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ABC Kitchen - Food still good?

Charles Yu Mar 25, 2012 05:38 PM

Postings and reviews dated back to around late 2010 gave the restaurant a huge thumbs up. How's the food nowadays? I'm considering it as my candidate for a relatively cheap ' non- Michelin star' dinner during my up-coming trip to NYC. Any stand out, must order dishes? Also, hope menu does not contain too much Jean George influenced 'Asian-fusion' dishes?! Sometimes I find it a bit overboard! Thx!!

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  1. loratliff RE: Charles Yu Mar 25, 2012 08:12 PM

    I haven't eaten there in a couple of months, but I really enjoyed it. Kabocha squash toast was my favorite dish, but everything was very good. No Asian fusion, mostly farm-to-table, simple ingredient-driven preps.

    3 Replies
    1. re: loratliff
      erica RE: loratliff Mar 26, 2012 04:11 AM

      Hi Charles! I agree..still excellent. Ditto on the squash toast, and also on the liver toast. Kasha and bowtie pasta with veal meatballs is excellent, as well. These 3 are so good that we've ordered them every time we've eaten there. I also liked the roast suckling pig very much. Make sure to go for dinner, as the abbreviated lunch menu does not showcase all their hits.

      Coincidence: I liked that kabocha toast so much that it has entered the rotation at my own house; I made ti for dinner last night and I've posted the recipe here in case you someday want to do the same!

      1. re: erica
        loratliff RE: erica Mar 26, 2012 08:20 AM

        Yum, definitely would be interested in that recipe!

        1. re: loratliff
          erica RE: loratliff Mar 26, 2012 02:46 PM

          Recipe, as promised:


    2. chloes RE: Charles Yu Mar 26, 2012 06:36 AM

      I ate at ABC on Friday. I'm a big fan of the food - kabocha squash is not to be missed - but the service was abysmal. It's very loud and the waitresses are hard to track down. we were seated for 7 minutes before anyone came by with menus or water.... and then the waitress spilled water on me. FWIW the waitress did seem like she had good intentions but also completely overwhelmed with volume.

      Great place for a loud group looking to get boozy - the cocktails are fantastic. I had the basil lime daiquiri (not frozen). it was excellent.

      They also have some black truffle specials right now...

      Oh and very minimal asian-JG influences going on here. I promise you won't find his ubiquitous chicken samosas on this menu!

      1 Reply
      1. re: chloes
        loratliff RE: chloes Mar 26, 2012 08:20 AM

        For the non-drinker, the housemade sodas (similar in flavors and creativity to the cocktails) are fantastic too!

      2. t
        tongue_to_tail RE: Charles Yu Mar 26, 2012 03:51 PM

        (Excuse my writing tersely - I had a whole post typed out and then lost it.)

        Was there Friday night. We had six dishes and really enjoyed four of them. I had the crab toast, raw scallop with pistachio and chilies, and suckling pig with apple and bacon marmalade. Person I was with had beets with yogurt, classic ravioli, and sea bass with chilies.

        We really enjoyed the crab toast, suckling pig, beets with yogurt, and the classic ravioli. We strongly disliked the scallops and sea bass.

        Crab toast lived up to the hype. A lot of great briny crab on a piece of bread that added to the dish, not subtracted from it. Scallop dish was just not well conceived - each element was good, but they didn't work together as a whole. Pig was very nice - tender, and they got the skin right. Some places can screw up the skin and it comes out too hard. This was perfectly crunchy and delicious. Marmalade wasn't as good as expected, but b/c of the ingredients it was, IMO, something impossible to mess up.

        Beets and Yogurt were light and refreshing. Great beets. Raviolis were perfect. These would have been acceptable in even the best pasta places in Italy - they were homemade, came with classic pomodoro sauce, and little pieces of basil tucked in each ravioli. Delicious. Sea bass was pretty bad: came with an unbalanced, weird "sauce," and the fish was extremely under-seasoned, if even seasoned at all.

        I'd go back because the dishes that we liked were really good, but on the other hand, the dishes we didn't like were really bad. So be prepared for an uneven meal. There will be highlights, but also dramatic lowlights.

        1. s
          sugartoof RE: Charles Yu Mar 27, 2012 02:40 AM

          I was there about a month ago, and wouldn't go back again.

          The place was loud, and filled with heavy drinkers who should have been cut off. Waiters were engaging in inappropriate interactions with tables... the whole thing was a zoo that doesn't match the menu and concept.

          The food itself was a letdown both times I've tried it. Average at best. The upside is it doesn't rehash the same Jean George tricks. Unfortunately, the place is a complete trainwreck, and the idea that it's seasonal is a con, as it's been pretty much the same (if not exactly the same) since November.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sugartoof
            Blumie RE: sugartoof Mar 27, 2012 06:31 AM

            Sounds like you ate at a different restaurant than the rest of us.

            1. re: Blumie
              sugartoof RE: Blumie Mar 27, 2012 12:57 PM

              I see other reports in this thread describing the place as good for "loud groups looking to get boozy", descriptions of "abysmal" service, an "uneven meal" with "dramatic lowlights".

              Sounds like the same restaurant to me.

          2. k
            kathryn RE: Charles Yu Apr 21, 2012 03:11 PM

            Just had brunch there today. Excellent crab toast, as usual. Liked my Yuzu C juice: orange, grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, lime, and yuzu. But the real winner was the scrambled eggs, with breaded deep-fried oysters, hot sauce and butter. Marvelous! Spicy and creamy and crispy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kathryn
              loratliff RE: kathryn Apr 21, 2012 07:15 PM

              Wow, that sounds amazing! Return visit is in order soon for me.

            2. u
              uncledunkel RE: Charles Yu Jun 15, 2012 07:25 PM

              Yes, went back on monday; still a great meal

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