Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Apr 5, 2009 07:45 AM

Knife and Fork as good as Degustation

Finally tried Knife & Fork on East 4th. Sat at the bar and sampled small plates. Foie gras with blood orange, pearl onions and cocoa nibs, skate in green curry with tomato confit, goat cheese and polenta with poached asparagus, pork belly with cucumber and olive mash in a veal jus, lamb with barley and trumpet mushrooms, European cheese platter with his housemade Irish soda bread. Great wine list and service. Place was cozy. Everything was ethereal and I can only compare it to Degustation a couple of blocks away which I previously considered to be the finest restaurant in the EV.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. My girfriendl and I visited Degustation last weekend and had the 10 course tasting menu. My favorite thing was the sweetbreads. So damn sweet and delicious. The service was excellent, and the only dish I didn't care for was the pork belly. It was just all fat and was fairly tasteless. The little dessert dish was incredible. And the oxtail canneloni (or whatever it was) was wonderful.

      The only things I didn't like about the experience was that, at times, it took way too long between courses. There were times when we had to wait about 15 minutes between courses. So, we wound up sitting there for over 2 and half hours, which is just too long for us, especially because it was VERY HOT in there. Other than those quibbles, I LOVED Degustation. So if Knife and Fork is as good as Degustation it must be REALLY good.

      1. The thread title is bound to get anyone who has recently been to Degustation excited. I can not wait to try Knife and Fork, how much did your meal cost?

        1. Your comparison to Degustation really surprises me. I went a few months it had opened and thought the 6 course tasting menu was mediocre and I haven't been back since. Rubbery snails. Boring dessert. Oddly stacked "tall" food. Overwrought plating, the kind with 4-5 dollops of different sauces in smears and 20 dots. Usage of the same ingredients and garnishes over and over (cauliflower puree smears on 3 dishes?!). And the soda bread seemed awfully heavy. Good to hear they have improved. How often do you dine there?

          4 Replies
          1. re: kathryn

            First time and I was reluctant given the early reviews. Also to be clear I only had the small plates at the bar though most, if not all, also were on the tasting menu. Perhaps it has improved with time and business since he had two sous chefs and several waiters now. Mrs. GG and I each had the small plates (foie, skate, lamb, pork and goat cheese/polenta) for 10 plates and a generous cheese plate (morbier, tomme de savoie, a blue, a st. andre and one other) for $100 not counting the wine. I will be back.

            1. re: kathryn

              I also went a few months ago - I thought it was totally mediocre. We were a group of 6 and had the tasting menu. I can't remember now what the dishes were but they were nothing more than just OK. The dishes were more show than taste and nothing was too memorable (at least not in a good way). The waiters were flat-out rude, told us wrong ingredients (i.e. plum sauce when it was so obviously olive tapanade I had to ask him to check - he did and I was right) and wore fake, almost obnoxious, smiles. The booth was so uncomfortable I couldn't wait for the meal to end. We ordered a ton of wine and all had the tasting menu (i.e. were spending a lot) and they treated us like we were just annoying. I will never go back.

              1. re: kathryn

                My experience at Knife and Fork was also pretty uninspiring. It was one of those restaurants which I decided not to return after my first visit. That said, it was quite a long time ago, and I am not sure if anything has changed.

                1. re: kobetobiko

                  Knife + Fork has improved enormously. In the early days, I think the chef over-reached and produced plates which were ambitious but often too strange to be satisfying. He still strains for novelty in some of the a la carte dishes, which tend to be composed of too many ingredients.

                  But the tasting is more straightforward, well-executed, and great value.