Restaurant Week: Distilled NY

For every Restaurant Week season, we try to do one family dinner as well as a family brunch since meeting for lunch during the weekday is next to impossible. This season, I decided on Distilled NY, since it’s on the Soho area and had a very interesting menu. We’re always up to trying something new, so a restaurant that advertises itself as a “New American Public House” definitely fits the bill! Their brunch menu ($29 per person) features 3 options for starters, entrées, and desserts. Although one of those desserts is an alcoholic “nightcap”!

Since we were a group of three, we decided to order a bunch of items and share them so we could try as much as we can. For starters, we opted for an order of their biscuits and two orders of their Distilled Wings. The biscuit comes with orange marmalade and whipped honey butter. The biscuit wasn’t heavy or crumbly at all, which I quite liked. The Distilled Wings, however, stole the show. It’s modeled after Korean chicken wings with a gochujang glaze. It’s served with Point Reyes blue cheese, which really hit the spot. I highly recommend ordering their wings – despite the messiness!

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For our entrées, we ordered one of each item on the menu – French Toast Waffles with banana foster; Country Fried Duck with a French Toast Waffle, smoked chili maple syrup, and whipped honey butter; and the Smoked Salmon Scramble with salmon roe, chives, and a mini baguette.  All three entrées were very good – the French Toast Waffles were perfect for someone craving a sweet dish. The bananas were perfectly caramelized.

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The Country Fried Duck was very moist and tender. The smoked chili maple syrup contrasted nicely with the saltiness of the fried duck. I think this was my favorite entrée out of them all – it was hearty and savory. The skin of the fried duck was super crunchy and crispy!

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The Smoked Salmon Scramble was also quite delicious – the salmon and salmon roe were very fresh – not fishy at all. The scrambled eggs were creamy and practically melted in our mouths!

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For dessert, they ran out of their Lemon Bars, which we were really looking forward to. We ended up ordering two of their Banana Bread and a S’mores. Turns out, since the S’mores is on their regular menu, you get half a portion – which I thought was a bit stingy of them. It’s not our fault that you ran out of the Lemon Bar! Both desserts were good enough. If I wasn’t so full from the previous dishes, I’d have definitely enjoyed the Banana Bread more since I’m a sucker for whiskey in cakes and breads.

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Service was attentive and our dishes all came out in a timely manner. When we arrived around 1pm, we were seated right away. The dining room was mostly empty with a 2-3 couples and one large group. When we left about an hour and a half later, the inside dining room was mostly full! Definitely come early or make a reservation on OpenTable!

The Library at the Public

I’ve walked by the Public Theater numerous times on my way to and from the East Village. But it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I discovered that there was actually a restaurant inside the theater! The Boyfriend had mentioned that he read about a restaurant called, The Library at the Public Theater. A quick Yelp search helped me discover this cool venue – coincidentally right smack in the middle of NYC Restaurant Week. An OpenTable reservation later, we were set for Tuesday dinner at the Library.
We arrived very early but they were nice enough to seat us anyways (I think this is a trend for us!). The Library’s Restaurant Week menu offers three courses divided into three “Acts” – just like a play. I thought this was really cute and clever of them. Act I, the appetizers, offered five options. Act II, the entrees, had four options. And lastly, Act III, had three dessert options. I was pleased to notice that their RW menu features items that are on their regular menu.
For Act I, I opted for the Burrata with green market vegetables. The burrata was very nice – moist and stretchy. I just wished that there was more!
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The Boyfriend had the Crispy Calamari with shishito peppers and chipotle aioli. The portion size was huge and this appetizer is definitely made to be shared! The calamari was crispy and crunchy – fried perfectly. The best part was the chipotle aioli, which was super tasty.
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For Act II, I had the Flat Iron Steak Frites with bitter green salad and Maitre D’Butter. The steak was cooked perfectly to my requested medium rare. The salad wasn’t bitter at all and went really well with the steak. The best part, though, was the huge portion of fries that we were able to share. It felt like they were never ending!
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The Boyfriend chose the Steamed Branzino with Madras curry and summer vegetables. We traded bites of our dishes so we could try both and I really liked his branzino. The fish was tender and the curry flavor was very subtle. It wasn’t a kick-you-in-the-face curry, which was very complimentary to the summer vegetables.
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For Act III, I had the Vanilla and Chocolate Soft Serve with Pocky sticks. They had me at the Pocky sticks! The ice cream was such a huge portion ice that I couldn’t finish it. I’m not quite sure what kind of chocolate was used to make the ice cream but it was really good – not too sweet with just a hint of chocolate.
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The Boyfriend had the Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble with Vanilla Soft Serve. His dessert was also huge – it’s definitely shareable between 2-3 people at least. The crumble was served warm, which contrasted nicely with the vanilla ice cream. But alas, we were too full from dinner to finish it.
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Service was attentive and our waitress was super nice. I must compliment the Library for serving their regular menu at regular portion sizes for Restaurant Week. A lot of places often create items that aren’t on the menu or downsize items that are on their menu for Restaurant Week. Props to the Library – I’ll definitely be returning!

Gottino

The Boyfriend and I originally had plans to have lunch elsewhere in the Village, but since he was a tad late for the original reservation, we decided to wander around and see what else there was to eat. We stumbled upon Gottino after walking around for about ten minutes. They were pretty empty for lunch so we had our choice of seats.

Gottino looks like an amazing place to have drinks with friends and catch up. As it was lunch time, we just ordered a few plates to share. Their wine menu looks pretty extensive though!

We started off with an order of the Prosciutto Di Parma, aged 24 months and shipped in from Italy ($14.00). This was served with a side of bread and olive oil. We both haven’t had prosciutto in a while so this really hit the spot. The Prosciutto was really good – just the right amount of salty.

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We decided to go with two Crostinis ($8.00 each) – Pesto Di Noci, or walnut pesto with parmesan and thyme, and one with goat cheese, fig, honey and crushed almonds. The walnut pesto was okay – it takes a few bites before you get used to the flavor. The goat cheese, however, was super delicious. It was sweet and tart at the same time because of the honey and the fig. The crushed almonds contrasted nicely with the smoother texture of the goat cheese. Definitely give this one a try!

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Our last shared plate was the Steamed Egg served with Smoked Salmon ($10.00). The steamed eggs were nice and hot when they arrived. It tasted pretty good by itself but it tasted even better when put on bread with salmon. The smoked salmon was very flavorful and very fresh.

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We were both pretty full by the time we finished our meal – there was so much bread! But I definitely want to be back to try out their other cheese and meats. They didn’t have waffles that day – but both the waffles and crepes sound really good! Service was attentive and on point. We received our dishes in a stacked manner so we weren’t overwhelmed by food. They don’t have a real kitchen so everything is prepared by the bar area.