>ABC Kitchen: 35 East 18th st. New York, NY 10003

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I’ve been looking forward to this meal at the newest Jean-George restaurant for weeks. Teamed up with ABC Carpet and Home, this environmentally-conscious concept uses organic, local and sustainable goods and is committed to growing whatever they can in the rooftop garden. They use recycled goods and natural cleaning products, and they support local artisans.
I walked in through the rustic doors to a modern, magical, snow-kingdom fairytale.  A vast space with a loft-like feel to it, high ceilings, exposed beams, and silver and white everywhere. Crisp simplicity. What an absolutely lovely setting! Natural tables with leaf-covered chandeliers, tiny mismatched antique bread plates and glass cube vases with miniature flower arrangements. This may be the perfect combination of minimalist and elegant. So hip, but something so timeless about it. It looks exactly the way the exquisite food tastes.
 
When we realized there were WAY too many mouth-watering options to choose from on this beautifully written menu, my two girlfriends and I decided to order a bunch of small plates to share. We asked the waiter what the most outstanding plates were and ordered pretty much everything he suggested. It really sounded like we were overdoing it, especially for 3 petite ladies, but we managed to cleaned our plates with no problem.
From top to bottom the dishes are as follows: The fresh crab toast was a hit with all of us. Flaked pieces of crab simply dressed on crunchy sourdough.

A salad made from julienned pear, endive, candied pecans and some of the best bleu cheese I’ve ever had was impeccable.  This would be a great summer dish- not too filling but full of flavor and textures. I will definitely be trying to replicate this at home.

This was my favorite dish: Arugula with homemade mozzarella, figs and balsamic. So incredibly simple, but it totally showcased what a few top notch ingredients can do together. Nothing overpowered the other, just complemented the distinct flavors of each component. The figs, as they are when they’re in season (but wait, isn’t this actually pretty late for them? How did they get such good ones?) were so velvety, sweet, and succulent that I wanted to marry them…or at least eat about a million more. The cheese was….just wow. I don’t even have words for how good it was. Melty, soft in the middle with a slight pull to the outside layer. Seriously the kind of food I’d like to eat every day.

The pizza was the only dish that we didn’t think was noteworthy. The crust was slightly soggy except for the crunchy edges. It was a little too salty overall, and the fried egg- that was supposed to be on top judging from other blogger’s photos, was undetectable. We actually think they might have forgotten it altogether. The mushrooms however, were superb- and although one friend felt there were way too many of them, I am a funghi-phile and loved them.

The bruschetta with butternut squash, ricotta and mint was an autumnal delight. This was the collective favorite dish of the day. The squash took on a caramelization that could have earned this dish a spot on the dessert menu. Again, the quality of the cheese here proved itself again with sweet, creamy goodness.

The pretzel dusted calamari was also delicious. Given the creativity of the rest of the menu, I felt that the dipping sauces- though excellent for marinara sauce and mustard, were a bit on the boring side.

Renee!


Betsy!

We were so full at the end of our many courses that when the waiter asked if we’d like dessert, we explained that although we really DID find the dessert menu appealing and tempting, we were just too full to attempt it. At that point, I gave him my blog business card and told him that I’d be writing a fantastic review of my new favorite restaurant. He must have taken that as a cue to make sure it held it’s new top spot because the next thing we knew, he reappeared with two comped desserts for us to try. Wow. Niiiiiiiice. Even cooler was the fact that they were the two we’d been eyeing- maybe he overheard us debating whether or not we should order either. The first was the pumpkin spice cake with maple cream cheese frosting. To be honest, I wasn’t crazy about this one, it wasn’t particularly pumpkin-y and I actually though the spices were too strong. I do realize that my about-to-burst stomach might be too blame here though…However, I DID find PLENTY of room for the  salted caramel ice cream sundae. It was topped with fresh whipped cream, candied peanuts and popcorn and some of the best hot fudge I’ve ever had. Where there’s a will there’s a way.
I can’t WAIT to go back !

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