I recently had the pleasure of dining at ABC Kitchen in Manhattan not just once, but 3 times in the span of 11 days! I know, right!??! Amazing. It's a hard place to get a reservation but it seemed I knew the right people or had a stroke of luck. I want to tell you about it because I was so deeply inspired by the interior and from the exquisite organic meals that I enjoyed there. Here are some of the things you can expect to see in this space that are also sold in the adjacent ABC Home store in case you wanted to get this look at home...
Above: 1. Jan Burz porcelain 2. Vintage plates from your local flea market or antiques dealer 3. I loved the mugs - I ordered tea and was immediately impressed by these. I was told they sold out but now I see them on their website and am sad because I wanted a set of 6 for my home here in Germany. They were the absolute best mug ever. 4. Clear glass egg lamp, 5. Integral tables, 6. Basic white chairs you can find anywhere - these are the Steelwood chairs but they no longer stock them at ABC so try something like the Arper instead, 7. Elena Lyakir fine art photography, 8. Integral bar stool.
Amazing chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is also the mastermind behind this gorgeous eatery, who also happens to be an author of a cookbook called, "Home Cooking with Jean-Georges," and I just bought a copy after visiting his restaurant because the food was that good. I'm so smitten by ABC Kitchen that I want to shout out to the world that if you ever get a chance to eat at this place, DO IT. These photos that I found online don't even do this place justice, it's even better in person.
ABC Kitchen is heavenly - the service was great and the crowd was completely free of pretentious creeps - you know the ones that normally flock to these types of foodie places - this was definitely a cool crowd but without the attitude which made the atmosphere even nicer. The food was top notch - fresh, organic, locally grown and amazing and the price point for what you ordered was excellent. Everything from their wine to cocktails, desserts and breads, brunch and dinner, salads and entrees - it was all impressive and exquisite - it's a real farm-t0-table experience.
The interior design is equally delicious with white brick walls, mercury glass behind the bar and in the bathrooms, exposed beam ceilings brought in from old barns, gorgeous furniture and lighting, lots of recycled elements... There was nothing about it that I would change. The design was mostly done by Paulette Cole, CEO and Creative Director of ABC Home, and felt cozy, unique, delicate and intimate. I also loved the vibe and that no matter how packed it became (and it was always packed), it was never too loud and the music never overpowered the conversation, it was there but subtle and the lighting made everyone look their best - it was always beautifully illuminated day or night. There are no windows in the dining space so there was no natural light, which definitely made it an ideal place for dinner but not idea for taking photos and definitely not ideal for brunch - I enjoyed brunch but it feels more like a nighttime spot for me and I totally loved it.
Another highlight of this space came down to the attention to detail - like the place settings. Brown eco-friendly kraft paper place mats, vintage linen napkins, petite flower arrangements in tiny square glass vases, vintage silverware, mismatched floral-patterned vintage china, handmade porcelain dinnerware in white by Jan Burz -- nothing was too precious yet everything felt so, so precious - how did they do that!?
Some of my favorites on the menu included: Roast Carrot and Avocado Salad with Crunchy Seeds and Citrus, Cookie plate, Shaved Fluke with Blood Oranges, Roasted Kabocha Squash Toast fresh ricotta and apple cider vinegar, Crab toast, Roasted Beets with Homemade Yogurt,Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Eggplant Toast with marinated peppers and lemon , Pear Bourdaloue Tart, Birthday Cake, Salted Caramel-Peanut Ice Cream Sundae, Grilled Chicken Waldorf Salad, Roasted Eggplant Toast with marinated peppers and lemon, Still Warm Fresh Mozzarella olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, Black Sea Bass with chilies and herbs, baby market potatoes and spinach and of course a glass of Riesling trocken, Sybille Kuntz 2008, mosel, Germany!
Yes, all of that - whenever I went I was with several people and we just ordered lots of plates and shared everything tapas style which I highly suggest doing because then you can try a little of everything. What a special space and a new favorite place to eat in Manhattan. While in NYC, I also ate at Il Bagatto (sat next to Kirstie Alley! ha ha!), La Esquina (great Mexican food in a really cool underground "hidden" space), The Standard Grill (ate undercooked fish and got deathly ill for two days - spent a lot of money to get sick), The Breslin (nice place but severely overpriced and very salty food, incredibly rude waitstaff - we were all shocked.)... Also ate at a few random places in Koreatown that were excellent and ate at a little cafe above Kinokuniya book center which had great sushi and Asian desserts and ate at two different locations of Le Pain Quotidien which has really good food for a "fast food" eatery.
Can't remember all of the other locations where we ate - but had breakfast a few times at egg in Brooklyn and that was fine but I still don't understand why Biscuits and Gravy had one biscuit on a plate with a bowl of gravy on the side - the waitress promised me that it only came with one biscuit, maybe I was just hungry or daft but I thought for $10 that was quite pricey for one biscuit! I noticed this happened a lot in NYC though with waitstaff, most acted totally disinterested when you had something to say that wasn't super positive and gushy. Oh well.
But ABC Kitchen rocked - loved my experiences there and I'd definitely go back and hope you'll check it out too!
A special thanks to my dear friend Leslie for sharing this gem of a place with me in the first place!
(images: 2nd image: holly becker, all others: abc home)