Restaurant: Eatery – 798 Ninth Avenue at 53rd Street, Manhattan, New York
With the holidays here, my parents and younger brother recently came down to New York City for a day of holiday fun. For those that don’t know what holiday fun is, think Rockefeller Center, windows, Teuscher chocolates, shopping, and unfortunately this year, rain. Nevertheless, for dinner we headed to Eatery in Hell’s Kitchen for a pre-show dinner. (For those wondering, we saw Avenue Q which was ridiculously hilarious.)
Let me preface this by saying I didn’t know what to expect when going to Eatery and didn’t anticipate the great meal that awaited us.
Upon arriving at the restaurant in the pouring rain, the host was very welcoming and gladly helped us with our umbrellas and ensuring we were comfortable and dry after being immediately seated. My first thought after looking around was that this place is a mediocre restaurant that’s trying to position themselves as upscale to appeal to the pre-theater crowd. Boy was I wrong.
Below is our menu for the night:
- Sweet Italian Sausage Risotto Croquettes: with Smoked Mozzarella Cheese, Tomato Fondue
- Mascarpone Dumplings: served with Oyster Mushrooms, Oven Dried Tomatoes and Nicoise Olives
- Mac and Jack: Eatery’s Improvement on the Classic Macaroni and Cheese Topped with Frizzled Onions (I added bacon)
- Ricotta Meatloaf: Red Bliss Mashed Potatoes, Pecorino Sauce, Oven Dried Grape Tomatoes and Balsamic Reduction
- Seafood Risotto: with Jumbo Shrimp, Black Mussels, Cockles, Saffron Risotto, Tomato Broth, Focaccia Croutons & Roasted Garlic Aioli
- House-made Ravioli: Chicken and Roasted Eggplant with Toasted Almonds and Sage
- “e-wich”: chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream sandwich with caramel & chocolate sauce
Our appetizers, the sausage risotto croquettes and mascarpone dumplings, were well done. The croquettes were nothing extraordinary and were exactly what I expected. I could skip these next time. However, the dumplings were in a butter sauce and along with the mascarpone, had a delicious flavor that melted in your mouth. One note, these are more like raviolis as opposed to dumplings.
I’ve heard numerous reviews of the Mac and Jack so I naturally ordered that dish for my entree. Our waiter recommended I add bacon, and with frizzled onions (my favorite) on top, this mac and cheese was delicious. It had the perfect consistency of cheesiness and macaroni, and the onions provided a nice crunch that only increased the flavor of the dish.
I was so engulfed in my own dish that I didn’t try any other entrees but from the clean plates around the table, I think it’s safe to say that everyone enjoyed their meals.
For dessert, we went with the e-wich. This is basically an ice cream sandwich but instead of chocolate chip cookies, brownies are substituted. This dish was good, but wasn’t anything to write home about. The brownies were a little thin compared to what I was expecting.The Verdict Eatery outdid my expectations and delivered solid American cuisine at a price point in the upper teens per entree. I highly recommend the Mac and Jack and will be comparing all future mac and cheese dishes to this until I find something better (I think it’s going to be a while.) if you want to have a fun night out with friends, you can do this restaurant without blowing your budget. At the same time, if your parents are in town, you can splurge and take advantage of all the menu has to offer.