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Murray Hill / Gramercy >
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Posted by Anonymous on 05/02/2011
Went for a late dinner one Saturday night a few weeks ago. The decor and atmosphere are terrific. The local, organic menu, recycled tables, and handmade dinnerware are all very impressive. The wait staff is helpful and considerate. Those are the only reasons I might consider giving them another shot at the food. The roasted beets and the spinach and quinoa salads were very tasty. The warm mozzarella appetizer was a complete waste to order. The sea bass was just weird, sitting in an oily broth and tasteless. The person who ordered the cod actually sent it back and ordered something else hoping that it would be less bland! Unfortunately for him, the lamb shank was only slightly less bland. The only happy person was the one who ordered the burger. Organic and locally grown does not mean unseasoned and tasteless, does it? On the bright side, I would definitely go back for drinks!
Posted by Anonymous on 04/17/2011
Posted by Mike R on 04/13/2011
ABC definitely attends the Keith McNally school of reservations -- only 5:30 or 11 available no matter what, even for a Monday in 2013. It usually takes me a couple of calls to find a reservationist who will give me a more reasonable time. Regardless of reservation, you will wait at least 15 mins for your table, so grab a cocktail at the bar, which is among the best bar spaces in Manhattan. Once you make it past the reservation/seating phase, the entire experience is perfection. ABC has enough ambience and style for every Keith McNally restaurant combined. Every item on the menu rates around a 10/10, but the squash toast is literally one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth (and that's saying a lot). The service, once you are seated, is impeccable in every way. For my birthday, I only go to restaurants I've never been to before -- but this year I am making an exception because ABC is that special.
Posted by PPP on 03/10/2011
My sister and I recently wandered in to ABC Kitchen . We had been wanting to try it for some time and were welcomed by friendly hostesses who found us a spot immediately. The squash toast was buttery and decadent, and the crab toast was superb. We shared an apple and pear salad, it was delicate and mysterious. The service was seamless.
Posted by M Marks The Spot on 01/11/2011
Considering the hype and effort to get a reservation, I still feel underwhelmed and a tad disappointed from last week's brunch at ABC Kitchen... however, I'm so enthralled with the space, ingredients and even dishware that I feel compelled to write regardless... The inside of Jean-Georges Vongerichten's ABC Kitchen is whimsical&hip. delicate&rustic. country&urban. cozy&breezy. Sam Sifton of the NY Times describes it best when he says "...the place is haute organic and Hamptons sustainable.... airy and open and relaxed the way the second homes of the wealthy often are..." So true - It does feel like my [non-existent] vacation home. The space is best understood by going in person - beautiful lighting, a motley assembly of country chic furniture and pieces of grandma's chipped china thrown in for good measure - it all creates a mini cloud of luxury within the not so glamorous Flatiron/Union Square area. Tapping the ABC Carpet & Home inventory, Kitchen uses sustainable, handcrafted pieces by local artisans as well as the indigenous Mapuche people of Patagonia. The waitstaff, in their oh-so-cute plaid shirts, are perky and fresh faced... I swear, straight out of a Neutrogena commercial. As for the food...mmehhhh. I shared a plate of Cured Meats and Local Cheeses ($17) with the table and then had a bowl of homemade yogurt with dates and granola. Nothing was "spectacular" but certainly fresh in taste and well presented. I attribute my lack luster reaction to poor ordering (bad M!) - their Housemade Ricotta Ravioli ($22) and the Spinach, Goat Cheese and Herb Pizza ($14) both look/smell incredible! Their coffee, I must note, was outstanding and came in amazing pieces of pottery that practically molded into your hand. Given the quality of the ingredients, prices were quite reasonable. I believe in second chances and plan to head back to ABC Kitchen for Part Deux: Dinner & Drinks.
Posted by Matt on 12/04/2010
Not worth the trip. Have been excited about going to this place for some time. We could only get a late reservation, but figured if we sat down at 10:00 (the time of the reservation) that would be fine. We had heard great things and really were hoping to not be disappointed. We literally waited 35 minutes to be seated, during which we received perhaps one comment from a hostess that they were sorry we were waiting. As the 30 minute mark approached, they starting promising to "take care of us" over and over and over again, so we didn't really complain and just dealt with the absurdly long wait. The food was good - not the best we've had - but some things really did stand out (the squash toast was superb). Others, like the cod, were absolutely drenched in oil/grease and simply did not taste good. When the bill came, we were surprised to see that the only way they "took care of us" was bringing us a cheap appetizer for free. Normally I would be fine with that, but when you're not seated until 10:45 and it's already that late and you're promised to be taken care of by 4 different people, it's almost a slap in the face that our drinks or dessert or something else wasn't done to make us feel better about what shaped up to be a less-than-memorable experience. In the past, when this has happened at other restaurants, we've had managers come over and profusely apologize and comp our entire meals, or our drinks, or bring us multiple dishes as a means of apologizing for a mistake they made. When you have hostesses constantly stating they'll take care of you and then the waiter reiterating this, we were frankly appalled by ABC's lack of client service. You simple won't make it in this city if you can't treat your clientele with the respect they deserve. I don't care how good or new a restaurant you are - if you can't seat your customers within a reasonable time of arriving, you're failing. And if that does happen, you need to make much more of an effort to appease those who clearly are frustrated - especially when it's that late in the evening and they've been waiting to eat for so long. It really is a shame.
Posted by Lorrie Stuart on 11/13/2010
Having had several highly mediocre meals of late at fairly fancy restaurants, I had no particular expectations for ABC. I was therefore beyond delighted with my lunch there today. The food was fresh, inventive, and absolutely delicious. Our shared crabmeat toast came as a very generous portion, with a wonderful lemon aioli that perfectly complimented the crab. And my cheeseburger-- wow! The pickled jalapenos added a really interesting topnote, as did the arugula which substituted for the usual boring lettuce. The service was lovely, and the atmosphere -- courtesy of the store -- was amusingly rococo. I will be returning for dinner very soon.