The number of must-try restaurant options available in NYC makes being a health coach in this city a constant challenge (a topic I addressed in a previous post). I often venture out to the latest and greatest restaurants only after careful study of the menu. But when the restaurant has raw, vegan or farm to table themes, I’m there in a flash.
Last night my boyfriend surprised me with a date to ABC Kitchen, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s newest venture into farm to table dining. The restaurant boasts a “passionate commitment to offering the freshest organic and local ingredients possible.” There is nothing I appreciate more than this in a restaurant and both the food and decor lived up to this promise.
We arrived without a reservation and were greeted by a friendly staff who accommodated us in half the time they said it would take. Everything within the space is focused on
“celebrating and honoring sustainability artistry and our global diversity.” In my world, it doesn’t get any better than this!
The decor was clean and minimalist but with quirky accents like antique-looking chandeliers and sprigs of wildflowers placed in glass vases, not surprising at all considering it is part of the ABC Home group of restaurants.
The food isn’t all that is locally sourced. The photography on the walls is the work of a local photographer and the porcelain dishware is made by a local artisan as is the restaurant’s blonde woodwork. The dessert plates and flatware are vintage and all menus and place mats are made of recycled materials.
Now, on to the food! A rooftop garden provides the herbs and microgreens on the menu and every ingredient is locally grown, seasonal, organic and fair trade and the livestock is cruelty-free.
We started with a pre-dinner cocktail. I had the ginger margarita which was delicious and my boyfriend had a beer.
When we sat down at our table, we were served radishes – my favorite – which had an earthy zing and crusty bread. I had just a nibble of the bread which was divine in the olive oil.
We started with the roast carrot and avocado salad which had crunchy pumpkin and sunflower seeds and was tossed in a citrus dressing. The salad was supposed to come with sour cream which I asked for on the side but didn’t touch. Without it, I don’t feel like the salad was missing a thing! The slight taste of cumin stood out against the carrot and made the salad an ideal palette cleanser.
We split our main courses, the wood oven roasted Maine lobster with oregano and lemon vinaigrette and a shrimp pasta with crushed tomatoes and chilis. Both were tasty and satisfying and paired perfectly with a glass of Sancerre.
I ended the meal with a mint tea and my boyfriend a macchiato.
I walked out of ABC Kitchen more satisfied by a meal than I have been in a long time not only because of how it tasted but also because the restaurant’s standards are aligned with my personal values and ideals around food. It is fulfilling knowing that when I chose to dine out, I can do so at a restaurant that is making a positive impact on the environment and in my community.