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Restaurant Review: Ken & Cook's New Menu By Chef Hido Holli

Photo credit: Jonathan Valdez Ken & Cook's neon sign shines brightly on 19 Kenmare Street in New York City  One of the be...

Photo credit: Jonathan Valdez

Ken & Cook's neon sign shines brightly on 19 Kenmare Street in New York City 

One of the best things about living in New York City is trying all of the fabulous restaurants that the island has to offer.  I love trying new places and new cuisine, or in the case of Ken & Cook, a new menu by a new chef at a restaurant that is still pretty new (about two years old).  

Last week, OJ&B was invited to head down to Nolita to experience Ken & Cook Restaurant and Bar's new menu by their brand new chef, Chef Hido Holli. Chef Hido may be new to Ken & Cook but he is no stranger to the kitchen.  His new gig at Ken & Cook is his return to New York and will marks the end of thirteen years cooking in Paris.

I was super excited about this opportunity so I grabbed one of my good friends and fellow food lover Kalyn Hemphill to join me for a night of cocktails and fabulous food.  Check out what we had to eat, read all about our experience and most importantly how the food tasted below! 


The warm atmosphere that greeted me after traveling through a bitter cold New York City winter's night was just the thing that I needed.  Ken & Cook seemed like the kind of place that would be perfect for a first date (or in my case catching up with a good friend that I had not seen in awhile).  The lighting was low and accompanied by candles on the table but at the same time it was not one of those places that is so dark you can barley read the menu (you know those places that keep the lighting so dim you wonder it it's so you can't get a good look at the food that they place in front of you).  The space is cozy when it comes to the tables being right next to each other but somehow you seem to feel like you and your dinner guest have plenty of privacy.  At this point of the experience Kalyn and I are settled in at our table and it is time to place an order for that all important pre-dinner cocktail. 

Photo Credit: Jonathan Valdez

The Lady Marmalade

I asked the very friendly waiter what cocktail he would recommend me trying and the first thing he asked me was if I preferred vodka or bourbon.  Tequila for some reason scares me (I guess I still think of it as the preferred drink of the quintessential girl who likes to go wild during spring break) so I said bourbon, which I feel is totally having a moment right now with the 20-something set in NYC.  The waiter then recommended the Lady Marmalade which is made using Ken & Cook's own bourbon, vanilla, fresh lemon juice, angosta and orange marmalade.  The drink was very very smooth making it the perfect pre dinner cocktail.  The bourbon made it great for the winter and the citrus helped remind you that spring is on the horizon.  Also, the drink shares the name with my favorite song featuring Christina Aguilera, Pink, Mya, Lil' Kim and Missy Elliot.  

Photo Credit: Jonathan Valdez

Rekorderlig Hard Cider

For those of you who might not like hard liquor but prefer beer and cider, I would recommend trying Rekorderlig hard cider.  The flavors that Kalyn and I had the chance to taste were wild berry and strawberry lime.  The ciders had a wonderfully sweet taste to them that were super refreshing and would be perfect on a hot summer day.  The great thing about the Rekorderlig is that a bottle is only seven dollars and are the perfect size for sharing.  Let's move on to appetizers! 

Photo Credit: Jonathan Valdez

Burrata 

One of the best things that you can do at dinner with a friend is order a couple of appetizers and share them with each other.  This allows you to taste a few things on the menu without committing to an entire plate for yourself.  The first appetizer that Kalyn and I tried was burrata made with heirloom tomatoes, arugula and champagne vinaigrette.  Recently I have seen champagne vinaigrettes or sauces used in food a lot more and I thinking that it is becoming a food trend at the moment.  I love champagne and so I knew I wanted to try this dish.  The champagne vinaigrette provided a sweet taste to the burrata and gave great flavor to the tomatoes and arugula.  

Photo Credit: Jonathan Valdez

Salmon Avocado Tartare

When I moved to NYC I would have never thought that I would discover a love for tuna, salmon and steak tartare.  Ken & Cook's salmon avocado tartare was my favorite of the two appetizers.  The salmon tasted really fresh and was accompanied by cucumbers, ginger and a vinaigrette.  I would highly recommend that you try this appetizer when you go to Ken & Cook. 

Photo Credit: Jonathan Valdez

Papardelle

Another thing that I have been trying lately when I go out to eat is splitting an order of pasta before each persons entree is served (this is especially good to do if you find yourself tasting a menu like me).  Kalyn and I ordered the Papardelle made with mushrooms, cipolini onions and parmesan.  I still cannot get over how rich, creamy and delicious this pasta dish was!  I love mushrooms and the flavor of them combined with the onions and parmesan melted perfectly together with the pasta.  I would recommend this dish ordered as an entree to any of my hardcore pasta lovers out there!

Photo Credit: Jonathan Valdez

Grilled Tuna

For the actual main course Kalyn and I each ordered the grilled tuna.  We both are huge tuna fans and really wanted to try Ken & Cook's dish.  The sizing of the piece was perfect and was paired with kale, vegetable ratatouille and asparagus puree.  I ordered my grilled tuna medium and it was some of the best tuna that I had ever had.  It tasted fresh and was grilled to perfection.  The tuna's flavor melted perfectly with the asparagus puree and the vegetable ratatouille was heaven!  The popular vegetable of the moment, kale, was also quite tasty! Chef Hido definitely showcases what he learned cooking in Paris for thirteen years with this dish.   Now time for dessert! 

Photo credit: Jonathan Valdez

Creme Brûlée 

There are two dessert choices on Ken & Cook's new menu and of course we had to try both.  I love creme brûlée but this was not anything to really write home about (or blog).  That does not mean that it was horrible it was just not the best I have had, but never fear!  Good dessert was still had thanks to the super delicious flour less chocolate cake with berry sorbet.  

Photo Credit: Jonathan Valdez

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Berry Sorbet 

Photo credit: Jonathan Valdez

This dessert dish is a must order especially for those who are dark chocolate fans.  The chocolate cake was very rich and had a chocolate ganache filling.  The filling was so tasty that I just had to show a photo of it.  I love warm chocolate cakes and brownies for dessert paired with ice cream or sorbet so this was perfection!  

Overall Ken & Cook's new menu was delicious and I would recommend it for dinner.  The atmosphere and staff are inviting and you can have a nice conversation with your dinner guest.

Thanks so much to Ken & Cook for having OJ&B over for dinner to taste the new menu.  It was a smash hit in my opinion.  Kudos to Chef Hido on a lovely meal!

For more information about Ken & Cook or to make a reservation visit Kenandcook.com 


Kalyn Hemphill looking fabulous and enjoying dinner at Ken & Cook
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  1. I was too full for dessert, but after seeing these pics, I wish I had powered through.

    ReplyDelete

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