I want to tell the story of an unpleasant dining experience.
Last night, my wife and I tried the recently opened restaurant named Alphabet Kitchen (Avenue A @ 12th street).
We were in the area and made a reservation in person for later that evening.
When we arrived at our reservation time, the same host didn't remember us. Granted there are many in NY who look alike, but we were just there. Not a big deal, but foreshadowing of things to come.
They initially tried to seat us next to the front door, and rather than sitting there we wanted to sit further into the dining room to avoid the cold. After an angry glare by the hostess, we were moved several tables in.
The balance between the eaters and waiters was unequal, weighing toward the eaters. Not enough staff. We sat at our table ignored by the one waiter who was covering the entire front of the restaurant. To our waiter's credit, he was very pleasant, but we didn't see enough of him.
We decided to try some tapas and appetizers because we weren't so hungry. First we had crab and lobster empanadas. Three little fried won-ton looking things arrived on a plate, no sauce. There was no discernable taste of either crab or lobster-it tasted like an egg roll. We also had mussels with vinaigrette, which were ok, nothing extroadinary. We had three appetizers-sauteed calamari, which tasted of burnt breadcrumbs, quail in a very sweet sauce and a salad with blue cheese and spiced walnuts. The salad was good, but everything else we had was fair to poor. The whole thing was so unsatisfying that we stopped for chicken wings on the way home, which tasted a little like the quail, but better.
The inside of the restaurant is very modern, exposed ventilation pipes hang from the ceiling with cleaned brick walls and a "Yoga-like" mural of the alphabet hanging on the wall. We were amazed by how packed this place was considering how disappointing the food was.