Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

5 Ninth


ewindels
 Share

Recommended Posts

Anyone interested in essaying 5 NINTH will do themselves a favor by waiting at least another month, or better two, before trying out this latest entrée into the Meatpacking District circus. Located in an old townhouse on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Gansevoort (one block south of Pastis), rabid early-bird restaurant whores like myself will have no trouble identifying it from the construction shed that surrounds the building, a state of affairs continued inside: unfinished floors, a back patio still being laid, air conditioning and ventilation not yet up to speed.

The place definitely has potential, and it will be worth revisiting in a couple of months when both the physical structure and operational issues are finished. You have to sympathize with the wait staff, though, who have to be both limber and hyper to manage the two-to-three flights of stairs from the basement kitchen to the ground floor bar area to the second floor dining room to the third floor late night lounge. The sneakers are therefore self-explanatory. There’s not much point in commenting on décor or atmosphere at this point, since all this is still being worked on.

There has been a fair amount of press about the restaurant devising it’s own specialty cocktail list, none of which however was available because none of the necessary exotic liquors had been stocked yet. But on a hot night a tanqueray and tonic does just fine, thank you. I had no idea what to expect from the kitchen because I’d never heard of chef Zak Pelaccio, other than the recent blurb in New York mentioning his former stint at Brooklyn’s Chickenbone Café, which didn’t bring to mind images of inventive fine dining so much as the Heimlich maneuver. But you have to admire a place in this state of infancy offering amuses, in the form of a slim cylinder of deep fried pork belly with a dish of egg white aioli.

Starters were a strange affair: crisply fried soft-shell crab came with a dish of red-onion infused vinegar sauce so piquant it zonked the taste buds. Peas and bacon were literally just that, though the bacon was delicious, if on the fatty side. The lobster dish registered not at all, and barbequed ribs were tough and gluey. My own starter of jumbo shrimp three ways, one “drunken” in Armagnac, was a disappointment. One was peeled but overcooked, one was unpeeled and flavorless, and the small dish of crayfish left me baffled, because after dissecting them I couldn’t find anything to actually ingest.

Entrées were a substantial improvement. My short ribs on gnocchi with fiddlehead ferns were sumptuous, and roasted and braised lamb shoulder was exactly what lamb should be – slightly gamey and deeply flavorful. Scallops were sweet and perfectly cooked, and a bowl of sea trout with a medley of crisp spring vegetables was light, bright and perfect hot weather food. A “flat iron steak rending” was a peculiar idea – thin slices of nicely cooked flank steak topped with rendang sauce that tasted like some generic Asian product from a jar. The bowl of jasmine rice however was beautifully aromatic. The wine list is small and not too expensive, but the selection is not very impressive – the Cote du Rhone that was recommended stood up to neither of the meat dishes, and the Sentall Sauvignon Blanc might have worked better with proper chilling, but for reasons that never got explained the ice bucket had to be kept on the third floor instead of by our table, necessitating even more sprinting from our waiter.

Our three desserts were, to put it politely, too interesting by far. I’m always ready to applaud chefs yearning to break from the tried and true, but either I’m getting reactionary in my old age or they’re getting desperate. “Fried caramel” turned out to be a bowl of fried little pieces of dough sprinkled with caramel which could not obliterate a greasy, oil taste. “Chocolate Bruschetta” is an unhappy take on the idea of nutella on toast: thick slices of sesame topped sourdough toast spread with chocolate and accompanied by a bowl of “marmalade cream”, a dairy soup with only a vestigial hint of citrus. But the topper was the much touted and certainly intriguing sounding “durian pie with mangosteen sorbet and pineapple.” Well, I know durians aren’t the greatest smelling things in the world, but the pie tasted like used socks, and the sorbet tasted nothing like the mangosteens I remember from my trip last year to Asia. This one wrinkled noses around the whole table. All three need to be rethought, or better yet, replaced.

That said, Chef Palaccio clearly has talent and a fertile imagination, and putting aside the nascent physical state of 5 Ninth, he strikes me as someone to keep an eye on from whom great things can be expected.

Food, glorious food!

