HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

Whitehall

  • 20
  • Share

I'm thinking of trying Whitehall in the West Village this weekend. Has anyone been yet?

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Whiteha...

-----
Whitehall
19 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Have they opened yet? Walked past yesterday, looked like they were putting the finishing touches on. Cant' wait - GIN!!!

    1. No, but I look forward to your review!

      Evidently the team behind it is the same team behind The Highlands, which I like a lot. http://ny.eater.com/archives/2011/11/...

      -----
      Highlands
      150 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014

      7 Replies
      1. re: michelleats

        Okay, I liked this place. I had:

        - grilled squid app with spicy pork sausage, fingerling potatoes, lemon dressing and anchovy toast. Delicious.

        - grilled mackerel with pickled red onion and potato salad, butter lettuce and mustard sauce. Also very good.

        - side of roasted brussels sprouts - a bit salty but addictive.

        - dessert: citrus tart with poppy meringue - simple and light (in a good way) though I couldn't really detect the poppy in the meringue.

        Portion sizes were modest but no complaints here given the reasonable price point. Service was affable though a bit slow, probably because the restaurant is still very new. My only nitpick - the park bench seating in the bar area isn't all that comfortable. I'll probably request the back room on my next visit. The restaurant was about 2/3 full at 9:00 pm last night.

        I haven't been to The Highlands or Mary Queen of Scots but I now want to try those places as well.

        -----
        Mary Queen of Scots
        115 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

        1. re: peter j

          Thanks for the report back! Those combinations sound really good to me and it's high on my list of places to try in the 'hood. (Onegin is probably the only newbie higher on the list right now.)

          Were you able to find a menu posted online? The best I've been able to do is their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Whiteha... and a kinda dippy, non-useful website: http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/wh...

          [And as an aside, have you by any chance tried Monument Lane, another <1 yr old British themed restaurant just up the street? It doesn't have great Yelp reviews, but sometimes CH and Yelp reviewers differ in our collective opinions.]

          -----
          Onegin
          391 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014

          1. re: michelleats

            Whitehall menu:
            http://images.nymag.com/images/2/dail...

            They have daily specials as well.

            I haven't even heard Monument Lane and Onegin but they are certainly on my radar now. Thanks!

            -----
            Monument Lane
            103 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014

            1. re: peter j

              Nice detective work. Thank you!

          2. re: peter j

            Mary Queen of Scots has the best rendition of fish and chips I've had in this country. The fish was especially impressive - light, not greasy or oily. And yes, they have mushy peas!
            p.s.I lived in the UK for many years.

            -----
            Mary Queen of Scots
            115 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

            1. re: Chuck Lawrence

              Sounds great. I'll try Mary the next time I'm in LES.

              Do you know of a restaurant in NYC that serves a good treacle sponge with warm custard like Simpson's in the Strand? I've tried it at Tea and Sympathy but it was ghastly.

              -----
              Tea & Sympathy
              108 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011

              1. re: peter j

                How haven't I ever heard of this place? I'm always on the lookout for excellent fish and chips. Must have loads of malt vinegar and mushy peas too. Add a Ribena, and there's one of my favorite meals. Must visit soon - thanks for the post!

                peter j - Chip Shop in Brooklyn has treacle pudding on the menu, and it's quite good. I've ordered it a couple times. I've never had it at Tea & Sympathy though, so I don't know how it would compare.

        2. Peter J, I owe you a food find: Whitehall is very, very good. Thanks for your review and for leading me there!!

          I'll write up specifics in the near future... The only overlap I think we had in our meals was the mackerel, which I also enjoyed very much.

          Need to correct a previous statement, by the way: Monument Lane isn't British, evidently. The website says it's American. I think I got the impression it was British from chatting with wait-person, who was smoking out front after hours.

          -----
          Monument Lane
          103 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014

          3 Replies
          1. re: michelleats

            I'm glad you liked Whitehall. I'm looking forward to your review!

