re: Frank Language
The Tonic is where the old Harvey's Chelsea was on
18th Street between 6th & 7th. The restaurant has a
tavern side and a formal dining side with completely
separate menus. I've eaten in the Tavern three times
and in the formal dining room twice.
The Tavern features the original bar built back in the
late 1800's. And, it's quite beautiful. It's popular
and can be crowded and noisy - which I think is the
idea. They serve simpler fare than the restaurant.
The chef - Chris Gesualdi - came to fame at
Montrachet. He's one of those cooks that you can just
have confidence in. Most of the dishes I've eaten
there were very well conceived from top to bottom, bot
the meat and the fish.
I recently had an excellent cocotte of braised meats.
I wasn't thrilled with a roasted chicken - but the
fois gras stuffed guinea hen was delicious,as was a
roasted duck breast. I recall liking the appetizers
alot, but I don't recall what we had except for an
excellent house smoked salmon and a wonderful sauteed
fois gras appetizer with apples and chestnut puree.
It's been months since I ate in the Tavern. But, I do
remember liking the pot roast alot. There was also an
appetizer called duck,duck, goose; a combination of
pate, confit and something else that was quite good.
The desserts didn't thrill me. The pear napoleon is
heavy, not light as it should be. There is an
excellent chocolate brioche pudding and an interesting
semolina pudding with dreid fruits. Nice petits fours
in the formal dining room. Nice ambiance in the
formal dining room. Good table and wine service,
too. One evening, the sommelier suggested a great
syrah that was only about $35.00 and went very well
with the meal.
Hope this helps.
I also had a great meal in the elegant dining room at The Tonic. The menu was diverse and interesting yet accessible. Everything we had was delicious, particularly the peekytoe crab/lobster salad appetizer and the passionfruit gratin with elderberry/raspberry coulis dessert. The bar is beautiful, but the tavern looked like it could be noisy and smokey on busy nights.