New American cooking that emphasizes farm fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients. Unfortunately for Cookshop, the good but unremarkable food just isn't worth the hype and the inevitably long waits for brunch.
Much of the apparent success of Cookshop can be attributed to the restaurant's airy interior and large, sunshine-filled patio just a few steps away from the High Line, and for many a weekend, that's enough to make a pleasant brunch.
Yet the homey, farm-friendly food served at Cookshop suffers from underseasoned and offbalanced misfires and hasty execution. While guests in the past have clearly raved about the Huevos Rancheros, the large plate is overpowered by a pile of crispy tortilla strips, and the more subtle flavors of the baked eggs, jack cheese, and pickled jalapenos (if you're lucky to find more than 3 in your dish) are lost in a copious pile of black beans and ranchero sauce. The small dollop of lime creme fraiche on top of it all is the singular redeeming element, full of the creamy, citrus flavor that the dish begs for. Although standard, the Roasted Broccoli Rabe and Cheddar Scramble with (barely any) caramelized onions on a dense buttermilk biscuit is solidly satisfying, while the Fried Egg Sandwich with two fried eggs, sausage, and cheddar cheese on a brioche bun served with a spicy potato hash and jalapeno-cabbage slaw sounds a lot better than its oily execution.
Service, too, is disengaged, with some tables receiving drinks and orders noticeably quicker than others around them, though the drinks, and particularly the Bloody Marys, are ironically the most memorable components of the meal. Cookshop clearly loves to play with pork across their menu, and the BLT Mary with house-infused bacon vodka and spiked with an Applewood bacon slice and rustic lettuce leaf is certainly no exception. The Pickled Mary with vodka pickle juice, and pickled red onion also hits the balance of sweet, salty, and earthy flavors that the rest of the menu seems to want. Ultimately, Cookshop is just one of those popular, yet altogether unexceptional spots for brunch on the west side.