            1. re: peter j

              Quick rundown of the food we tried:

              (Photos here: http://www.girleatscity.com/2011/11/w...

              )

              A starter of spiced butternut squash salad with toasted almonds, lemon feta and watercress was surprisingly excellent. Fresh, juicy watercress played gorgeously off the crisp almonds and soft squash. And all of these components came together beautifully when united by a perfect amount of the spicy, acidic dressing. I haven't had such a perfect salad in a while.

              Another appetizer of pressed duck, crackling, frisee, homemade mustard was equally stellar. The pressed duck was essentially a generous and mind-blowingly delicious slice of terrine made of tender duck meat layered with greens that tasted to me like parsley and garlic scapes (though I doubt they were scapes, since those are not anywhere near being in season, now) and aspic. This came with a bit of crisp, duck skin crackling, fresh frisee, tiny little mild gherkins, toasted flatbread and a lovely, fresh, potent homemade mustard. The crackling was slightly burnt, but one would be hard pressed (hoho) to find a better duck terrine in the city.

              Our two mains were thoughtful and balanced, each with acidic elements to cut the richness. [Actually, come to think of it, all the dishes we tried included a refreshing hint of acid. Maybe it's a (chef-owner) Chris Rendell thing.] The rabbit and sage sausage, champ, cranberry chutney, pickled fennel and mustard gravy dish included fabulously juicy, tender sausage, served in a small crater in a small hill of champ (scallion mashed potatoes). On their own, the sausage and champ may have been too rich, but the pickled fennel and gravy offset the heavier components very nicely.

              Grilled mackerel, pickled red onion and potato salad, butter lettuce, lemon and mustard dressing (pictured at the top of this post) came with two very generous pieces of very fresh, non-"fishy" mackerel. The skin of the fish had been gorgeously seared, even while the flesh was moist and not a smidgen overcooked. As perfectly cooked as it was, the fish, alone, may have been a bit bland and unidimensional were it not for the lovely, sweet and sour pickled onions, mustard dressing and light vegetal butter lettuce. The few coins of boiled fingerling potatoes were great for nutritional balance, but for me, they didn't add that much to the flavor profile of the dish.

              We were pretty full -- especially after two excellent gin cocktails -- but the dessert menu looked so enticing, we had to try something. Our pick, the bitter chocolate fondant, whiskey hot fudge and gingerbread ice cream, was the kind of oozy, gooey chocolate dessert that could either read as puerile or, if done right, as grown-up, but approachable. Whitehall's version is the latter. What I think was the fondant component seemed more akin to a chocolate souffle (when I read "fondant", I think of that smooth frosting used on wedding cakes), with a crisp shell dusted with powdered sugar and a rich, moist center. It didn't really need the whiskey hot fudge. The hot souffle was lovely with just the intensely gingerbready ice cream.

              ----

              Overall a surprisingly excellent restaurant, Peter -- esp. the starters we tried. I'll be happy to return. Those mushy pea fritters are calling my name!

              -----
              Whitehall
              19 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014

              1. re: michelleats

                Great review and photos. Love your description of "Little England." I have to try that chocolate fondant!

          2. (A few photos here: http://www.girleatscity.com/2011/12/w...

            )

            A few weeks ago, Peter J uncovered a surprising zinger in Whitehall, a British-themed gastropub that recently opened on Greenwich Avenue where the cloyingly pink, sugar-centric Sweetiepie once made a business of luring in five year old girls with susceptible grandmas. In addition to improving the decor drastically, Whitehall also improved the food. Drastically. The pressed duck terrine I tried my first visit had me so excited about the place, I returned the following week. Twice.

            It turns out that I ordered some of the restaurant's strongest dishes my first visit, but subsequent visits have shown the kitchen to be competent, if not as earth shatteringly fabulous as I'd initially thought.