“Eat! Eat! May you be destroyed if you don’t eat! What sin have I committed that God should punish me with you! Eat! What will become of you if you don’t eat! Imp of darkness, may you sink 10 fathoms into the earth if you don’t eat! Eat!” (A. Kazin)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Has anyone been here recently?

There are two reviews of the place on Citysearch. Both (written a few days apart, though possibly by people in the same party or just a shill) lambasted the owner saying that he was an arrogant asshole. They weren't so keen on the staff as a whole. The food review seemed to be just o.k.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That said, Chef Palaccio clearly has talent and a fertile imagination, and putting aside the nascent physical state of 5 Ninth, he strikes me as someone to keep an eye on from whom great things can be expected.

Interesting. Nothing in your review seemed to warrant this statement. The only thing you praised was the lamb for tasting like lamb. If nothing is cooked properly and flavors are "way off" and "peculiar" where exactly lies the chef's talent?

Edited by schaem (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi schaem,

You make a point and I should clarify: a chef without talent (or a really good chef de cuisine) wouldn't have been able to pull off the generally terrific entrees we had. The fact that I didn't care for much of the meal is, after all, purely a subjective opinion, outside of which I was aware that things were well executed and showed an imagination willing to push boundaries. I just didn't happen to like them. For example, I've now read several raves about the peas and bacon, which I simply found strange (but really tasty bacon!), but I was still aware that it was cooked properly and an inventive thing to try, so I give him kudos for that. Those with more adventurous or wordly palates than my own will undoubtedly appreciate more.

But when all is said and done, much rather go back to Landmarc :biggrin:

Food, glorious food!

“Eat! Eat! May you be destroyed if you don’t eat! What sin have I committed that God should punish me with you! Eat! What will become of you if you don’t eat! Imp of darkness, may you sink 10 fathoms into the earth if you don’t eat! Eat!” (A. Kazin)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frank Bruni's first Diner's Journal visits 5 Ninth:

When only one indivisible chunk of caramel remained, we paused, silent and tense. A ruthless, evil person snatched it. That person, sadly, wasn't me.

He sounds like Steingarten there...

"If it's me and your granny on bongos, then it's a Fall gig'' -- Mark E. Smith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I had a wonderful meal at 5 Ninth last weekend.

The chef, Zak Pelaccio, is formerly of the tragically short-lived Chickenbone Cafe

in Williamsburg, and, apparently spent time in the kitchens of French Laundry and Daniel.

The restaurant occupies an entire townhouse, the kitchen in the basement, the bar on the first floor, the dining room on the second, and a members-only club on the third. There're also tables in the backyard garden. The space is handsome, tastefully combining the old-world beauty of exposed wood beams and hardwood floors, with slick modern touches.

The menu is currently quite different than the one available on-line at the restaurant's web-site.

We started with a house cured pork served with fennel gratin. The fennel was served in the little staub iron it was baked in. An impressive portion. 3 hearty discs of pork with a country pate consistency, though surprisingly goopy raw and not firmed in one of the slices. That aside, the taste here was hearty rustic heaven. Fine dining imitating junk food, in the best way (like the way the Rock Shrimp Tempura at Nobu tastes perfectly like Chicken McNuggets), the cheese, fennel and pork tasted like the best sausage pizza ever. (Ever had the sausage pizza at Armand's in DC? this is exactly the taste, minus the red sauce)

Next came a bowl of wide noodles in a lobster and spicy cocunut milk broth. Delicious stuff, but perhaps a bit overpriced, or just disappointing, at $15 considering there were only three small slivers of lobster in the entire bowl. Not chunks, slivers. Maybe we just got an unlucky ladel.

Two Main Courses:

Farm-raised rabbit with a mustard and liver sauce. Haven't had rabbit often, but this was the sweetest, most flavorful version of the meat I've come across. The heavy, metallic notes of liver in the sauce see-sawed perfectly with the sweet, almost citrusy rabbit. Reminded us of the soulful, lusty game served up at La Regalade in Paris.

Wild Ivory Salmon. I forget what it was served with. But, I love the hard to find white salmon, which is completely different from its more common pink alter-ego. More buttery.

Dessert:

After being doled relatively generous dinner portions, dessert was shockingly small. Sticky rice with chocolate mousse and caramelized bananas. Can't go wrong with chocolate and banana, but it was like two bites. No fun. The dessert menu wasn't particularly extensive or inspired. But we were too full for it to matter much.

