NYC – 3/14/15 – ABC Kitchen, the Nomad Bar, Estela, Ten Bells

ABC Kitchen

I must keep reminding myself to get back to some of my old favorites.  This is one of my favorite dining rooms in NYC especially mid day.  The food is always bright and just feels healthy.  Well at least until the carrot cake but it was fantastic.  Shaved raw fluke, crushed olives, dill, lemon and chilies  Mushroom toast, pecorino, lemon and herbs  Cured meats and local cheeses Roast carrot and avocado salad, crunchy seeds, sour cream and citrus Kale salad with lemon, Serrano chilies and mint Brown butter carrot cake with cream cheese frosting  The Nomad Bar

When I recently found myself here twice within 24 hours I started to wonder if I had a bit of a problem.  But at some point you have to play favorites.  On this day it was the perfect stop for pre-theatre drinks and snacks.

Clams baked with bacon, garlic & breadcrumbs



I finally have to admit that I disagree with just about everybody else and do not understand any of the hype around Estela.  I’ve given it second chances but maybe was less impressed than previous visits.  Maybe I have aged a few decades, but it was so dark that we had to use our iPhones to read the menu.  And while it was maybe cute the first time, I just don’t get why every dish is camouflaged with a layer of something.  When dishes are meant to be shared, the dish has to be almost completely disassembled to determine what is underneath and how to best split it.  And in near darkness this is almost impossible.  And while everything is very good I suppose I just don’t find anything on the menu to be that interesting.  I hate to be in the minority, but I just don’t get it.  Sorry!Mussels escabeche on toastWaldorf salad with yogurt and pistachiosBurrata with salsa verde and charred breadSteak with spicy marmalade, potatoes, and taleggioRicotta dumplings with mushrooms and pecorino sardoTen Bells

We finished the night with new friends, quite a few bottles of amazing wine, and pizza after closing time (which of course always seems like a good idea at 3am!).

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