Sunday, March 4, 2012

NY's 2011 Restaurant of the Year: The Dutch

NY Times food critic Sam Sifton writes, "The Dutch, ladies and gentleman, is my restaurant of the year." He's not the only one touting the Dutch's merits. NY magazine's food writer Adam Platt and food blog Eater NY second his endorsement as do a number of other food critics and bloggers. Of course, such overwhelming praise is going to make me sit up and take notice.

But what clinched it for me—and made me call for brunch rezzies as soon as I knew I was visiting NYC—was foodie friend KG's rave review of the place as well as the fact that former cook pal and current sous chef to Daniel Humm (of Eleven Madison Park fame) MK had agreed to join us. Having worked at Locanda Verde for chef Andrew Carmellini, who also helms the Dutch, I was pretty sure her presence would ensure us a good experience.

I had no idea of course that her roommate was working the pass as The Dutch's expediting sous chef. And that she was going to send out equally as many dishes—compliments of the chef—as we'd ordered. No complaints though. We loved everything that hit the table, including Kierin's pastry board made up of a blueberry buckwheat muffin, apple-cheddar scone, and my fave the light and airy, still warm out of the fryer, sugar-dusted donuts.

Also amazing was the fluffy stack of buttery almond French toast accompanied by sweet, rum-soaked slices of bananas foster.

My order of fried eggs with creamy smooth hominy grits, crumbled chorizo and salsa verde was probably the most modestly sized plate at brunch. A good thing too, since wave upon wave of food kept streaming out of the kitchen, and I was happy to make room for a little bit of everything.

"How's the fried chicken?" I asked MK. "Slammin'," she replied without hesitation. She was right. That hefty platter carried probably the best crispified and juicy chicken parts I've ever had the pleasure of mauling. The butter-honey biscuits were pretty tasty too, though I will say I've had better, softer, flakier biscuits from other purveyors (the biscuits at Brenda's French Soul Food, for example).

“Of all the great pie bakers in New York City, the current champion is probably a young woman named Kierin Baldwin, who runs the pastry department at The Dutch ... ,” writes Sam Sifton. Here, here.

Yay pie, and yay MK and The Dutch.

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