NYC: ABC Kitchen, a Brunch by Jean-Georges

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Taking a quick break from talking about my CLEAN 28 adventures since a friend messaged me recently and said, "Your blog is less relevant to me when you're talking about healthy eating." This one's for your Henry and my other foodie friends who are sick of hearing about my cleanse. This was the last meal I had before starting my cleanse a week ago (which is going GREAT btw, I seriously feel amazing doing the CLEAN Cleanse).
Something that I didn't realize before moving to New York is how common it is for famous chefs to open up more casual restaurants outside of their fancy namesakes. I was first introduced to ABC Kitchen by my friend Chef Tony who took me here after I asked him to bring me to a "New Yorky" restaurant on my visit here more than four years ago.

It wasn't until I became more interested in the NYC restaurants scene, did I realize that ABC Kitchen is actually the brainchild of famous Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Jean-Georges, the 3-Michelin star rated restaurant that I loved so much.

ABC Kitchen is the ultimate farm-to-table experience. As an extension off of ABC Home, the decor here screams modern cottage-chic with beautiful chandeliers and lovely wooden tables. The menu of ever-changing dishes focuses on ingredients that are local, sustainable, seasonal, doesn't use pesticides or GMOs ... you get the point. You can even find a list of the source of these ingredients on the back of your menus. This place is basically a hipster's dream.

Regardless of if you care where you food comes from or not, you should still come check out ABC Kitchen. It's one of those places in New York that everyone talks about and has either been before or want to go try it. Or, if you're like me, then you've been to it, and want to have it again.

basil lime daiquiri: papagayo rum, fresh lime juice & big apple: industry city vodka, eden ice cider, fiji apple, ginger

My coworkers and I had been talking about coming to ABC Kitchen for forever. So, we finally took action to make a reservation for a birthday meal. Given the popularity of this place, reservations are a must. While we found it impossible to find a slot on OpenTable for dinner, we were able to grab a table for 8 pretty easily a month before for Sunday Brunch.
Here's what we ended up trying...

Appetizers to Share

While appetizers were not necessary, we all really wanted to try as much of the menu as possible since everything on the menu looked so delicious! I don't say this often, but I would have re-ordered each of these things again because they were all great in their own way. If I had to pick top 2, it would be the Crab Toast and the Calamari.
seasonal glazed doughnuts : so fluffy, loved the berry glaze

pretzel dusted calamari, marinara and mustard aioli : never had pretzel covered calamari before, but love the crunch it gave to this perfectly fried calamari!!

roasted kabocha squash toast, fresh ricotta and apple cider vinegar

crab toast with lemon aioli : loved this one as well! the crab was so fresh and well dressed, balanced with the toast

Entrees

Full disclaimer that J and I shared the pizza and pasta in the next two pics. The rest of the food I didn't try, but got great reviews from those who ordered it. Enjoy!
mushrooms, parmesan, oregano and farm egg pizza : egg on pizza, that alone does it for me, but the rest of this was great

kasha and bowtie pasta, veal meatballs : J didn't love the sweetness of the caramelized onions in the sauce, but I personally enjoyed the texture of the bow-tie pasta, which is basically folded fresh al-dente sheets of dough. Think I wish I ordered the burger

house-roasted turkey sandwich, applewood smoked bacon, arugula and jalapenos

buttermilk pancakes with lemon curd

veggie burger, minted yogurt and housemade whole wheat pita

smoked salmon with horseradish, creme fraiche and lemon

eggs benedict with flying pigs farm ham

akaushi cheeseburger with herbed mayo and pickled jalapenos

Dessert

At this point, we were all stuffed. But, since we were celebrating Irina's birthday, we just had to order some dessert. Someone at our table urged us to get the sundae and no joke, this sundae is a game changer. There was nothing bad about this sundae, the salted caramel ice cream was great, and who doesn't love some good 'ol candied popcorn?

I think I might have to try to replicate this at home when I can get my hands on some Bi-Rite Salted Caramel Ice Cream in San Francisco!
sundae with salted caramel ice cream, candied peanuts & popcorn, whipped cream, chocolate sauce

carrot cake


In Summary

ABC Kitchen is DEFINITELY worth checking out. Chef Jean-Georges delivers in this Trendy x Hipster location with beautiful wooden tables, exposed farm-house wooden beams and crazy chandeliers. Decor aside, everything you order is likely to be delicious, but keep in mind it won't be the cheapest delicious place you can eat in Manhattan. It's not expensive as a tasting menu at Jean-Georges, but this place can add up if you're a fatty like us and order everything in sight.


Favorites: Crab Toast, Pretzel Crusted Calamari and Sundae Dessert

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35 E 18th St New York, NY 10003
b/t Broadway & S Park Ave
Neighborhood: Union Square, Flatiron

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