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Had an early dinner last night with Dave and b. at The Fat Radish (website coming soon), a new place at 17 Orchard St. (between Canal and Hester) in an old Chinese sausage factory. Slideshow of the beautiful interior here. The food was very good. I've been thinking about how to describe it, and it's difficult. It's certainly not super fancy. No molecular gastronomy or anything even close to that. But it's not merely the very popular American comfort food thing either (even though there is a grill cheese on the menu.) There are lots of international influences (chorizo and chick pea tagine; monkfish vindaloo) along with some fancied up American fare (an *amazing* celery root pot pie - the best thing we had.) Hard to hang a label on it, but it's thoughtful without trying too hard, and very very tasty. Or you might say, it's simple food that shows an inventive and experienced kitchen.

The wine list is varied, with bottles starting in the high 30s and not going too stratospheric. A mix of European and domestic, with at least something for everyone. We had a Dressner JP Brun Beaujolais ($39) that was a winner, and I noticed a Lopez Tondonia a little further down the list (always makes me feel good about a place to see one of those.) Probably not a wine destination with 10 Bells not far away, but certainly interesting enough.

The owners have a catering company, Silkstone, but this is their first restaurant. Apparently Silkstone has lots of fashion based clients, and combining that with the restaurants location amid the new LES gallery row, makes for a decidedly beautiful crowd. We went at 6:00 and it was fine, but by 7:30 the place was filling up, and I don't think any of us older folks would want to be in there during prime time. Still, if you can eat early, definitely worth a look. I guarantee we'll be hearing a lot about it. Some places just have the buzz and The Fat Radish is definitely one of them.
- jim 11-06-2010 11:55 am [link] [3 comments]