Less than 36 Hours in Manhattan: Dinner
Alright folks, I've saved the best for last. Cookshop far exceeded my expectations. If any of you readers are familiar with Ann Arbor, I was expecting something like a Sava's: predictable enough for a dinner when the parents are in town, yet sophisticated enough, without trying too hard, for a first date (I've been there for the latter more than once).
However, Cookshop ended up being one of the best restaurant experiences I have had in a long, long time. Located right off of the High Line in Chelsea, it offers plenty of seating (both indoor and outdoor options), seasonal dishes, and an exceptional wine list.
It all started with the bread: a soft, buttery, brioche-like slices that arrived on our table as we sat down on the warm outdoor patio. I then, at the waiter's recommendation, ordered the chilled Cabernet Franc, L'Hurluberlu, which is just as fun to drink as it is to say. Strong notes of cranberry and a warming finish balanced out this light summer red, which in turn paired perfectly with the cheese plate that we ordered.
The menu is seasonal and intentionally crafted, and although options may not seem abundant, there is something for virtually anyone. Major foodies, picky parents, and even vegans can go home satisfied. The only real issue is their lack of draft beer (sorry beer snobs), but my brother had a nice local IPA, though it was canned. The menu rotates depending on the season and the market, and the following were our options:
Now onto the main event. I ordered the eggplant lasagna, which may seem like a lame low-carb choice, but it was, simply put, heavenly. Lemon and tomato perfectly accompanied rich, milky cheeses, and the eggplant was cooked to silky perfection. We also ordered the crisp potatoes with chimichurri, which where indeed crispy on the outside, yet soft and velvety on the inside.
Our waiter offered us compliments, or at least I'd like to take his comments that way, at us doing such a good job AKA leaving not one crumb on our plates. I think that tells you everything you need to know.