eGustibus

A +/- Look at NYC Food

Nook

Nook, Hell's Kitchen NYCNook is definetely an appropriate name for this tiny Hell's Kitchen restaurant. You could easily miss it walking down Ninth Avenue… and it's that kind of carelessness that has you missing out on some of the hidden treasures of the city!  Loser.  This one might not necessarily be worth the trip out of your way, but if you live in Hell's Kitchen, or are going to be in the area- it's definetely worth a visit. Features Chef Rachelle Rodwell formerly of Bouley.

What we ate, and the +/- after the jump…

Appetizers

  • Mushroom Cigars $6.50

The most interesting of all the appetizers and salads, it was the one no-brainer of the menu. Pan seared portabello mushrooms, mixed with goat cheese and sage, wrapped in philo dough, and drizzled with white truffle oil. It tasted exactly the way it sounded. Nice appetizer if you like the ingredients.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Rack of Lamb $18.50

I love rack of lamb. It's hard for me not to order it… especially at a place where it's under $20. It did not disappoint. Well cooked, and really well spiced with a semi sweet thai marinade. Not a huge fan of mashed potatoes, but if you are, I'm sure you'll enjoy the chive ones that came with the lamb.  I didn't discover the braised cabbage underneath it all until I was sufficiently full but it didn't really matter… the lamb was the star.

  • Steak Frites $18

Real nice Black Angus Shell steak (much better then the Market Cafe, 10 blocks farther south) with a balsamic reduction sauce. Rosemary fries. Not re-writing the book here… just an all around good dish (but the rack of lamb was definetely better).

A little heavy on the grilled meat for this meal… Time Out NY recommends the Hearty beef goulash (a family recipe of the Polish owner), and most reviews I've read said you can't go wrong ordering anything on the menu.

Also, if you can get in on the weekend, their brunch comes highly recommended (and really cheap for the area).

SERVICE & ATMOSPHERE NOTE: The restaurant is very small and cramped, and there is only one waiter for the entire thing. I've read a lot of complaints about the service and the amount of time it takes to get your food- and it was no different the night we were there. Definetely a better experience for two, reservations are recommended for parties of 3 or more, and if your part is bigger then 4, I would definetely recommend choosing a different place. Also, it is CASH ONLY, and BYOB (there are tons of wine shops within a few blocks of the restaurant).

The +

  • You are into BYOB
  • Looking for a small, romantic place for two in Hell's Kitchen
  • To you, cramped means cozy

The –

  • Your party is more then 2 people.  They can do 4, but more then that and you're pushing it
  • You Don't like being in a small cramped space
  • You are in a rush.  Service is real slow, so if you're thinking pre-theater, you might spend the whole meal worrying you're gonna be late.

Helpful links…

746 9th Ave (BTW 50th & 51st), 212-247-5500 [map]

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April 8, 2006 - Posted by | Food: American (New), Location: Hell's Kitchen, Price: Moderate

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