I have now eaten at this bar and restaurant twice and it deserves more foot traffic than it is getting.
It is in the former space of Boeuf a la Mode. The chef cooked for Atelier Robuchon.
It is a nice size, well lit place with a welcoming bar. The theme of the restaurant is American food that is locally sourced.
My companions and I thought that dinner was delicious and extremely well executed both times that I ate there.
The first time, I had the vegetable terrine which was fresh and well composed. My pork with peaches was also very nice. The pork was obviously from a small farm as it was very "porky" and not at all dried out. My friends had the watermelon and feta salad which they loved and flounder with couscous and steak.
The second time I had the duck breast with lovely little dumplings in a wine reduction. The breast was rare and very tasty.
Deserts are delicious. I had a chocolate mousse with a fruit coulis and my partner had an outstanding sabayon with plums.
The bread is homemade. The butter is locally sourced. The drinks are well made and the wine list is very interesting. Prices are fair. Portions are on the smallish side.
The service is attentive and welcoming. The bar has a different, more informal menu and it looks like a nice place to hang out.
What I do not understand is why YELP only posts a selected number of reviews which are just terrible. If you look at the non-posted reviews that you have to go through hoops to get, they are excellent. Why would a website be so cruelly selective to a newcomer?
In any case, East End Kitchen is a welcome addition to the UES. Jut a little bit off the beaten track.
East End Kitchen
539 E 81st St, New York, NY 10028