I wanted to take Kale out for her birthday since I would be in Chicago for her actual celebration. We decided to 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 mind eating at the bar. Actually sometimes I prefer it as the conversation with a dining companion can be more intimate.
We started with six oysters.
I have no idea which kinds they were. We asked the bartender to simply serve us a selection but they were incredibly sweet, delicate and briny. Definitely not like the huge gulf oysters I had at Luke’s in New Orleans. (those were more creamy and less sweet – those monsters were definitely not delicate haha)
For appetizer, Kale got the crab cake served with bibb lettuce, curry yogurt and cucumber.
The first bite is alarming…mainly because one doesn’t typically see curry paired with crab cakes. But the more you ate, the more you wanted another bite. I actually liked the curry with the crabcake. Surprisingly the curry wasn’t overpowering at all and the cake had plenty of chunk crabmeat.
I got the porchetta tonnato:
When I asked the bartender what a porchetta tonnato was, he described it as pork that has been placed in a terrine and then sliced. So I figured it would be like pate. Interestingly, it was more like headcheese if anything? Similar to the consistency of heacheese, there were chunks of pork (as you can see in the photo above) interspersed throughout the terrine with the similar gelatinous texture as well. I thought it was quite good. Not too heavy at all. Even though it’s pork, it was actually quite lighter than I would expect it to be.
For main course, Kale just had two sides. The wild mushrooms which were meaty and complex in its earthy flavors:
And the spicy greens which had a very asian flavor to them. These were bursting with flavor. This was a great side.
I got the crispy skate wing with marinated cauliflower, creamy vidalia onion, black olive and red pepper:
I love skate wing. There’s something about the texture of the fish’s lovely luscious meat. It’s like crabmeat but firmer. It was nicely browned and crisp and the marinated cauliflower was really great against it providing a brightiness in all its acidity. The “creamed” vidalia onions were actually just sauteed in butter until super sweet. This was a great plate and I ate every morsel.
There is plenty more to be had from the menu at Jeffrey’s Grocery and I have to say I’m a big fan of the inside. It’s got warm cozy lighting, it feels homey and rustic without an ounce of pretentiousness.
Jeffrey’s Grocery, 172 Waverly Place, New York, NY