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Restaurants & Bars 45

Early Chicken Inconsistencies at The NoMad

justtryit | Apr 4, 201209:17 AM

To start, I am definitely not knocking the restaurant. One inconsistent course does not make a bad meal, and I fully recognize the restaurant JUST opened and has to get in the groove before being meaningfully evaluated. On the whole, we had a wonderful time and plan to return frequently, and will do so excitedly.

My question is if anyone had a non-stellar experience with their chicken? I tried it at dinner opening weekend and was sorely disappointed. Before I state why, just want to throw out there that EMP is our favorite celebration restaurant, and believe I'm being objective. The intent of this report is to see if our Chicken order was bad luck and if the dish is worth ordering in the future. I assume and hope it was an anomaly.

In short, our chicken was overcooked and inconsistently seasoned. The breast serving that my companion got had skin burnt beyond edible (see poor smartphone picture). Mine was a shy dark, but edible for me. Regardless, we found the meat itself to be on the under-seasoned side, and we have lower salt thresholds. Our favorite part of the white meat preparation was the brioche under the skin, and neither of us picked up truffle nor foie on the actual chicken meat (though the truffled potatoes were standout!). The meat was also bordering on dry. Overall this tasted like average roasted chicken breast, which is not devoid of flavor and I sometimes enjoy, but is not really $39 pp territory.

The dark meat we found to be over salted, and also curiously tough. I wonder whether the dark meat in this side dish is from the actual bird they present you, or whether this preparation uses today's roasted dark meat for tomorrow's cooked and served preparation. The salinity of the dark meat was so much greater than the white meat, that my conclusion is the kitchen must have considered one to be incorrect. In this case, I'm guessing the dark meat is how they want it since that presentation style can be tested, whereas a chicken breast served whole would be hard to taste test. If that's true, we prefer the white meat's seasoning.

Some may wonder why we didn't send the chicken back. Simply put, we tend not to do that unless the entire dish is inedible, which this was not (we ate most of it). Just because something I order isn't what I hoped for doesn't mean the kitchen owes me anything or I get a mulligan on my order and money. To me, the only point where I could've considered asking the kitchen for a correction was on presentation of the bird, before serving. At that point though, I didn't think of it, and I tend to defer to a kitchen's judgement. More so than the actual taste of the chicken, this is where I am most disappointed: that the kitchen would actually serve that particular chicken, given that the skin was visually black.

Although there are countless raves about the Chicken and I do think it has amazing potential, I would be hesitant to order this dish again anytime soon, given our experience and the price of it.

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