New York’s ABC Kitchen Is Dining To Die For
As an LA Foodie, I’m quite often defensive of my turf. Don’t you talk smack about how much you love our “strip mall food” (hello, Anthony Bourdain). Still, I’m not too proud to admit that NYC deserves its rep for providing some of the absolute best restaurant experiences out there. And, among them these days, ABC Kitchen.
I’ve been yearning to go there for awhile now. First, from having friends like Farina Kingsley (culinary instructor and cookbook author) and Judy Ornstein (owner/operator of FOOD in LA who is unmatched in her focus on providing the freshest, most healthful fare day in and day out) who each told me how outstanding ABC was and how I must somehow fit it into my limited time in New York. Since it was named Best New Restaurant of 2011 by the James Beard Foundation and has Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the helm, it was a must-try.
So, how did the actual experience compare to the hype? Well, let’s cut to the photos to see …
First, we started off with fresh tuna sashimi. I just recently saw in the movie “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” that you get the true flavor of tuna from the leaner parts rather than the fattier sections like Toro. As a new sushi lover, I have to say I’m a huge fan of the fatty Toro (is anyone surprised?) … but I see Jiro’s point about flavor when I tasted Chef Kluger’s tuna sashimi.
Chef Kluger’s Chicken Liver Toast was a win at the table too. It reminded me of liverwurst sandwiches my Mom used to make (a huge compliment!).
About, what about any DeathbedFood®? Well, I agree with Chefs Feed app. Honestly, let’s get real … is “salted caramel” the new “crème brulee” or “chocolate lava cake”? I’m thinking so … though I’d like to add that I was on top of THIS trend way back (buying Sanders Caramel in Michigan in 1998 like it was a core food group).of who went crazy for ABC’s Salted Caramel Sundae on the
But what was the best part of the evening? Despite the above, definitely not the food. Instead, it was the overall dining experience. A restaurant truly running (well) on all cylinders: ah-mazing cuisine? Check. But that’s the price of entry – especially in New York. To me, it was their genuine hospitality and the ambiance that set them apart.
Midway through our dinner, when I told our server that I’m a food blogger and huge fan of Chef Dan’s, I soon found myself face to face with the Chef himself. He didn’t know anything about me other than that and still made the effort to come out and warmly greet us (sadly, a rarity in LA, especially in many higher end places it seems). Also, just the physical layout of the store made a huge impact. Perhaps it was the large space, but the tables were not jam packed on top of each other, helping to prevent noise fatigue so common in so many “trendy” restaurants today.
It’s so impressive to see an operation that can meet already high expectations like ABC Kitchen did for me tonite. Chef Dan, I’ll be back!