The frigid weather that has descended upon us as of late evokes a series of emotions . Leaving our apartment becomes a spiritual battle, and eating healthy seems to be more challenging than ever before. We crave sweatpants and Chinese take-out, and a piece of us consistently considers not going out until the ground thaws in April. Unfortunately, we also deeply fear a slow metamorphosis from normal human into a recluse, watching so many episodes of Law and Order that our brain melts and we are seriously convinced someone is stalking us. What is one to do? The only thing we know how: put on our grown up pants and go out to dinner.
The fledgling restaurant Bleecker Kitchen & Co is quaint and cozy, occupying some of the city’s prime real estate on the corner of Broadway and Bleecker Street in Soho. Exposed brick, floor to ceiling windows on the street facing walls, and woodwork originally stripped from a basketball court decorates the dimly lit, spacious dining room. The service was relaxed, warm and friendly, seemingly more appropriate for Brooklyn than Soho, and the windows made for excellent people watching.
Having been informed that Bleecker Kitchen had only been open for a month, we were skeptical at the kind of product about to emerge from the kitchen. Opening restaurants is never an easy feat, and often times the food is the aspect that suffers the most, and with an eclectic menu ranging from comfort food to New American, our cynicism was enhanced.
That being said, we were pleasantly surprised by the Salmon Belly Tartare, which included so much avocado that the dish was bright green! The shallots and pickled red onions were a nice touch, and the dish was refreshing and well balanced. Another favorite was the wild striped bass, which arrived haloed by a few mussels, bok choy, and a delicious Thai-inspired coconut curry sauce. The shrimp and grits appetizer was a must-have given how chilly it was outside, and all the elements of a brilliant dish were there (read: bacon), but somehow fell short of being the game changer we wanted it to be. We felt similarly about the short ribs, probably because we were most excited for them: the root beer-based sauce was too sugary, but the carrots (oddly enough) made tied the dish together quite nicely. With an interesting wine list and a fantastic cocktail menu, Bleecker Kitchen is definitely a wonderful escape from the bristling cold for shoppers traversing Broadway’s crowded sidewalks.
One thing we cannot fail to mention is the spectacular bar and private dining room on the lower level of Bleecker Kitchen. Formerly called The Vault, this speakeasy style establishment boasts velvet couches and a is definitely one of the biggest selling points of this new spot, and we can guarantee that as soon as it opens, it will be impossible to get into. You heard it here first!