abc kitchen: bring all your special ladies

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Dear Food Diary:
The other day my old women’s group met up after years for a girls night out. Naturally I was the one to pick a place and Jean George’s abc kitchen has been on my mind. I thought the girls would appreciate their local and organic affair.
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While waiting near the bar, the afternoon sunlight lit up the room and the botanicals all around spread color and life. A Rhubarb Sparkling Cocktail, pink and purty in my hands set the tone for a girly get together. Sparkling wine mixed with elderflower syrup and fresh rhubarb juice, a little tart and sweet on the tongue while bubble fizzled pleasantly. 
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The main dining area is warm, simple, modern and moderately lit. Homey and kitchen 10
The white tables were brought to life by candle and lovely flowers. We loved these little details. Organically beautiful, without being forceful, down to their logo and typeface. I really liked the clean designs with pops of lilac/purple colors. (Designer in me speaking here)

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The soft and crusty bread basket came along with some EVOO and these tiny baby radish. A little peppery and crunchy, tender and mild. And extra extra cute, almost too cute to eat, but who am I kidding, I was the first to pop one in my mouth.

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Crudites and Anchovy Dip was at trip to the farmers market, scratch that… more like a trip on a sunny afternoon to an organic farm Upstate. Vegetables were crunchy and the real flavors shined. Sweet, bitter, licorice, peppery, spicy, while the creamy luscious anchovy dip added a nice saltiness that helped enhance the natural flavors even more. I can eat a whole plate of this… make that two. A round plate of the most natural at its best.

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Shaved Fluke with Grapefruit and Tarragon was a ray of sunshine and a plate of summer. Light, fresh, tender fish, slightly seasoned, brought out with the sweetness and slight tart/bitterness of the grapefruit. The sprinkles of terragon give if a little of that anise/fennel flavor, without being overpowering (thank goodness). 
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Fresh Mozzarella, Olive Oil, Cream Fraiche and Herbs. Cheese and bread is a classic combo, so how could this go wrong. The mozzarella is as gentle as an perfectly poached runny egg, soft smooth and creamy. The bread is dipped in butter than grilled golden brown and paired with the cream fraiche, there’s an extra melt in your mouth sensation. Buttery, savory, a note of sourness in the background and fresh herbs make it so irresistible. We were too nice to fight for the last piece, but I know we all wanted it. 
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Whole Wheat Pizza with Clams, mint, parsley and fresh chilies. Is anyone as excited as I am about the whole wheat pizza crust? Not just any, this one actually tastes amazing and non “healthy” if you know what I mean. I’ve been searching for a good clam pizza and well, I finally found it. Juicy, succulent whole clams, it’s sweet and naturally umami. Hints of fresh herbs brighten up the oceanic pie, and the chilies just 
hit every once in a while, so the clams remained the stars. It’ll be hard not to 
order again the next time I’m back. Julia and I shared this, but I could of easily eaten a whole pie on my own.
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Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop, Braised Baby Turnips and Mustard Butter. I usually don’t order pork chops since they can be seriously dry, 
but this was tender, juicy and flavorful. Good quality meat, soft and tender 
turnips, paired with a great mustardy sauce. I much prefer that over any sweet
sauce. I shared this with Julia as well and we really went at it… scraped our 
plate clean, expect for the bone of course, no doubt if that was edible we 
would of broke it in half and munched on it as well.
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Susan ordered the Black Sea Bass with Chilies and Herbs, Red Bliss Potato and Spinach. The light flaky fish had a nice little crust and the potatoes absorbed all the flavors. 
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Jodie got the Organic Crispy Chicken with Escarole and Fries. The house cut fries were very addictive, perfect crunch on the outside and soft in. The chicken had a nice 
crisp, juicy and tender meat. Not the best crispy chicken I’ve ever had, but flavors 
were good.

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My favorite dessert was their Toasted Oat Buttermilk Panna Cotta, with Pear and Dried Fruit Compote. Nutty creaminess is enhanced by delicate pear and a sweet and sour dried fruit compote. Each bite is balanced with all things dreamy and satisfying about my favorite course. Life is better with dessert.
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The Rhubard Crumble with Jasmine Green Tea Ice Cream sounded and looked very promising. How can you not like it’s tiny casserole/bowl, but it was one of my least favorite things of the meal. The crumble was nice and buttery, but everything was overly sweet and heavy. I wanted more of that fresh tartness rhubarb has, instead sugar took over this eye candy. And the jasmine was nice in the green tea ice cream, but again, not enough green tea flavor, tons of sugar.
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Here are my girls. They say life is better with company, I would agree and add that life is even better with good friends, excellent food and sweet drinks. Abc kitchen is perfect for these kind of occasions. It’s beautiful, service is friendly, attentive and zero snobbiness. The atmosphere is great for any special lady in your life, not just for a date, but your mom, or sister or lady friend, while prices are quite affordable and quality is superb.

P.S. Chubby’s RATING:

abc kitchen
35 East 18th St
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