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May 13, 2007 06:58 AM

Friday Night at Rustic Kitchen and KO Prime

Three of us hit the cooking show Friday night at Rustic Kitchen (thanks Niblet for organizing). We met at the bar to have a glass of wine or two before the show started around 7. They had some fresh potato chips as bar snacks which were tasty but less crisp than I prefer. Alissa, the hostess of the cooking show is adorable and and her cooking assistant, Pepe, was great. When we arrived in the cooking studio there were pizzas waiting for us to snack on. I think we had a margherita, a mushroom and a sausage. I thought the sausage pizza was pretty good and the review of the mushroom was so so. They poured a pinot noir for everyone that I believe was from Oregon and everyone seemed to really like it, as did I though it was a bit jammier than I like. Then we were all served a delicious mint julep. I have no basis for comparison since this was my first one, but I liked it. Once the cooking began, herb encrusted baby New Zealand lamb chops were prepared with fresh artichokes and fava beans. The cooking demonstration was informative for me in that I've never done anything with fresh artichokes or favas. We were then served what was cooked and for $50, I thought it was a decent deal especially given that they constantly filled up our wine glasses.

After the show, we made our way to #9 Park only to find out that they had closed due to the small fire. We ended up at KO Prime for drinks and a few snacks. We each had a margarita of some sort that were so good I can't remember how many we each had (I think at least 3?). We ordered three things to try: bone marrow and oxtail, sweetbread nuggets and steak tartare. My favorite of the three was the bone marrow which was luscious served over crisp toast with the oxtail. I can see myself craving this. The steak tartare was good and clearly about the quality meat though I prefer the Butcher Shop version of steak tartare which has more seasoning. I wasn't a huge fan of the sweetbread nuggets. I do like sweetbreads but there was something about the texture and spicing that I wasn't thrilled with. Overall, I would like to go back and try a full dinner.

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  1. Nice Lissy! That was such a fun time, and a good opportunity to check out the Rustic Kitchen in the theater district (where 57 used to be). I liked the large wrap-around bar with one side facing the street warm and bright on a sunny afternoon, and the other along the dining room. We had great service at the bar - Christine took good care of us. At one end of the dining room is a pasta-making area and a pizza oven so you see them baking the pies and making fresh pasta. To the right is the room where they film the cooking shows - just the right size to make it cozy . The open kitchen is surrounded by a crescent-shaped counter - where the three of us were seated - and a couple of smaller tables behind that. The cooking show with Alissa Bigelow and "Pepe" was great fun and very entertaining. The night we were there, they had just switched from seafood risotto to a new spring menu with the lamb, fava beans, and baby artichokes. I thought $50 was a great deal - with pizza to munch on while watching our tasty dinner being made, a starter cocktail of an excellent mint julep (one of my favorite cocktails), and wine to accompany our meal. I would definitely go again, and plan to. Great idea Niblet!

    KO Prime was bustling, of course, when we arrived (9/9:30?) so we were happy to snag one of the low tables in the bar area. I really loved the sweetbreads and the bone marrow - it will be hard not to order those again. And yes, the margaritas (using the recipe from La Verdad I think ? - details became a bit fuzzy as I had enjoyed mas vino since 5:00!) were mighty tasty. I am really looking forward to trying more of the menu, especially after reading wittlejosh's report on a recent thread.

    Friday night cooking shows at Rustic Kitchen.

    KO Prime

    1. Not much to add, I agree with both posts. One of the best parts of the show at Rustic Kitchen was the fun, energetic vibe. Plus the wine flowing like the salmon of Capastrano, and a pot of veal demi-glace simmering practically under your nose don’t hurt your mood none…!

      I loved the marrow with oxtail at KO, and now that a weekend has passed it’ll soon turn to craving. The key is to look UNDER the marrow bone for the oxtail, once the chef clued us in, the dish went from great, with just marrow & onion (I think) marmalade, to otherworldly with the mix of marrow, marmalade and…oxtail (couldn’t quite manage the alliteration).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Niblet

        So, the beer flows like wine there?

      2. I've never heard of this show at Rustic Kitchen... do they do it every week? It sounds like fun!

        1 Reply
        1. re: pamalamb

          They have shows every Friday evening, and they can also do private shows for groups. If you go, you'll definitely want to be in the front crescent; there are seats in the back corners and Alissa engages them in the dialogue too, but it's better to be right in front.