Tag Archives: west village

L’Industrie Pizza

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

After learning about L’Industrie’s opening in the west village, I thought it was a good opportunity to finally try this place, as the typically long lines in Brooklyn would be bifurcated now that there is a second location for Manhattanites. We still waited about 15 minutes, which isn’t that bad to be honest.

Coming in at around $25 for four slices is absolutely absurd, but the slices were indeed excellent. This is a top three pizza spot for me now, for sure.

We tried a pepperoni, sausage and burrata slice; a fig jam, balsamic, arugula and burrata slice (named the “L’Industrie” slice); a regular pepperoni slice; and a white slice.

All were excellent, but I think one of the two pepperoni-involved slices was probably the best.

Next time I just want to try a plain slice and a burrata slice. No fuss. And I’ve still got to hit Mama’s Too (now open around the corner from this joint), L&B, and Lucali.

L’INDUSTRIE PIZZA
104 Christopher St.
New York, NY 10014

Kinzan

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

Kinzan is an omakase joint in the west village that offers a $100 meal, and, currently, a 15% discount is you pay in cash.

While this doesn’t quite break the top five for low cost/high value omakase joints, there were definitely some highlights, like the albacore with chili garlic crisp…

Tuna with caviar…

And their Instagram claim to fame, the smoked martini course.

Definitely worth a shot! Great service and reasonable prices.

KINZAN
259 6th Ave.
New York, NY 10014

Via Carota

First, check out this badass Ride & Review video HERE:

My wife wanted to check this place out for their pork and pasta dishes, and I was interested in their artichoke and rabbit dishes. We tried all of it. Here’s how it started:

Two lovely cocktails, a classic negroni and a martinez, for me.

Vitello Tonnato was on special, carpaccio style. I had to try. It was great!

We also had their grilled artichokes, which were amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever had them grilled before, but I’m a huge fan.

This stracci pesto pasta was like a pile of lasagna noodles.

Fucking fantastic! I absolutely loved it.

This pork dish was belly, roasted and then grilled, with a tangy plum BBQ sauce, of sorts. Very unique.

The fried rabbit was incredible. Perfectly seasoned, and it came with a big hunk of fried sourdough. This could easily replace chicken and waffles if served with some whipped ricotta and a spicy Calabrian chili honey.

For dessert, a perfectly executed tiramisu.

We will definitely be going back for the fried calamari/fritto misto and fried zucchini. The plates coming out looked nuts!

VIA CAROTA
51 Grove St
New York, NY 10014

Dante

First, check out my badass Ride & Review video HERE:

We started with the mortadella, stracciatella and pistachio flatbread. This was incredible!

Next up was chicken parm. They use a huge amount of extra funky cheese on this. BOLD!

Their Frutti di Mare pasta was perfect. Shrimp, mussels, clams and calamari, all cooked just right in a beautiful sauce.

The panna cotta was just right! Very nice texture.

We will definitely be back to try more, especially from the massively extensive cocktail menu!

DANTE
79-81 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012

Jack & Charlie’s

Jack & Charlie’s just opened on Greenwich Avenue near 8th Avenue.

The place is absolutely stunning inside. The color scheme is mid century greens with dark wood paneled walls and floors. The odd shape of the building space makes for cozy and interesting nook-like seating in some corners. This was my favorite table in the joint:

Here’s the main bar:

Incredibly gorgeous art deco vibe there. There’s also an oyster bar in back, beside a wood fired brick pizza oven. Love those subway tiles:

Speaking of bars, the cocktails here are really nice. This first one is called “Needs a Name.” Basically a sort of coffee old fashioned, I suppose? Super unique, really tasty. The other is a martini called “Slightly Promiscuous,” with a goat cheese stuffed olive.

Anyway, lets get to the food, because it was amazing.

We started with three items: First, the Littleneck Clams Casino.

These were so good. Only down side: we wanted bread to soak up all that delicious lemony, buttery sauce.

Next, Shepherd’s Pie Croquettes, from under the “Bar Bites” part of the menu.

Note here that the bar does offer secret menu items that aren’t available at the table, such as French Dip sandwiches. However, the full dinner menu is available at both bars.

Anyway these were perfectly crisp outside, super soft and flavorful inside. And also not too insanely hot to eat right away. The kitchen is on point, and knows what they’re doing in terms of food temps so that diners don’t destroy the inside of their mouths.

Lastly, the steak tartare:

By far one of the best, most flavorful I’ve had in a long time. It’s made from hand cut tenderloin, and it’s dressed and spiced just right.

For our mid course, we had a salad and a pasta. The chopped veggie salad was surprisingly delicious. It had all the usual stuff which you can see, as well as radicchio, artichokes and hearts of palm. Some of my favorite things for salads.