            At a recent dinner, for instance, the butternut squash soup with parsley sauce and grated nutmeg was homey, basic and well made, but not particularly memorable. It was the kind of broadly likable comfort food you'd find in a small, mom and pop diner in the midwest -- if the mom and pop operation actually made their food from scratch rather than ordering it from Sysco. The parsley sauce (actually parsley infused olive oil, I think) did add a very pleasant vegetal element that contrasted nicely with the sweet, creamy soup.

            A side of crispy Brussels sprouts was more memorable, but not necessarily in a good way. I love Brussels sprouts, but Whitehall's rendition was clunky, not nuanced like every dish we tried our first visit. These Brussels sprouts were charred on the outside and tossed with an excessive amount of mustard. Both the pungency of mustard and charring emphasized the bitterness of the vegetables in a way that was not to me enjoyable.

            A main of roasted chicken breast with goats cheese butter, celeriac puree, celery hearts, tarragon and watercress vinaigrette was tender, juicy and again fairly basic -- a very good rendition of an intrinsically homey dish. The dish was beautifully executed, all ingredients were in balance and the jus was a nice, unifying touch... but it simply failed to excite -- me, at least. This is probably a matter of taste. I'm partial to unusual preparations and ingredients, am delighted by elements that surprise. This chicken was very nicely made, but absolutely nothing about it was surprising.

            In contrast, the Whitehall burger with pickled beetroot, caramelized onions, lettuce, over easy egg and fries was a hot mess: imperfect, but ultimately likable. The griddled burger patty was speckled with something green -- parsley, I think -- and could perhaps have been packed a bit less densely. (Overly dense patties usually result when ground beef is handled too much prior to cooking and it's probably difficult to avoid when you mix anything into the meat.) The soft beetroot, sweet caramelized onion and nicely oozey egg did wonders for what would've been a mediocre patty on its own, however. Fries were a bit soggy, but they came with wonderful ketchup in a square bottle. (You can see a corner of it in the photo of the Brussels sprouts, above, but unfortunately, I didn't note the brand.) There was also a small ramekin of simple, well made pickled vegetables on the plate.

            The restaurant's strengths may not be so different from its sister restaurant, The Highlands: The cocktails are strong in all senses of the word. For now, I can only take sly little sips of other people's drinks, but everything I've tried has been nicely mixed and often nuanced in their design. I can't wait to come back and gorge on the raw oysters advertised on the specials board while I drink myself silly.

            -----
            Whitehall
            19 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014

            1. Had great oysters at Whitehall the other night, delightful! Also, the lamb entree was a standout. Started with a terrific gin martini and was especially impressed by the wines by the glass. Overall - a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Chuck Lawrence

                I had a great dinner there too. I guess I liked the brussels sprouts and the butternut squash soup more than michelleeats did. The root vegetable lentil curry stew was also simple but deliciously satisfying especially with the crisp roasted carrots. But the standouts were the mushy peas side dish (easentially mashed pea fritters but seriously, never thought peas could taste this good) and the chocolate fondant. Loved the music too. Definitely returning soon.

                1. re: Riverman500

                  Don't get me wrong. I liked the butternut squash soup just fine. It just wasn't as memorable or interesting as the pressed duck and roasted butternut squash salad, both of which were consistent standouts across two visits.

                  The B. sprouts would've been much better had the person who dressed it not had such a heavy hand with the mustard. I'm sure there's variation on this front, though.

                  1. re: michelleats

                    I just saw this article in NY Times Dining Briefs:

                    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/28/din...

                    1. re: peter j

                      Thanks for posting, Peter. I've tried small sips of a few of the cocktails Stern mentions and they are good / interesting / strong(!), but his writeup makes them sound even better than I remember them being!

                      (As an aside: Is it just me or does the man write an awful lot like Sam Sifton?)

                2. re: Chuck Lawrence

                  Was that the lamb special with mushy pea fritters? I saw that on the board the first time I went and have been looking for it to reappear since. Remember which day of the week you had it?