The new hot place for chefs after hours to go and nosh is a bar on 13th st called The Redhead where Chef Meg Grace has been making big news with her southern inspired late night dinner menu (just an abbreviation of the regular hours menu). Served every night, except Sunday, from 11-2am. Her big hit dish is (get ready) bacon peanut brittle, which is served in a jar. If you go to the website you can buy it online. Here is what New York Times food writer Frank Bruni had to say:
“The bacon peanut brittle, served in a jar that a diner can take home, is an instant classic, a way to fill up quickly and a clue to the kitchen’s unpretentious bearings. The Redhead speaks with a pronounced Southern accent.”
- Frank Bruni in the New York Times
Back Forty has been around for a while, the brainstorm of the owners of the long established Savoy, one of the first places in NYC to really do local, way back when, real pioneers. Back Forty offers really good value (grass fed burgers for 11 bucks) in a series of three comfy, dining rooms. The other night, the simple green salad was transcendent as was the rare lamb with chickpeas. The veg sides all looked good; we had the brussel sprouts and ate them like candy! Oh and don't forget the onion rings with spicy mayo. So good.
For desert we had awesome home-made, served fresh from the deep frier, donuts with a cider glaze - so yummy. Warmdough, fried and covered in sugar: the perfect winter dessert.
The dessert menu is for me, though the weak link, the Brownie, is nondescript and kind of cakey for my liking. And I don't consider "floats" to actually be dessert. How about some cranberry upside down cake?
Our dear friend Jane took us for dinner here a few months back and we sat in the back room, very lovely and quaint old farmer house feel to it, but I was sitting at a table on a chair facing the kitchen, the very brightly lit kitchen. My 2 cents worth is: buy a drape! Yeah I know it's a drag for your servers, but your customers would love you even more. ;-)
In any case, if you want subdued lighting, just don't sit in the back room. Otherwise run, don't walk to this amazing local restaurant, with a serious and seriously delicious menu and mandate.
Keepin' it local on Ave B.
Lastly, my all time favorite coffee place in the World, 9th Street Espresso, has opened up a new shop right on 10th street over looking Thompson Square Park. If you haven't been, you gotta go. My favorite is the Mezzo but the drip coffee is great as well, although as the name would suggest they are most famous for their espresso drinks.
Not for the weak of heart, the coffee is full, rich, strong and tastes like coffee should!