A small, unassuming restaurant with the warmth and comfort of an old, English tavern, The Eddy is serving sophisticated, contemporary takes on American classics that are nothing short of exceptional.
30 seconds after walking into The Eddy, I fell in love. It wasn’t just the low, stone ceiling or the rustic wood rafters lining the modest, 30-seat space. It wasn’t just the way a little whiskey is served in an ornate china teacup, or the fact that everyone in the restaurant seems so comfortably, casually beautiful.
It was the way I was told that I might have to wait a few minutes for my table, because the previous couple was slowly finishing up. It was a line I had heard a hundred times elsewhere, but at The Eddy, it was spoken with a genuine kindness and apologetic affection that I just hadn’t felt in this city before.
Perhaps it was just some happy gas flowing through an old tenement pipe into this cozy East Village space that made me so joyously obsessed with The Eddy, but many a restaurant could learn quite a bit from their front of house, whose extraordinarily pleasant affect could soothe even the most high maintenance of diners. It’s just one of the many, many details that The Eddy gets so right.
Chef Brendan McHale is especially sensitive to detail in his cooking, too, and small bites like the sunchoke flower-ricotta toast and the beef tendon puffs with dill crème and a smoky, juicy trout roe are utterly impeccable with the way they balance acidity, creaminess, and salty, savory depth. The crab toast with a cilantro aioli received the spice it always needed from a guajillo chili pepper, elevating the fresh, crispy bite to a level it has not achieved before.
The larger appetizers like the seared octopus are also major successes. The juicy, tender octopus seemed to marry perfectly with a romesco sauce, whose nuttiness was emphasized by crumbs of pecans, and whose peppery-ness was tempered by dried olives and cured lemons for an innovative adaptation of Mediterranean flavors.
Though Chef McHale’s talents certainly shine in his $65 5-course tasting menu, the star of the a la carte menu is undoubtedly the grassfed ribeye drizzled with an intensely pungent Brie fondue. The fondue has a way of almost melting into the pores of the dry-aged strips of meat, making each bite even more rich and luscious. Roasted potatoes beneath the steak are crushed so the salty crisps of the skin find their way into every bite, while charred green onions add a subtle, vegetal sweetness to the dish. It is simply the zenith of New American cuisine.
The Eddy also treats their cocktails with as much creativity and respect as their food, and some like the Bedrock Fizz are charming additions to the meal, shaken up by a bartending staff that actually smiles at every guest like an old friend. With Old Tom gin, fruity pebble aperol, apricot brandy, citrus, egg white, and cream, the Fizz is a chic, contemporary cocktail that’s actually fun to drink. And it is right at home at The Eddy, whose basic, comfortable space is intended to host serious, thoughtful cuisine that everyone can enjoy.
Yes, I fell in love with The Eddy, and I fell hard.