Upscale Healthy at ABC Kitchen

July 27, 2010 | By | COMMENTS

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ABC Kitchen is like a secluded haven in the middle of a busy city where sidewalks are littered with soda cans and hot dog wrappers. Jean-Georges’ newest restaurant draws its ingredients from local, organic sources, preparing food that rivals in freshness food that is cooked at home.
The restaurant is nestled in an alley and is hard to spot unless you’re looking for it. The door frame is white and a small banner outside reads “ABC Kitchen” in faint letters. Despite the name, one would think that ABC Kitchen was a furniture store. The dainty white chairs screams for attention, juxtaposed against wooden floors and the wooden beams that seem to prevent the restaurant from collapsing on itself. The lighting casts an ambient glow on the dinner table, and mysterious paintings on the wall captivates the eyes for a time.


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The food follows suit, artfully crafted to draw oohs and ahhs. The bread is plain, but soft and chewy nonetheless. A wooden bowl emphasizes the rustic taste of the bread and compliments the décor in the restaurant.
After the bread came a plate of Peekytoe crab toast. Although the toast seemed to be derived from the same bread served before, the Peekytoe crab toast provided a whole new experience. The outside of the toast was rough and crunchy, but chomping down on the toast shattered the toasted exterior into a warm, creamy mess.
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The next appetizer swooped in like a celebrity, elegant yet ostentatious. Prior to eating at ABC Kitchen, I had done some research on the restaurant, and the mackerel sashimi marinated in ginger and mint was the dish I had to try. Oval shaped slices of mackerel formed a star on a large plate. A puddle of orange liquid added vibrant colors to the dish, supplementing the light pink color of the mackerel. There were tiny bubbles, many of them, that crowded near the surface of the mackerel. Inside my mouth, the mackerel succumbed to my teeth like butter rapidly melting in a pan. Dishes like the mackerel sashimi define “Upscale Healthy.”
The final appetizer—my mom and I ordered three appetizers but only one entrée—was an intricately designed salad. A few long, roasted carrots intertwined with quartered slices of avocado. The flavor of the carrots and avocado was so robust that I ended up eating slices of carrot and avocado with some bread to damper the taste of the former a bit. On top of these giants was a mix of greens that looked like a bush straight out of a foreign jungle. A generous amount of pine nuts embellished the dish to perfection, and amongst the soft avocado and roasted carrots, the pine nuts provided a much-needed new dimension to the salad.
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ABC Kitchen’s spinach, goat cheese, and whole wheat pizza is quite possibly the most healthy pizza I’ve eaten. From the name of the pizza alone, one could deduce that the pizza would be quite healthy. The dough on the pizza was so thin that the toppings were twice thicker than the base. The crust was also nicely charred. In fact, a chef who was dining next to me called the crust “beautiful.” If the chef of a French bistro in New York City calls a crust “beautiful,” the crust surely must be a work of art.
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The same chef also let me take a picture of his pizza, so for your viewing pleasure, here is the morels, parmesan, oregano and farm egg pizza. The chef actually offered me a slice to taste since “that’s what being a foodie is all about,” but I kindly refused. Reflecting back, I wish I had tried the pizza.
ABC Kitchen
35 East and 18 Street
New York, NY 10003
-Earl Lee at Toastable.com

Categories: Restaurant Reviews

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