The strozzapreti pasta with rabbit was killer! It had a really nice flavor that reminded me of the pasta e fagioli (aka “pasta fazool”) that I ate as a kid. The green in there is arugula.

I can’t wait to go back and try their other pasta dishes. All of them looked and sounded amazing. Update for the wild mushroom agnolotti – amazing!

Very nice bolognese too, and I’m generally not a fan of that dish.

For the mains, I had to try the two items that Chef Ed Cotton makes from what we supply them at Golden Packing. Each week, we send them ground duck and prime grade export ribs (whole racks of rib eye). Here’s what Ed does with the ground duck:

That’s a bone-in duck meatloaf!

I’ve never really eaten meatloaf, unless you consider Italian meatballs to be some kind of cousin to meatloaf. I was blown away by this. So flavorful, and the glaze on that thing was incredible. Make sure you get this when you come here.

With the export ribs, Ed makes slow roasted, pastrami rubbed prime rib.

This is only available on Friday’s and Saturday’s, first come first served, and while supplies last. I asked for a chuck side cut, and Chef Ed obliged!

Huge cap on that (spinalis). And the meat was probably the most tender that I’ve ever had for prime rib, even in the more densely structured eye/center muscle (longissimus). It comes with au jus, horseradish cream, warm popovers and a spice rubbed rib bone.

The meat on that is so delicious!

On another trip, I tried both the half roasted chicken and the strip steak frites. Both were AWESOME!

The strip is an easy 9/10, just shy from a perfect score because it wasn’t dry aged. But it doesn’t matter because it was really juicy, and wire to wire pink.

Also, this 14oz pork chop with peppadews is great as well!

On the side, the hen of the woods mushrooms were out of the park! Meaty, earthy, and full of flavor. I had no interest in the traditional creamed spinach when I saw these babies on the menu.

For dessert, banana pudding!

This, with that scoop of ice cream on top, was just heaven. What a way to end a meal! Also rice pudding, really nice with fall flavors.

I can’t wait to go back here and try more stuff. There’s also a tomahawk rib chop and a strip steak on the menu, which are fired in the brick pizza oven at 750F! Gotta be good.

BURGER UPDATE!

This monster was really tasty. I really liked the char and seasoning on the patty.

JACK & CHARLIE’S
118 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY 10011

Ardyn

I finally got a chance to check out Ardyn, the restaurant that former Charlie Palmer Steakhouse chef Ryan Lory opened in the west village.

The space is beautiful, with a rustic, woodland feel to the dining room.

There’s also a beautiful bar with great cocktails and $1 happy hour oysters from 5-7pm (along with drink specials).

We started with a couple of raw fish dishes. Hamachi tartare and fluke crudo.

Both were awesome and pretty, but if I had to choose one to go back to repeatedly, it would be the hamachi.

Chef Ryan is becoming known for his gorgeous plating – very aesthetic. He also became known for his 50/50 burger at Charlie Palmer. It’s 50% smoked bacon and 50% brisket, with some dry-aged wagyu trim and fat in there to take it over the top.

The only down side here was the thickness of the pickled tomato slice. Half the thickness would be perfect, but that acidy pop did do a great job of cutting the buttery fatness of the rich and well-seasoned burger.

Make sure you don’t neglect the fries here with your burger. They’re amazing and possibly some of the best I’ve ever had.

All the sides were nice, in fact, from the shishitos to the carrots to the greens.

The pastas here are also excellent. We tried two: ramp garganelli with morels, and squid ink cavatelli with uni cream.

It was tough to choose a favorite between the two perfectly cooked and plated pastas, so I suggest getting both if you have room.

But the mains really shined.

First, this absolutely stunning duo of duck containing crispy sliced breast and a house made sausage.

The breast was nice but the sausage stole the show – like when Lex Steele stars in a porno flick with some ugly broad that has gross fake tits.

Of course we had to try the 45-day dry-aged Snake River Farms domestic wagyu rib eye.

This thing was incredible. It had a sexy, deep brown maillard crust on the surface and a rare cook beneath. You can still see the flecks of marbling in the flesh! It could have been cooked slightly longer, but the beef was so high quality that you could eat it like this even without the fat fully rendering out. 9/10.

Dessert was equally stunning. This choclate layer cake with pistachio ice cream was really rich and moist, like Paris Hilton in 2003.

This custard was light yet very satisfying.

And this asian style grapefruit/pomelo dessert was just the right kind of acidy and citrusy way to end the meal with a cleansed palate.

I definitely recommend this place. And if you want a seat close to the action, head to the back and pop your ass onto one of the stools that faces into the kitchen. Be warned though – it’s warm back there!

