Monday, March 12, 2012

Going Dutch

Much to my surprise, The Dutch, Andrew Carmellini's SoHo hotspot, actually had a table for two available around 7 on Sunday night. The man certainly does know how to create a buzz. Wine list: adequately priced. Service: forgettable. Food: delicious, but way too much for what you get. Take, for example, a delicious fried oyster bun, served with mayonnaise and lettuce. Five dollars, and the thing isn't even a little bit shareable. A plate of chicken wings? Nine dollars. For three wings.

But about those wings... They were crispy and delicious and spiked with honey and dill. They reminded me entirely of southern fried chicken and not at all of the Buffalo variety. In a larger serving, I would have happily eaten this chicken for my main meal. But alas. No such option exists.

Peel and eat shrimp were sweet and salty and just barely cooked--I've never had better. A plate of French fries didn't disappoint, either, and a juicy medium-rare pork chop was lathered in smoke and spice and sugar atop a bed of baked butter beans and bacon. Say that sentence twice. It was the kind of chop that impels you to pick the bone up and chew through until everything is gone.

But what I really wanted more than anything--what everyone hails as the holy grail of The Dutch--was the pie. I ordered lemon meringue. The curd was good. The meringue was cloyingly sweet. I liked the addition of poppy seeds, but the crust was anything but fork-tender. Bad batch? I have to believe that the pie itself was not the best example of what the place turns out; if it is, I have serious concerns about critics everywhere.

And then there was the bill. Way high for an incomplete meal. Chef, isn't it still a recession?

The Dutch
131 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10012

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