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Alphabet Kitchen


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Restaurants & Bars

Alphabet Kitchen

Mark M | Apr 6, 2001 05:26 PM

Alphabet Kitchen is on Ave A betw 10th and 11th.

According to the NY Daily News the chef (Liz Arana) has cooked at both Provence and Les Bernadin. Her menu is broken into 5 parts; cold apps, hot apps, salads, coca (pizza) and entrees. Ive been there three times over the past few weeks and contrary to an earlier post on this board, found the food to be quite good. I do not have the expertise to vouch for the foods authenticity (portugeese/spanish).

Starters of note:
Pastel: A combo of 3 different kinds of mini empanadas: crab meat, veggies and oxtail. Straight forward and tasty, the latter being sublime! $6
Atun: Tuna Tartare with slivers of mango and John Dory carpaccio. Light and fresh $11
Coca Trempo: Spanish flatbread pizza with spinach, onions, tomatos and peppers. Super crisp flat bread with tasty sauteed veggies on top. Superb! $7

Not so noteworthy:
Calamari: Sauteed with bread crumbs. They were too oily but had potential. $7
Chorizo: Dried out and bland. $2

Paella: Served in a shallow pan (individual portion)with saffron rice, clams, mussels, shrimp, squid, lobster and chorizo. The rice was wonderful - firm and the bottom was slightly browned. The seafood was cooked perfectly, with each individual shellfish done right...a feat so many restaurants fail at. I cant vouch for its authenticity but i loved it. $22.
Special Suckling Pig: Had it last Thursday and boy was it good. Crsip skin and tender, moist, gamey meat. It was accompanied with gooseberries and blood orange slices over rice. It was fantastic. There was also a bean side I could have done without (personal taste rather than preperation). $?
Moorish Spiced Grilled Tuna Steak: IMO overwhelmingly sweet. Sliced, it came in a rioja reduction sauce that had an aftertaste i couldnt quite place (might have been cinnamon). Accompanied by a deluxe combo of spinach, raisins and toasted pine nuts. The toasted pine nuts were a perfect textural contrast to the raisins and spinach. Also had a few slices of glazed eggplant that were very good. $18

AK only serves wine and beer. They serve a mean white sangria that runs $20 for a large pitcher.

The decor is modern and stylish - The brick walls, piping and ventilation units are exposed - giving it an urban feel. A large stainlees steel open kitchen in the back was fun to watch.

They've worked on changing things since my first visit; the lighting, music, front of the house have all been tweaked...some good some bad (ie. music way to loud on my last visit). One thing that remained consistent was the food...good stuff.

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