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Mas Farmhouse or ABC Kitchen. I have reservations for both on the same night. In terms of....

Food quality and creativity?
Ambience?
Wine selection?
Vibe?

Price point doesn't matter....Which should I keep?

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Mas (Farmhouse)
39 Downing St, New York, NY 10014

ABC Kitchen
35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

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  1. ABC has delicious food but can be loud and the decor is shabby chic, which isn't errubody's cup of tea. Service can be a little unattentive, and our table felt way too small for the dishes we ordered. That said, I still fondly recall their crab toast with lemon aioli, and their ice cream sundae with salted caramel popcorn as some of the best food I've had this year.

    I haven't eaten at Mas yet but the atmosphere looks much more quiet and the room is more sleek, at least peeking in from the outside. We have a reservation for next weekend, and I'll definitely report back.

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    ABC Kitchen
    35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

    7 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Everybody's cup of tea, that is. Darn you, autocorrect.

      1. re: kathryn

        Also haven't been to Mas yet, but have had really great dinners at ABC.

        ABC Kitchen features top quality, seasonal products sourced locally and a kitchen that takes great care to present them in their best form. We've been back a couple times since our original visit and look forward to more.

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/724753

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        ABC Kitchen
        35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

      2. re: kathryn

        I agree with you, kathryn, about ABC. I thought the food was very good (the chicken liver toast is seriously delicious!), but the noise level bordered on insanely high.

        ABC photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        Haven't been to Mas.

        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

        1. re: kathryn

          I have not been to Mas either but we had a fantastic dinner at ABC Kitchen about a month ago. I liked the decor, but true, it is not for everyone. And we had a great waiter who was very helpful, so no problems with the service for us. As a party of 4, I thought the noise level was fine and the place has a great vibe. But with a larger group, it would be difficult to talk to people who were not seated next to you.

          The food was delicious. We all loved that crab toast and we had the tomato toast too, which might just be seasonal. I don't like calamari but everyone else enjoyed the pretzel dusted calamari. And I also had a roasted carrot and avocado salad which was nice. I loved my pasta with shrimp and chili flakes and others had lobster which I didn't taste.

          And yes, that salted caramel ice cream sundae was to die for....

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          ABC Kitchen
          35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

          1. re: kathryn

            I agree that the noise can be quite loud, though it is not impossible to hear your companions. I admit that we were probably guilty - a table for 5 and having a marvelous time. I disagree that the tables were too small -- maybe because we had a large round table. We felt all of the items we ordered fit fine. Our server was excellent and maybe that helped. She suggested items to be grouped and brought out together. Her excellent suggestion was to have the pizza as a "mid course for the table" after salads and appetizers but before the entrees. So maybe we just had fewer dishes at any one point.

            The mushroom pizza with egg was by far my favorite dish at ABC Kitchen. The eggplant toast was lovely and I adored the okra with shisito peppers (I tried to keep that one from the sharing going on with my table mates!). The other big hit with our table was the salad with fig. The only dish of the dozen or so I tried that I thought was meh and not worth ordering was the pear and apple salad.

            I thought the wines were decently priced too. We had a really nice cotes du rhone for only 48. And a white that I can't recall. That surprised me as I was expecting a much higher price tag for wine.

            I have not been to Mas Farmhouse. Enjoy your meal wherever you go.

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            ABC Kitchen
            35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

            1. re: kathryn

              My review here:
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8157...

              I think ABC Kitchen's food is just a bit better but Mas wins in terms of atmosphere (I'm not a huge shabby chic fan), service (very attentive/friendly/engaging -- they're going for a level up from what ABC is going for), and comfort level (the chairs at ABC are a little hard).

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              ABC Kitchen
              35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

              1. re: kathryn

                We had a nice dinner at ABC Kitchen last night. Service was good and another server (and a manager) stepped in very quickly when I spilled my husband's drink (oops!). But our main server was a little overstretched, so he was slow to get our order in the beginning, and it took a little bit of effort to get his attention afterwards.

                I still think the tables are a little too small. We ate quickly but it was difficult to have the olive oil bowl, salt bowl, water glasses, a tiny vase, our two personal plates, a pizza, another dish, and the bread bowl on the table at the same time. Noise was a little loud but not terrible. and the chairs remain a little too hard for my taste.

                The food was marvelous, though. I couldn't resist the luscious crab toast with aioli, nor the rings of fried crispy delicata squash, served with a little bit of chili flakes, sticky maple syrup, and a mountain of shaved goat cheese (it's not on the online menu, I highly recommend ordering this dish).

                We enjoyed the mushroom pizza as well but my husband remarked it was more like a creamy ricotta and mushroom soup at some points. It was quite filling, too, so we were incredibly stuffed. I could barely eat another bite once the fried chicken came around, but what I did try of the collard greens, spicy butter, and chicken was delicious.

                No space for the sundae...this time.

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                ABC Kitchen
                35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

            2. I'm the opposite of kathryn, I've eaten at MAS but not ABC. I really enjoyed the meal at MAS. I know this is kind of a contradiction but I thought the food was refined rustic which pretty much describes the interior design as well. We sat in the front part of the restaurant and the noise level was fine but I think the rear section may be a quieter area. The cocktails made with fresh ingredients were excellent. Service was very personable and well done. I can't remember the total bill but I do remember checking it twice because it seemed low for what we had, it was correct, which means it must have been good value IMO. I would not hesitate going back or recommending.

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              Mas (Farmhouse)
              39 Downing St, New York, NY 10014

              1 Reply
              1. re: Spiritchaser

                +1 to everything Spiritchaser said. In addition, the back room definitely is quieter, but as Spiritchaser the noise level in the front is not particularly high either. IMO, its one of the better deals in the west village if not the entire city.