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weinoo

Allen & Delancey

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dined at the bar with a friend on Saturday evening. place was packed. filling up with bar diners as well when we left at close to 11.

pretty space. comforting, sort of polished-rustic...goes with the food well (cause that's exactly what the food is: polished rustic).

both the hamachi and the scallop apps were good. liked the celery root cream. really liked the pork belly with the fenugreek and the onion-like parsnips (Ferguson appears to really love his onions...they're everywhere).

ultimately, this is elemental food made by a sophisticated kitchen....thus, polished rustic. its missing the global accents and surprising (or even jarring) tastes that we expect from haute food today, but at this (relatively) gentle pricing...its gonna be a mainstay. its also going to be an awesome place to take non-foodies and still get a really good meal.

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dined at the bar with a friend on Saturday evening.  place was packed.  filling up with bar diners as well when we left at close to 11.

I don't recall if this was mentioned upthread, but the 11:00 p.m. closing time, which is unusual in New York, was a concession to the local community board.

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wow! didn't know they closed that early. I'd guess most people don't know that...a lot of people were coming in at close to that time...

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dined at the bar from the new menu last night.

the culinary aesthetic hasn't changed (described up the thread).

prices are higher. apps hover just shy of $20 while mains are all around $30.

portions are large (some apps are downright massive).

place was packed.

a deconstructed nicoise salad featured excellent ingredients but was no more than the sum of its parts. the anchovy was a nice touch.

sweatbreads with (poached?) pear were ample and nicely cooked. but I guess it's hard for me to really eat sweetbreads anywhere now without comparing them unfavorably to the Ssam Bar version.

lamb chop was served with a pile of braised lamb middleneck (which was on the defunct latenight menu). perfectly cooked to order. nice flavor.

the latenight menu is supposed to return in the fall.

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a deconstructed nicoise salad featured excellent ingredients but was no more than the sum of its parts.  the anchovy was a nice touch.

Was the anchovy prepared or presented in any special way, because after all, anchovies are one of the main components of a classic salad nicoise?


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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a deconstructed nicoise salad featured excellent ingredients but was no more than the sum of its parts.  the anchovy was a nice touch.

Was the anchovy prepared or presented in any special way, because after all, anchovies are one of the main components of a classic salad nicoise?

I just liked the way it was whimsically placed in the dish.

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Alex's new cocktail menu, as expected, is very good.

Nothing new to write about on the food.

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In an apparent shocker, Neal Ferguson has suddenly left Allen & Delancey, the restaurant he opened to critical acclaim after leaving Gordon Ramsey. He is becoming executive chef at Soho Club, a private dining facility. He left citing "personal and moral reasons."


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

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oh my god that is horrible news. i work right around the corner and love going to that place. what am i going to do?

first avoce now this place.

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Considering eating here but am always hesitant to go after a chef leaves, especially someone like Neil Ferguson. Anyone been lately? Opinions?


"Nutrirsi di cibi prelibati e trasformare una necessita in estasi."

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Considering eating here but am always hesitant to go after a chef leaves, especially someone like Neil Ferguson. Anyone been lately? Opinions?

Since he's only been gone a very short time, they're probably still serving most of Ferguson's menu. How good will it be? It depends on the quality of the people he left behind and how excited they are to be there. There are plenty of good restaurants, so I wouldn't be inclined to visit a place with such a huge question mark hanging over it.
Edited by oakapple (log)

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I believe you can order the regular dinner menu at the bar, so that might be an option -- stop by for a drink, get a single dish, see how it is, etc. without the commitment of a full dinner.


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

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Had dinner here for the first time tonight. I had gone back and forth on whether to take my parents here or not, but we were all quite satisfied with the experience. The space is much cozier and warmer than the pictures I had seen. I had been looking forward to the tasting menu they show on their website, but when we arrived it was not mentioned or printed on the menu. I asked and was told they were not offering it tonight :(

I'll comment on the food I tasted"

bone marrow, caviar appetizer - how can you say no to this. An interesting combo, but for anyone who loves salt and fat as much as me how can you not love it

parsnip soup with sweetbreads and honeycrisp apples - great mix of flavors

veal loin four ways with popped craberries- only tasted a few parts of my mon's dish but all were excellent

duck breast with buttered radishes and foie gras - some of the best duck I've had in recent memory

The apple beignet was very good but not what I had expected ina beignet - it was a poached apple wrapped in beignet dough with ice cream on top - very tasty

All in all this restaurant is not close to the best in the city, but it did many things very well and is worth a try if you are in the area or looking for a new place to have a nice intimate meal.

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Had a disappointing experience at Allen and Delancey tonight and wanted to share. Had no idea that Ferguson had left until now.

