5 King St (at 6th Ave, SoHo)
Fatty Kat Eats: Sweet Corn, Dark Chocolate Cake
Call Charlie and tell him to collect his damn bird! SO DISAPPOINTED. All this hype and nada to show for it. Charlie Bird has gotten quite a bit of positive coverage, so we thought we were safe. Wrong. This meal was probably the biggest upset for me in 2013 thus far. While every experience and everyone's preferences are different, I'm pretty sure a group of 4 hungry and food-intelligent ladies such as ourselves got the story right. We started off with Grilled Octopus and small chickpeas in a garlic sauce. This dish actually wasn't that bad. The beans and garlic sauce were great on their own. The problem was in the salty octopus which masked the flavors of everything else.
We ordered the Warm Ricotta with fresh figs, prosciutto, walnuts and basil. You really can't mess this combination up. You just need to put a few good ingredients on a plate. At least Charlie Bird achieved that much. The figs were ridiculously fresh and the ricotta was smooth and creamy.
I was not feeling this bowl of Gnocchi Rosa at all. Firstly, it didn't come out looking very appetizing. Secondly, while the tomato sauce was very fresh, it was too sharp for the gnocchi, which wasn't rich to begin with. All of it tasted a bit too acidic. The sauce needed cream to give this dish a little life. I don't know about you, but I prefer my gnocchi as light and fluffy as possible. These sad little turds didn't do it for me.
I love me some Squash Blossoms, but these were so poorly battered and fried. The batter was so heavy and purposeless. The blossoms didn't come out very warm, which made them even worse. The only redeeming thing about these were the anchovies which at least made the filling "interesting."
This bowl of Cappellacci was pretty good in the grand scheme of things. This delicate and silky pasta went well with the light tomato sauce with guanciale. Bacon makes everything better, so I'm glad it could salvage part of our meal. The bitter broccoli rabe was a nice addition to the mix too.
It's funny how this side of Sweet Corn was the most enjoyable part of our meal. Sides are so easy to overlook, but I'm glad we ordered these sweet, buttery kernels of corn with chanterelles. I love fancy mushrooms! If you go to Charlie Bird, you must get this heavenly corn.
No, just, no. The Escarole cooked in an Italian "kimchi" style sounded very cool. However, it failed miserably by being too salty. The escarole was absolutely inedible, and I don't say that about food very often. We sent it back to the kitchen, and we're usually not those kinds of people.
Fortunately, we ended the night (and @bovalicious' birthday dinner) on a higher note. My lovely friend's parents sent us a molten Dark Chocolate Cake with olive oil gelato and caramelized rice krispies all the way from Florida. The chocolate was intense, particularly in cake-form, but it went very well with the salty rice krispies and gelato. Thumbs up.
While the food was pretty disappointing all around, the service was definitely up to snuff, although a little aggressive on the wine selling. The restaurant was simple and pretty, but the restaurant layout was awkward and slightly uncomfortable. If I ever find myself back here, I'll definitely sit at the bar and order real entrees. However, the chances of that happening are very slim.
It's hard to break our combined fatty spirit, and I'm glad to say Charlie Bird didn't fully accomplish that. Happy Birthday Bova!