Happy Thanksgiving to all my food babies out there! I hope you all ate a ridiculous amount of home-cooked food, but I’m sure most of you have not yet recovered from last night’s food coma(s), right? Well, I’m certainly not slowing down with the eating until the holidays are over, but who knows when that’ll be? Next year?
Anyways, I need to write about a restaurant that’s more important than the topic of Thanksgiving. Yup, such a thing exists! Last week Mr. Foodie Pants (Luigi), Brooks, and I went to ABC Kitchen after months and months of “sure, let’s go next week.” Christine couldn’t make it because of a silly little stomach virus. Someone needs to toughen up…
This restaurant is absolutely stunning! You can’t quite tell how pretty it is from the outside, but once you get to the main dining room, you’ll see how all the natural materials and romantic lighting come together. ABC Kitchen is the perfect place for a date, group dinner (lots of round tables!), intimate dinner with friends, and casual, yet elevated bar experience. The whole farm-to-table concept is evident in the floral details, wood floors, aged decorations, and simple furniture. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the entire package!
The food at ABC Kitchen certainly spoke for itself! The 3 of us killed it, meaning we ate tons and tons of delicious food. BUT there were some low notes to the meal. Overall, however, it was magnifique!
We started off the night with some homemade sodas at the bar while we waited for our table. My lemon-thyme soda was simple and refreshing, but Brooks’ lime-basil soda blew mine away. The intense flavor of basil was very apparent in her drink, whereas the thyme in my soda was so subtle you could hardly distinguish it from the lemon. Luigi’s lemonade-vodka was meh…basically a lemon drop without all the sugar. Oh, but look at how sexy these drinks are:
The menus were attached to rectangular cardboard cutouts and summoned the oh-so-sustainable aspect about the farm-to-table concept. I absolute love the idea, particularly because I hate flimsy menus that don’t carry much weight. However, I also don’t like the huge leather-bound encyclopedia type menus you’ll often find at super fancy and pretentious (penguin-suit) restaurants.
We began the meal with Raw Maine Diver Scallops with market chilies, fennel, and mint. Exquisite! And I never use the world exquisite. The scallops were sliced horizontally and presented in a beautiful clam shell on ice. The thin sashimi-like slices were cool, tender, and exceptionally delicate. Chilies, fennel, and mint made for a unique combination of flavors that ranged from spicy to refreshing. This dish was beautiful, tasty, creative, and downright sexy! Definitely one of my favorites of the night. *P.S. It reminded me of the way geoduck is usually prepared on ice (now don’t laugh).
The Crab Toast with Lemon Aioli was a must according to one of Luigi’s foodsources (short for “foodie resources”–just made that up). And yes, it made for a “must get in my belly” situation. The crab was plentiful, fresh, and clean, and the dill and lemon aioli worked wonders! As y’all know, I’m a sucker for good bread, and this thick slice of country toast was phenomenal–so chewy and wholesome.
Okay, I know the following dish looks more like a furry animal than an edible substance, but trust me, it was delicious! This plate of Crispy Delicate Squash with maple syrup and grate goat cheese was amazing and completely different from what I’d imagined. The texture of the fried squash was so similar to pumpkin that I almost forgot what I was eating. No idea what the crispy batter was made out of, but the strong flavor of goat cheese wasn’t overpowering at all. With a little lemon zest, the dish was a complete knockout.
My entrée of Crunch Roasted Chatham Cod was so freaking delicioso. I love this white fish for its moist, buttery, and flaky texture. It goes well with just about anything! The glazed mushrooms, green chili, and mint that came with my cod worked so well together, and the little bit of lemon juice topped it all off perfectly. The bread-crusted fish was fried very lightly and gave the plate a nice textural variety. I feel like this dish was Japanese-inspired because of the beautifully glazed mushrooms and white fish factor; but whatever “inspired” this dish was, it surely inspired me and my taste buds.
Luigi tried the Wild Striped Bass with chilies and herbs, baby market potatoes, and spinach. Lovely fish and the spinach was delicious, but I still prefer my cod. You guys already know this, but anything with a little bit of crunch (aka fried stuff) always steals my heart…
Brooks’ Braised Lamb Shank with parsley root purée and horseradish gremolata was “the bomb dot com” (as she described it)). Firstly, the presentation was so damn sexy and bold. You guys must think I’m crazy for describing it the way I do, but I look at food a little more imaginatively than usual. The lamb was incredibly tender and flavorful, and the parsley root purée basically did the job of what mashed potatoes usually do (aka make your belly smile).
In general, the sides were much less impressive than the appetizers and entrées. This Tender Broccoli with pistachios, chilies, and mint was boring. Not bad…just meh…boring! Plus, every other thing we ate had chilies and mint, so it wasn’t doing much for me by then.
DO NOT ORDER the Butternut Squash with parmesan crumbs and thyme. This side dish was borderline nasty with a funky sour flavor that tasted a little like squashy vomit. The parmesan crumbs and thyme were fine and would’ve made a lot more sense with mashed potatoes or string beans or anything unrelated to butternut squash. Doesn’t it look nasty too?
DESSERT!!!! My favorite part…
Well, I’d just like to point out that I love ABC Kitchen’s cutlery, dinnerware, glassware, and most of all, their coffee mugs! Nothing matches! It doesn’t look so cool in this picture, but this mug felt like porcelain and felt so smooth and comfortable in my hand. Yeah, I’m a dork for Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Pier 1, etc etc.
Holy mother of ice cream-making cows, this dessert was mind-blowing. The Sundae was SO DAMN GOOD. The chocolate sauce, salted caramel ice cream, candied peanuts, and caramel popcorn were indescribably delicious, harmonious, marvelous, wonderful, lovely, divine, miraculous, orgasmic, you get the picture…
These Warm Doughnuts with vanilla cream and bacon fudge sauce were so good too! Definitely heart attack-worthy though. The doughnuts were actually quite light and airy, almost like a soufflé in a heavenly doughnut form. The bacon fudge sauce was light enough on the bacon flavor that it didn’t overwhelm the chocolate component. Regardless, I can’t wait for this bacon trend to blow over, because I’m so tired of bacon-this and bacon-that. Yeah, I said it. Don’t hate, don’t hate!
The Grape Cobbler with gingersnap ice cream was very good but pretty basic. After all the inventive things we tried earlier, I’d expect a cobbler-y “twist” with this dessert, but to no avail… But don’t get me wrong, I love anything and all things with baked fruit, crunchy cobbler bits, and ice cream to top it all off! Baked grapes though, pretty cool.
There are so many things I like about ABC Kitchen, namely the décor, the food, the service, the sexy scene, the plaid shirts, the homemade sodas, the bar, the roundtables, the open spaces. I could go on and on! But the menu could use a tiny bit more variety; quit it with the market chilies and mint already. And just get rid of the butternut squash side dish altogether.
I like using equations in my life, so here we go: ABC Kitchen + Fatty Kat = A Good, Food Coma-Inducing Time.