35 E 18th St
(between Broadway & Park Ave)
New York, NY 10003
ABC Kitchen is one of those staple NYC restaurants that everyone recommends to their out-of-town friends because it is a safe recommendation. It was opened by a famous chef, Jean-Georges, and it boasts a cool NYC vibe with its rustic wooden farm chic decor. The kitchen uses only fresh organic and local ingredients, which is all the talk now. It also has a cool concept as it is attached to its own furniture store that sells all the furniture and kitchenware that the restaurant uses, forcing you to pay attention to not just your food, but also the $55 ripple porcelain plate that your food sits on. Its pricing is also standard NYC pricing for a decently “nice” restaurant, with entrees ranging from $18 to $37 and appetizers ranging from $6 to $17. As you can tell from the large price ranges, the menu is pretty large and so I didn’t post about ABC Kitchen until I had been there twice, once for dinner and once for lunch. I’m going to combine the dinner and lunch items so you get a larger survey of their food (you’ll notice the change in lighting in the photos).
This is the Roasted Carrot and Avocado salad ($14), probably my favorite item on their menu. I got it both times I was there because it is so unique and really defines the restaurant for me. The salad features a large handful of fresh greens with roasted carrots, fat slices of avocado, crunchy seeds, a dollop of sour cream, homemade garlicy croutons, and a citrus dressing. The roasted whole carrots (each about 5 inches long) were caramelized and exceptionally sweet. The ingredients are reminiscent of a simplicity and charm of the “countryside” yet when combined, produces the complexity that you would expect of a stylish NYC restaurant. The textures are crunchy (croutons and seeds), soft (avocado and sour cream), and leafy (greens), while the flavors are sweet (carrots) and sour (citrus). Yum!
This Chicken Liver Toast ($10) was from their Market Table section of the menu. Their menu items consist of quite a few “toast” options, including a Roasted Kabocha Squash toast and a Crab Toast. My friend is really into liver pates so we chose the chicken liver, even though I am a bit wary of chicken liver because bad chicken liver has a horrible, horrible, gamey and iron taste. Thankfully, ABC Kitchen’s chicken liver was quality; it was very creamy and smooth and was not as dense as most pates. Despite the fact that it was lighter with almost a mousse-like consistency, the kitchen slathered on the pate really thickly and so was still too dense for me. The bread, though had a nice crisp crust and soft interior, was not nearly as thick as I would’ve wanted it to be. I ended up supplementing my pate with the bread basket because the pate was just so overwhelming. I’m a bit of a liver pansy though; I imagine that if you were a diehard Liver Lover, you would wolf up the toast with relish, like Y.P. did. Continue reading ABC Kitchen, Apps over Entrees.