As I walk down Avenue B in Alphabet City on the Eastside of Manhattan, I’ve noticed tons of cute little restaurants. Some fancy, some not so much. And of course, I want to add them all to my famous “list” of Big Apple dining destinations (I’m known for this roster). But recently, on one New York City summer night, as I strolled in front of one of them, a warm light and amazing aroma wafted through the big glass windows that pushed right up against the sidewalk I was standing on. I couldn’t help but stop and peer in, noticing a lovely epicurean environment, quickly moving this one to the top of my list. Enter Kingsley.
190 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009
Just off 12th Street and Avenue B, this beautifully decorated foodie haven is something straight out of a magazine. When I had the chance to check it out recently, I was stoked.
Not really knowing what to expect, I was ready for anything (sometimes, that’s how you gotta roll). After sitting us at our table by the window (the one I was once on the other side of), we were immediately greeted by our server offering us three types of water (I always ask for New York’s finest – tap… it’s the best in the country!). We, of course, followed up with a proper adult beverage order – the Roselle (champagne based) for me and a Gin Gimlet for my guest. Between those and our first tasting order, the Bone Marrow topped with Tuna Tartar, we were well on our way into discovering the wildly delicious world of Chef Roxanne (Kingsley) Spruance.
Before we could start our dinner conversation, we had drinks in hand and the first of many courses (and probably my favorite of the night). The Roselle was light and refreshing, as was the Gin Gimlet, and the bone marrow… well that, I don’t even have words for. But, for your sake, I’ll tell you it was packed with flavor, texture and really, was the ultimate party in your mouth. Not too oily or fatty, like some bone marrow can be, and paired with a shot of some bold, bourbon infused broth, the Chef’s creation was simply magical…leaving me wanting 17 more pieces, of course. But because I just had to try everything else on the menu, we stuck with just one.
As I browsed the menu, I couldn’t help but want it all. Too bad, my stomach doesn’t have room for so much scrumptiousness. Instead, I went with some of the server’s recommendations including the Chilled Zucchini Soup, Celeriac Agnolotti topped with Foie Gras and a special chef’s offering, the Charred Octopus over a yogurt base. And that was just to start!
I can’t say that each of these was better than the last, because they were each so damn delicious, but I can say, the creamy pasta filled pockets topped with melt-in-your-mouth foie gras was out of this world!
Let me move on, I know your mouth is salivating. But not before making note of the impeccable service. The wait staff constantly checked on us, refilled our water, changed our plates and cutlery and all with a smile… the way it should be!
Soon, we were onto the “main” course. Ok, not gonna lie, I probably could’ve stopped here, but why? Under advisement of our knowledgeable and friendly waiter, I opted for the Wagyu Basses-Cotte Steak on a bed of Fairytale Eggplant, Grilled Potato and Chimichuri (yes, I know, you’re drooling). My guest opted for the Long Island Duck with Summer Peach, Almond and Anise Hyssop. And while I LOVED my tender, perfectly cooked dish more, the duck was pretty on point!
By this stage in the game, I was pretty much done, but I wouldn’t be the feasting princess I am if I didn’t top it off with dessert. There’s always room for dessert! For this final portion of the meal, we ordered the Chocolate and Mint option, as well as the Popcorn Crème Brulee. Holy dessert gods! I think I could’ve gone straight for the dessert and been completely content.
Finally, after a two hour, tastebud-bursting, belly-filling, grin-bearing meal, I can honestly say Chef Spruance and her team are rockstars. While I try not to visit the same Gotham gastropub twice (I mean, c’mon, there are too many to limit yourself that way), this is one I’ll definitely make an exception for!
Bravo, Chef, bravo!