Filter, Culture allegedly has some excellent baked goods including some supposedly life-changing donuts from a Brooklyn producer called "Dough." Allegedly and supposedly because, since we tried it late in the day, they were out of nearly all the baked goods. American owned but the opening manager was Australian, which is why they have an excellent flat white on the menu. The cortado is one of the better ones I've had outside Argentina. Most amazing given the general New Yorker stereotype, the dudes working this place are both seriously knowledgeable and genuinely nice. We ordered a double espresso which came out at maybe an ounce or ounce and a half because it was a properly made double ristretto shot. When we asked about this, they immediately offered to pull another one for us without charge. Huh? In NY? When they did nothing wrong??? I'm sooo confused...in the best of ways. We didn't take them up on the offer. Wouldn't have been right. But damn fine joe made expertly in a part of the city not especially known for this.