ARDYN
33 W 8th St
New York, NY 10011

Houseman

I saw some Instagram photos of a great looking burger from this joint, so I had to go check it out.

The Houseman burger is a double patty with melted swiss, griddled onions and mushrooms, all cooked perfectly and slapped in a toasted potato bun.

Really flavorful, and dangerously easy to crush two or three of these in one sitting. For $20 it comes with fries, and you can get a $2 beer with it as an add on. Great deal.

HOUSEMAN
508 Greenwich St
New York, NY 10013

Chumley’s

I finally made it into the “new” Chumley’s to try the burger. Despite my depression over the massive change this place underwent, the joint is still really cool. I’m also happy it’s back open after all that time being shuttered.

But it no longer feels like a bar. It feels like a restaurant, and the menu reflects that.

As you can see from the menu description, this baby is rocking bone marrow, crispy shallots, “Chumley’s sauce,” and good old American cheese. The burger itself is two large patties. Although it’s a bit unwieldy to eat with your hands, it’s huge on flavor. It was absurdly delicious. Rich, heavy, and robustly flavorful.

 

The marrow really adds a depth of beefiness that’s unrivaled in other burgers, and the Chumley’s sauce tastes almost like a gravy of sorts. I think this would be fine as a single patty, but at $29 you’re certainly getting your money’s worth. Especially considering that they give you a mountain of delicious, golden-crisp French fries that have been tossed in beef fat after they come out of the fryer. Awesome.

This burger is definitely worth getting.

CHUMLEY’S
86 Bedford Street
New York, NY 10014

Bistro Pierre Lapin

NOTE: THIS PLACE IS CLOSED

Dining at Bistro Pierre Lapin was probably one of the best French culinary experiences I’ve ever had. Everything I ate was either good or bordering incredible. The meal began with a “slice” of pate, a plate of butter, olives and herb truffle goat cheese, and a basket of small French baguettes that were really hard to stay away from, even though I knew I was about to indulge in a massive and decadent French feast. This may be the best table bread in the city.

Next up was a foie gras mousse, which was silky smooth and one of my favorite bites of the night.

These little guys are pig’s ear pinwheels stuffed with spicy sausage. Really nice.

This head cheese incorporated a boiled egg in the middle. The flavor and texture on this was incredible. This is a must try.

The deviled eggs were great, getting a great pop of texture and flavor from the bacon and pickle additions.

This is a bunch of pig head meat that was deep fried into a delicious patty. Awesome.

This was probably the most unique preparation of escargots I’ve ever seen. They were served with a sunny side up egg, peas, fava beans and a garlic-butter sauce.

The frog’s legs here are the best I’ve ever had, and was one of my favorite dishes of the night. If you have never eaten frog’s legs before, get them here so that you are forever spoiled.

They offer two styles of burger here. The first is a simply grilled burger with foie gras on top, sandwiched between two slices of Texas toast.

They also have an American style burger here as well, with the traditional fixings.

I preferred the American burger over the Texas toast burger, but both were very tasty.

Speaking of toast, this preparation of cognac flambe mushrooms on brioche toast was delicious. I could see this going over really well with the NYC brunch crowd.

These tortelloni are stuffed with rabbit and served with sweet peas in a carbonara sauce (you can see the yolk).

One of the best dishes I tried here was this “Shake N Bake” style breaded pork chop, served with an au poivre sauce. There’s a great story associated with this dish that goes back to when Chef Harold Moore’s mother used to cook pork chops at home. Apparently she used to overcook regular pork chops, but when she followed the instructions on the box for “Shake N Bake,” they came out perfectly every time. So Harold came up with his own breadcrumb mixture here, and the dish is a tribute to his mother’s Shake N Bake dinners at home.

The chicken for two is a great way to go if you’re looking to share:

But I would recommend the leg of lamb if you are going with a group:

This beauty is deboned, stuffed with herbs and spices, rolled back onto the bone, covered with sauce and roasted for hours.

The result is a prime-rib like texture and some dangerously tender and delicious meat. You have to request this a day in advance, and it will feed four to six people with ease.

As for sides. I tried both the clarified butter fries and the truffle fries. Both were excellent, but I think I preferred the truffle fries.

Both the potato gratin and the potato puree were delicious. Between those, I prefer the gratin.

The broccoli was pretty good too. That brown plate at the bottom is actually foie gras stuffing for the roast chicken dish. That stuff is crack.

I will definitely be back here to try more dishes from the entrée menu, and most certainly the artichoke salad. And don’t forget to try one of their tasty and beautiful cocktails. This is their French margarita:

BISTRO PIERRE LAPIN
99 Bank Street
New York, NY 10014

4 Charles Prime Rib

I agonized a bit over whether I should review 4 Charles Prime Rib within my 10 categories for steakhouses. In the end I decided to review it as a regular restaurant, as I felt the steak selections were so LASER-focused on prime rib that the overall score would be artificially low if plugged into the steakhouse review framework.