First I will report on a few disagreeable quirks unrelated to food quality. I usually do not harp on this type of stuff, but in this case I feel that the prices are high enough to justify a little nagging. For starters, it's a great spot, the decor is spot on, the lighting, the little clipboard menus ... it seems like they really have their image properly developed. It's got a classy speakeasy-meets-library look. So why were they playing Barry White and "Kung Fu Fighting?" For the first hour of our meal the music must have been coming from one of those awful compilations that they advertise late at night. I think, but am not sure, that I heard the Ghostbusters theme. It was just so odd, and was such a dischordant note in the ambience (which is in every other respect very finely tuned).

There were a few service hiccups. It took my friend probably 15 minutes to receive the cocktail that he had ordered. It was the wrong one. We notified the waiter, and it took another 10 minutes before the proper one arrived. (They were not particularly busy at this time). When that correct glass arrived the now half-empty first cocktail was swooped up by a busser. He gave it to the hostess who began to guzzle the half-drunk cocktail not 10 yards from our table. Never seen that before. Does she also pick at half-eaten plates?

In a cheaper restaurant, or one that had less fanfare, I might be amused by these mishaps. But here they immediately made me very skeptical. There is a laziness apparent. But OK, too many words on the above, because the food is the only important thing. I tried the following three dishes:

-Crispy polenta with sauteed mushrooms and sottocenere fonduta

-Salt-baked pear with gorgonzola crema and candied nuts

-Prosciutto-wrapped veal loin with potato puree, squash and brussels sprouts

I wish I could be more eloquent on this front - but to put it simply, none of this tasted particularly good. The polenta dish was the one winner, although the easiest to get right and also very similar to things I've had (and cooked) at other restaurants. The pear looked pretty but was just a boring baked pear aside some sweet snackables - the dish didn't come together at all. The veal was just boring. None of the elements popped out of the plate, and I don't think the problem was just poor seasoning. It's another dish that didn't come together, just a plate of things that taste OK and sound like they might go together. The portions also seemed small for $18 apps and $28 entrees. The nearby Popeye's beckoned.

If my night was in any way indicative of how this restaurant has been operating recently, I wouldn't recommend it. (A little tour around the internet leads me to believe that the place really has gone downhill)

As for anyone expecting Michelin one star quality... good luck.

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Shame to hear about the food. I liked my meal but didn't love it. Felt that the service didn't quite live up to the intimate surroundings.

Re: the soundtrack, you probably had your first encounter with a hipster's iPod set to shuffle. I would not be at all surprised to hear the Ghostbuster's theme (just listened to a dancey remix of it the other by some Brooklyn DJ that I'm blanking on the name of). And while Carl Douglas seems a bit out of place, it certainly has some ironic appeal. They love that kind of stuff.

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The original A&D was an accidental masterpiece. Various chefs had rotated through the early plans, and when it opened Neil Ferguson happened to be available. This was a guy whom Gordon Ramsay believed could run a four-star restaurant, and he was cooking some extremely sophisticated food on the LES, not at bargain prices, but at pretty good prices for the quality.

But once Ferguson left, you had to figure that A&D would regress to the mean. The exact reasons for his departure have never been made public, but apparently he and management didn't see eye to eye.

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re: the soundtrack, you probably had your first encounter with a hipster's iPod set to shuffle. 

No, I'm sure that wasn't it. I know what a hipster's shuffle sounds like. This wasn't that. It was just a bad compilation.

But let's put it this way. In a different environment I might have gotten a kick out of the the irony in it. In a restaurant with a looser vibe (like, uh, Fatty Crab) it would have been fine. They played some silly music when I ate at Momofuku Ko the other day (Bones Thugs n' Harmony made everyone, diner and cook alike, break into laughter at the same time), and I was paying a lot more, but it seemed to fit. Made me happy. At A+D, it didn't fit at all, because the restaurant is in other respects so carefully manicured for a specific image. My confident guess is that the people that designed the room, the logos, etc would have been dismayed to hear it.

Now I feel silly for talking about this at length, because ultimately it wasn't very important. And when we were leaving they put on a Lou Reed album, which worked great.

But I will leave the topic with some words from an email that my dining companion sent me this morning at 5 am:

"Their parting gift to me? Food poisoning. It struck last night around 1 a.m. "

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In an apparent shocker, Neal Ferguson has suddenly left Allen & Delancey, the restaurant he opened to critical acclaim after leaving Gordon Ramsey. He is becoming executive chef at Soho Club, a private dining facility. He left citing "personal and moral reasons."

moral reasons?!


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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When that correct glass arrived the now half-empty first cocktail was swooped up by a busser.  He gave it to the hostess who began to guzzle the half-drunk cocktail not 10 yards from our table.  Never seen that before.  Does she also pick at half-eaten plates?

Great image - maybe she finally realized that she's working at a shitshow? I'm glad I went the week they opened.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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This just in via Diner's Journal (NYT):

Kyle Bailey, who cooked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and at Cru, will be the executive chef at Allen & Delancey. He replaces Neil Ferguson, who moved on to SoHo House in the fall.

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