From the minute you walk in to the second you leave, the moments that unfold make for a memorable experience that you'll want to rave about to all your friends. A restaurant by the famous "Jean-Georges" awarded three stars in the Michelin Guide and handled by the most professional staff one could imagine. Beautiful decor and a superb menu: everything here is special...
Three connected restaurants all under one roof having access to each other from one single door: ABC Cocina the Mexican; the ABC Kitchen I'm having dinner at and ABC V for vegetarian. Finally, there's also ABC Market.
Dimmed lights under an old wooden ceiling, a parquet floor, thick columns supporting the structure, understated paintings adding touches of color and chandeliers suspended here and there all make this a classy and relaxing space. I heard a lot about ABC Kitchen and understood the hype around it the minute I pushed the door open.
Candles shed a warming glow on the carefully chosen items that deck out each table. Every single thing has been carefully chosen from an artisan producer nearby. From the plates to the presentation bowls, each gives added value and supports a local producer. On the back of the menu, you can read about the origins of all the ingredients.
I felt good the minute I walked in. The service is exceptionally professional, the staff is welcoming and attentive making sure not a single detail is left unattended. I preferred the staff at ABC Kitchen from the three star restaurant up at Central Park. In here, they're all young but sharp!
On the menu is a complicated choice of farm oriented items. Intriguing and different to any other restaurant I've been to. Complicated yet innovative and interesting to order.
Dinner starts with bread; real sourdough bread, soft, moist, very aromatic, enjoyably chewy and rich with flavors that linger on the palate for a good long time.
The food is out of this world... this restaurant is certainly deserving of its stars!
- A pizza that's more aromatic than a perfume landed on our table. The aromas of freshness, of what real cuisine should be. A small sized pizza that's lighter than a feather. A thin and hard crust, yet fluffy too, cooked spinach and hot ricotta to cover it. Take a bite and start dreaming. The aromas take you by surprise, the flavors make your heart skip a beat and the spiciness is like nothing I've felt before. The salt inside makes it even better. Oh my goodness this is not simply food; it's a waking dream.
- Do you think you know what portobello mushroom is all about? Think again! I shouted when I tasted that perfected simplicity. A simple portobello cooked to make all your senses scream. A juicy mushroom, enjoyable sea salt, lemony spinach on top.
- Ricotta cheese, as simple as it is becomes a masterpiece when mixing it with rhubarb and olive oil. A round plate and on it ricotta like how we serve Labneh, topped with a sweet rhubarb compote and olive oil. Majestic!
The waiters deserve a mention: a hand behind their back, attentive to every detail, asking about every single plate, keeping an eye on the glasses and making sure not a plate or a fork is left unattended. Two thumbs up for your professionalism.
- Roasted hake, enjoyably crunchy, not oily and loaded with flavors. And the best part is its texture. Not watery, but firm, well prepared fish with shitaki mushrooms and asparagus purée. Yummy! I think I'd recognize ABC Kitchen food even if blinded. They all have a certain lively spiciness and long lived after note that has been following me since the beginning.
- The angel hair spaghetti - described to be amazing - with their jalapeños and saffron however, needed much more olive oil and salt. I tasted salt in every dish up until this one, why has it disappeared here? It's good enough but I expected better.
Wait! Is this happening? The waitress apologized for leaving, said goodbye and introduced another waiter who will be taking care of us for the rest of the evening. I've dined thousands of times over the years and this is the first time an act of professionalism of this level has ever happened to me. The way it's done - the professionalism, but most importantly the genuine spirited nature of it.
The food was exceptional...the desserts outstanding!
Salted caramel ice cream with caramelized popcorn. A superb caramel ice cream topped with lightly crunchy popcorn on a bed of dark chocolate syrup and with an end note of saltiness. This is unreal! This is not a human creation. Fluffy puff pastry cake with buttermilk ginger ice cream and rhubarb and strawberry. Bravo!
Light music playing in the background, superb service, exceptional attentiveness, outstanding food... ABC Kitchen is my favorite restaurant to date in New York. An unparalleled recommendation, a flawless experience.