But who cares, right? You bastards just want to see the pretty pictures and know whether I think you should eat here.

The short answer: YES! Eat here immediately.

I was here with my wife and two other friends to do a full-cavity search on this restaurant menu’s ass. No gloves. No lube. Raw and dirty. Here’s what we ate:

THE BURGER

We split this as an appetizer, and yeah, I know: We didn’t get it “au cheval” style like in Chicago, with the egg and bacon on top. There were several reasons why we didn’t: (1) Overkill. It would be too fucking tall with thick cut bacon and a fried egg sitting on top of this double cheeseburger. And with the addition of lettuce and tomato? Fuhgettaboutit; (2) One of my friends can’t eat egg yolk; and (3) After I spoke with some friends whose burger opinions I value, it was clear that baconless and eggless was the way to go.

So how was it? Great. It’s crafted in a similar style to Genuine Roadside or Hard Times Sunday, where they serve up classic American doubles. However, at those places you’re paying half the price for something that I felt was just as good, if not better. My opinion: skip the burger. It’s great, but not worth the $20 price tag (fries not included).

On a second trip, I was able to get it with “the works” because I wasn’t sharing with someone who had an egg allergy. Much better.

THE FRENCH DIP

This isn’t on the menu but it’s often offered as a special for the day, and they pre-cut it for four people (even though we told them they didn’t have to). Thin sliced beef, provolone cheese, cherry peppers, great sandwich bread, jus and horseradish sauce.

Verdict: amazing. Get this and split it as your appetizer like we did. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, you’ll probably be as amazed as we were. Another great app is the bacon. Braised, super tender, peppered crust, and slightly candied.

THE PORTERHOUSE

DeBragga supplied this porterhouse, which was offered as a special for the day. It was only dry aged for 10 days, but it packed a great earthy flavor while still retaining the character of the beef. It was 32oz and $120, marketed as being “for two.”

How was it? 10/10 – perfection. Well, I mean, the crust could have used a slight bit more char on the outside, but the flavor was so tremendous that it didn’t matter. The quality  was insane, and texture was incredibly tender. Served with a Bernaise sauce.

THE “4 CHARLES CUT” PRIME RIB

This is 24oz of bone-in, slow roasted Anderson beef out of Chicago. It cooks for three hours at 250 and then five hours at 125. The result is an incredibly juicy and tender roast.

That’s horseradish cream sauce there in the picture, and the steak also comes with jus. This is easily in my top three for prime rib here in the city, with a very close Keen’s and Burger & Barrel also in that top three. 10/10. The English cut version is great as well. It normally comes with three slices, but, since we were an even number of people, they offered us another slice so we could all try. That’s great service!

SIDES

Blue Cheese Creamed Spinach: I thought this would be really potent and harsh, only good for a bite or two to add richness to the prime rib, but it was mild and tasty. While I really enjoyed it, it was not my favorite creamed spinach. I would say that it’s worth a try if you fancy yourself a creamed spinach connoisseur.

French Fries: Solid. Not amazing, but not bad by any stretch. They get the job done, they’re nicely fried, and they’re crisp. Served with a garlic aioli.

Roasted Broccolini: Despite the typo on their menu (brocolinni), these were really nicely done. I love this fucking veggie, so I like to get it every time I see it on a menu. These fuckers prepared it just how I do: Simply seasoned and dressed with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic; and then roasted until it’s cooked through, developing a little bit of charred texture on the heads.

DESSERT

Lemon Meringue Pie: Really nice thick meringue on top. Super fluffy and lots of flavor. The pie itself was just right: not too tangy and not too rich. I loved it. I’ve always loved a good lemon meringue pie. And look at those peaks! Also the serving size is tremendous – basically a quarter of the entire pie.

Chocolate Cream Pie: The good folks at 4 Charles Prime Rib brought this baby out for us on the house. I was really blown away by this gesture, not to mention how cool everyone was with the four of us taking photos of the food. I like to think that we weren’t too obnoxious, though. In any case, this was really delicious. The bottom was a sort of Oreo crust, and the whipped cream and chocolate sauce just took that rich, flavorful chocolate pie filling to the next level. Great stuff, and I’m usually not huge on chocolate desserts.

The Damage

Boom. You need to eat here. I can’t wait to go back.

UPDATE 4/18/21: BEST RIB EYE I’VE EVER HAD! Such amazing aged flavor on it, beautiful crust and perfectly cooked.

Lamb was great too.

4 CHARLES PRIME RIB
4 Charles St
New York, NY 10014