Posted by: Hungry Korean | March 24, 2011

“old new” Fedora

Page Six called Cookie Monster up a couple weeks and told him she was dying to try this “old new” restaurant in the West Village called Fedora. What do I mean by “old new”?  Well this restaurant used to be speakeasy, was a restaurant name “Fedora” (name based on the last name of the owner at the time) for 50 years, was closed, then reopened very recently under the same name by the Little Owl’s Gabriel Stulman with a ton of fanfare. It’s been touted as one of the most “anticipated restaurant openings of the year.”   How did I never hear of this place?  My past experience with Page Six’s restaurants choices have always been quite good and in the two years I’ve known her, I’ve come to discover she’s got quite a discerning palate that is on par with what I like.  So off we went.

You step down a couple steps and feel like you’ve walked into a different time zone. The place is really beautiful.  Black leather banquets line the opposite side of an old school bar lined with black leather topped stools.  The restaurant is not very large and only takes same day reservations so waits can be quite long.  As the night progressed it was evident the word was out as the bar got quite full on a Tuesday night with what can only be best described as a “West Village, local” crowd. (translation: effortlessly cool) We showed up at 630pm and were seated right away.

The menu is eclectic, comforting and parts are adventurous (fried pigs head, wagyu tongue and tripe are just a sampling of some).

Cookie Monster started with the cream of cauliflower soup with crispy pancetta and croutons:

It had a nice thick, creamy consistency.  It was a nice soup but paled in comparison to what Page Six and I had.

Page Six had the razor clams special.

The razor clams are served out of its shell. They were meaty and maybe ever so slightly chewy but had a lovely umami flavor to it. They weren’t overly briny – just a wonderful seafood savoriness.  I thought the play on textures apparent in the dish was nice: crunchy string beans, creamy smooth soft boiled egg and then crispy smoky pancetta bits. She was in heaven.

I had the “egg in a hole”:

“Egg in a hole” is literally that: a soft boiled egg cooked in a hole of thick sliced bread, baked with cheddar cheese on top and then topped with a tripe ragout.  This was delicious!!! The bread was crunchy on the edges while the inside was still soft from the soft boiled egg and generous heaping of melted cheddar. The sharp cheddar was really lovely against the smooth egg yolk and the tomato based tripe ragout added a bit of acidity to each bite. The tripe was cooked amazingly. Tripe can be chewy if it is not cooked long enough and you could tell this tripe was cooked with care. It almost melted in your mouth! Tripe, to me, tastes a little like seafood and so it added a seafood element to this plate for me as well. This plate was really something to wow about – never had anything like this.

For main course, Cookie Monster had the crisped duck leg in bbq sauce served with dates and herb salad. The duck was well cooked and was tasty but again, what Page Six and I ordered blew it out of the water.

We both had the sweetbreads and octopus with roasted bitter greens and faro (or was it risotto?) with red butter sauce:

The sweetbreads were cooked to perfection. They were creamy and tender and the breading was absolutely delicious. I remarked, if this was the breading on the sweetbreads, that their fried chicken (which is on the menu) must be phenomenal.  The octopus sitting at the base of the dish (hidden under the creamy faro) had the texture and flavors similar to the razor clams: cooked till tender but not chewy with lovely hints of the sea.  This dish was your surf and turf taken five steps up.

For dessert, Cookie Monster got the tall chocolate cake.

That thing was dense, moist and uber rich – as chocolate as a chocolate cake can get. I LOVED the three shot glasses of milk! Adorable touch!

I have to say, the meal I had at Fedora may be quite adventurous for many but you must understand that if/when you decide to go to Fedora, you can trust me in saying that even if you have never had tripe or sweetbreads, you will be in safe hands and probably a convert if you let Fedora be your first. The food was incredibly inventive and wonderfully executed.  We all agreed that the meal was a success and the ambiance of the place is very fun and lively.  I cannot wait to go back and try the rest of the menu. I hope to make this a regular stop of mine.

Fedora, 239 West 4th Street, New York, NY

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Responses

  1. The Hungry Korean left off the Tall Chocolate Cake for dessert (she is biased against all sweets!) but I felt the need to give this decadent, rich, thick piece of heaven superior props to any and all chocolate cakes I have ever had (sorry mom!). A must get!

    • HAHA i forgot to include! post has been updated

  2. […] try Jeffrey’s Grocery. I’ve always wanted to try it since I love its sister restaurant, Fedora.  So we were seated at the bar for an 8:30pm reservation on a Thursday night but I really dont […]


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