In the ground floor of ABC Carpet and Home, alongside the Latin-inspired ABC Cocina, lies ABC Kitchen, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s tribute to upscale, organic cuisine.
When it comes to creating a restaurant, Jean-Georges Vongerichten is an expert at many things, not the least of which are the quality and creativity of the food emerging from the kitchen. Indeed, from a perfectly cooked piece of particularly herbal sea bass, to an addictively salty sweet pea guacamole, Mr. Vongerichten’s empire has produced so many signature dishes that we sometimes forget new plates when they show up on the menu.
Yet despite these plates of food that we just can’t stop thinking about, Mr. Vongerichten’s greatest talent may be his utterly unrivaled ability to craft a sense of place in his restaurants so articulately and so completely.
So, missing your second home in Easthampton with its open, airy living space complete with artfully mismatched chairs made from reclaimed driftwood? Nostalgic for the way your staff acted at your Memorial Day party, with just the right amount of warmth and aloofness? Especially yearning for those summer afternoons when you could muse over the organic selections at Citarella while sipping fair trade coffee with the Barefoot Contessa herself?
No? Really?? Well, ABC Kitchen thinks you do, and is here to provide all the upscale rusticity and shockingly good organic cuisine your sophisticated heart desires.
Everyone who is anyone is raving about the Crab Toast, deliciously pink and briny with the juiciest citrus flavor from the lemon aioli, but people are also talking about the Roast Carrot and Avocado Salad, a deceptively simple dish that packs plenty of flavor and texture with crunchy seeds, sour cream, and citrus for a light, healthful finish.
Shaved Raw Fluke presents a lovely, elegant marriage between the naturally sweet fish and marinated apples, while mint adds a compelling spicy, herbal note to balance everything out. If the plates ever feel like they lack a warm, more personal touch, it is only because Jean-Georges, like one’s many summer cocktail parties, is so prolific. Tuna Sashimi can be found on the same menu, marinated with ginger and mint for a more Asian-inspired interpretation of the favorite dish.
Pastas are the most mediocre options on the menu, and the Kasha and Bowtie Pasta is often too chewy and gummy, taking away from the tender pleasure found in the veal meatballs accompanying it. Pizzas, however, could certainly make an appearance on the table, particularly the mushroom, parmesan, and oregano pie topped with a delicately cooked farm egg, full of creamy, savory bites and just enough hearty, crusty texture.
Still doesn’t remind you of that perfect weekend at the end of summer when you sat in the sand in your $800 dress and nibbled on sustainably sourced caviar? No? Well perhaps this kind of loud, exhaustive, high-voltage atmosphere isn’t for everyone. But at ABC Kitchen, the food is great, the room is pretty, the company is attractive, and sometimes it’s worth feeling like you belong so inherently to this type of place.