My girlfriend and I tried Kitchen, Charlie Palmer's newish place on 22nd St. yesterday evening. If you are not familiar with their pricing model, it's pretty interesting -- everyone is required to get a $25 prix fix meal with about 4 items per course to choose from. The wine is broken down into lists of about 6 bottles each of red and white at $25 and about 6 bottles of each at $35.
Apps -- I had "salmon two ways" - Gravlax and some creme fraiche with dill and a biscuit with a salad of mayo or creme fresh and salmon tartare in the middle. Pretty good, but I thought dollops of whole grain mustard on the plate were a little weird. GF had a fantastic roast beet and blue cheese salad with walnuts. This was really about the best rendition of the dish I've had. The dressing was nutty and rich, the beets were bursting with salty-sweet roasted beet goodness.
Entrees -- I had a delicious roast chicken with porcini risotto. The chicken was really crunchy on the outside -- this may have been a roasted chicken breast on paper, but it clearly spent some time getting deep fried. Thumbs up to that. The risotto didn't have to be porcini risotto IMO -- I found the flavor a little murky. Further, it was overly salted and was spiked with delicious but very salty lardons. The overall effect was major salt overload. GF had a hangar steak that was good with a sweet onion red wine reduction. The sauce was syrupy and a little cloying, but the dish was good.
Deserts -- I had Butterscotch pudding. Good, but not special. GF had a Brownie with vanilla ice cream. This was better, but I think they could do better on the dessert front.
In general, I think the shortcomings were more than balanced out by good, creative (but not silly)ideas, tasty food, and a very good price.
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