New & Notable in Nolita: Ken & Cook

Ken and Cook
I love trying out new restaurants -especially since I am guilty of going to some favorites a bit too often. It is so easy to go to an old "stand by" instead of seeking out something different at times.
So when I put "Ken & Cook" on the list to review, I went open-minded to Nolita - however, there was a bit of an expectation. After all, the place has touted Jean Georges alum...
Arriving to the location, I already knew that I was in a place that was trendy and had a nightlife vibe -you could just feel it, even so I was there for the first seating of the evening.
I saw a youthful crowd, but they weren't pretentious or overly annoying. It was actually a mix of hipsters with soccer moms/dads all mingling in the welcoming space. Plus, I was seated by the sidewalk and I could people watch. Nothing like watching a little NYC freak show while dining. It works.
Just like the menu.
For starters, I selected squid salad. The yogurt was fresh and the squid was tender and sweet. One small item of note: there were extra spicy-hot peppers that literally brought tears to my eyes -and a lot of water was needed to wash down the heat. I would have liked a warning NOT to consume them - or better yet, they should have been removed from the dish before serving. Seriously a delicious dish, just AVOID the peppers. It's not worth losing your taste buds, because there are some other items you should definitely try.
Squid Salad - Do you see the hidden peppers?!
For example, the mussels and steak tartar - two very good (separate) dishes that are flavorful, and not overwhelming. They are both found on many menus in NYC, and Ken and Cook do adequate justice to them.
Two seafood entrees worthy of your time: the monkfish and the black bass. In my review notes, I wrote, "Monkfish - wow! I don't like fennel, but I LOVE this dish!!!" (I took a photo, but lighting made it really awful to look at, so I'm not using it - especially when this dish is incredible and truly a not-to-miss item.)
The bass, likewise, had delicate micro-greens and these tiny, delicious clams. The expression, "Yum yum!!" was written down in my notes. Seems like a theme.
Overall, what I enjoyed most about Ken and Cook was that that dishes were not overly complex, yet there was a distinctive quality to savor and truly enjoy.
Black Bass - YUM!
What I missed was an opportunity to try the much-talked-about chocolate cake that so many other reviewers mentioned. I ended up with berries in marscapone -which was gratifying with the honey citrus - it just wasn't... well... chocolate!
Many MANY thanks to our waiter, Marcus! He'll help you with the menu and the extensive wine list with a smile.
Also, a big thank you to David Gonzalez for making the evening a memorable one and encouraging a prompt return. I will be back! Soon! (Just get the cake ready, ok? And call me to let me know it's back!)

1 comment:

  1. will put this on the list of places to try!

    ReplyDelete

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