West Branch Restaurant?
- LNG212 Aug 7, 2008 11:45 AM
I passed by the old Fishs Eddy space on Broadway (around 76th/77th) this morning and it looks like a new restaurant is going in there. I think I caught the name right: West Branch. Does anyone know anything about it? Type of food, when it will open, etc.? Thanks, just curious.
Tom Valenti and a co-worker were standing outside today, and I spoke with him for a few moments; he expects The West Branch to open in two to three weeks. Judging by the state of the interior (which I saw only from outside), that seems very doable, though as for permits and paperwork, who can say.
Had dinner on 10/31. A little frenetic, service all over the place, but it was opening night, after all. Food was good - country salad with a twist, excellent burger, though the fried quail was a bit over the top and overly oily. I'll be curious to go back and sample more from the very large menu. What I liked least was the interior - it doesn't seem to work. Wood paneled without personality or much decoration, which creates a formal board-room feeling vibe... and a wait-staff in Levis, which seems at odds with the just described interior.
Had dinner on Sunday night here. Ate at the bar with Chef Valenti next to us. Had the beet salad, "cuban" panini and duck hearts and gizzards. Had an old fashioned and a glass of syrah, I think.
The beet salad was well prepared, typical beet salad, no surprises. The cuban was good, pork roasted nicely, almost sweet, with the pickle balancing well. Nicely pressed, and warm enough. Best part of the meal being the duck hearts and gizzards. We went through 2 baskets of bread sopping up the sauce or braising juice reduction that was in the dish. Not the easiest sell to the GF to split as a main, but she was happy we went through with it.
Overall a good experience, nice spot to dine at the bar. Service was good, and it's nice to see chef Valenti in the FOH and supervising the kitchen, as I've timed a number of times at Ouest and never seen him there.
Looking forward to going back and trying some more of the apps, and some of the mains.
Has anyone eaten here more recently and can provide some thoughts? Am considering it as a place for a two couple dinner with good food and comfort (reasonable noise levels so we can hear ourselves and a decent 4-top table) the most important factors. Thanks in advance.