WHO TO TAKE: A FOODIE FRIEND WHO RESPECTS A CHEF’S TALENT OR SOMEONE WHO LOVES SWEET LITTLE SPOTS IN THE VILLAGE
On a hot, hot, summer day I thought a trek to the West Village might be a nice interlude from the heat. King Restaurant is aptly located on King Street, that pretty block just below where Houston and Sixth Ave intersect—where all the cars are headed to the Holland Tunnel. You would never know that sitting inside, as it had a graceful simplicity and a corner location with lots of windows to let the sunshine in.
The menu promises seasonal dishes, as most NYC restaurants do, but this place had a wonderful limited menu with a true focus on what was best at the market that day. You could feel the love and care in every bite. The chef team, a duo of women, are from the reknowed River Cafe in London, and show a practiced skill, while keeping things simple. I love getting surprised by new flavors and combinations, and we had both here.
(photo at the top of this post) The two best tastes of the evening. Left, the Panisse, a fried, chickpea-flour stick known in the south of France. These were served hot, crispy on the outside, and soft and flavorful on the inside. An unusual treat. Right, Tagliatelle had such a wonderful play of savory/sweet, with figs and lots of grated cheese on a fantastic house-made pasta. I could eat this every day.
The bread for the table, a twist on a Pissaladière, was thin and extra crispy, topped with herbs and olive oil. Right, if this bottle is on the wine list, I order it. One of my favorite white Burgundys, Dominique Lafon Bourgogne Blanc 2017 (see the same bottle in our review of The Grill). It has a lovely freshness, with a bit minerality that makes it so drinkable.
The room is serene and understated. Luckily, we got the corner table set in the windows, for a bit more room and comfort. Right, a first course, Rabbit-Stuffed Tomato with beans, perfect on a hot summer day.
Grilled eggplant with a side of creme fraîche was served with some dark bread. Right, we had a 5:30 reservation, so the room was empty when we arrived. The open kitchen is seen at the back.
Bob ordered the winning pasta. Right, the quail was served with cherries and beans. Light, and just right.
Poached trout. The fish melted in your mouth. Right, for dessert we ordered the shaved ice that came with a shot of vodka. Whoo.
I’m delighted with my experience at King. I plan to go back another season and see what they do then. Right, I always manage to make a mess on the table, never fails. I thought these looked quite festive.
King, 18 King St (betw 6th Ave/Varick St)