Service:

Service was a bit amateurish. Or maybe just green, since it's only been open a couple months. The restaurant's service culture is clearly laid back and casual, which is fine, but it crossed the line a couple times, such as waitresses spending more time talking to each other in the corner than checking on their tables. Not snooty in the least, just a bit disconnected - the waitress hadn't tried half the things on the menu and knew nothing about the wines. The service betrays the food a bit. The servers are not operating at the level of intensity of the kitchen.

Meal for two with a bottle of wine and 2 cocktails (the drinks are worth their own discussion - as evidenced by threads on the cocktail forums here) came to a little under $200.

I'm sure some people will be turned off by the meatpacking scene, but it'd be a shame if that kept you away. There's detestable (or just laughable) people in each of NY's neighborhood scenes, so don't worry about it. I agree with Bruni's sense that something truly great could be developing here...

NY Times on 5 Ninth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Food, glorious food!

“Eat! Eat! May you be destroyed if you don’t eat! What sin have I committed that God should punish me with you! Eat! What will become of you if you don’t eat! Imp of darkness, may you sink 10 fathoms into the earth if you don’t eat! Eat!” (A. Kazin)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i did. "Top 5", "excellence" screams the title but if you read the review, it is very mixed. seems platt really likes the IDEA/potential of the restaurant but the execution is lacking. which, i think, is the reason bruni hasn't reviewed it yet, he only did the journal so far.

i have eaten at 5 Ninth at least half a dozen times and been there for drinks a lot, too (they have a lovely little garden where one can engage in smoking al fresco, should the overwhelming need to hit your lungs strike, while enjoying your drink at the same time). they've been serving food in the garden for the past month, too.

the space is beautiful, the maitre d' just friendly enough but the hostesses clueless to snooty as they usually do when a place is 'hot.' it does get crowded. a lot. which i think has something to do with the service (pretty clueless, too, although they do try) and kitchen (it's not volume food so the wait for it can be long). the tiny size of the kitchen also contributs to the gridlock--they are serving 2 small dining rooms and a garden.

tables are very, very small--the large plates often overwhelm the space--and they are very close to each other. impossible not to overhear conversations around you. as it's all naked wood and metal and tons of ppl, it does get loud and hectic. you don't go there for quiet and romantic (maybe the garden but tables are just as small and just as tight--which could be good an a date, actually)

uneven and still trying to find its rhythm is the best i can describe it. from cocktails (uneven, depends on bartender) to food to service.

food has been wildly uneven. ditto service, also when it was not that busy (but then you chalk it up to "they just opened 2 weeks ago", almost 3 months later it's more about how packed they are and how much they must juggle--one way to avoid it would be to take fewer reservations but with NYC real estate, a fire that delayed the opening which was already delayed 6 months or so, you need to start making $$. maybe serve drinks and tapas for a while, not full dinner?).

at any rate, there are some wonderful flavors and some rather unspectacular, bland dishes (the grilled calamari come to mind, tomatoes thant came with them were great though). the amuse is always wonderful, like heirloom cherry tomatoes with cheese called "constant bliss" --it was!

soft shell crab was good, lots going on with tofu, chorizo, and greens. i thought it was too much action overshadowing the crab. their signature lobster was good as well but i expected more. i loved the noodles, esp. the delicate lobster & galangal and the sweeter, richer ones with chinese sausage. the fish is good, esp. the gigantic loup de mer (at least they debone it now) steemed with more galangal, john dory was good too, with mustard seeds, potatoes and bacon. can't say much about meat entrees as it's not something i eat often. the pork belly was good but i found the flavor very strong. early on, i had very good gnocchi with mushrooms, too.

had a tasting menu once, i believe most dishes are not on the menu but their components were incorporated here and there. there was the pork belly again, served with an oyster on top, fried green tomato with peach and anchovy, very intensely tasting lobster, bacon and beets...

i think the menu changes fairly often, or maybe it did more in the beggining. good, fun to explore wine list. nice austrian wine selection, they go well with the food.

forget the desserts (see platt, he's right on), the fried caramels are pretty good but not exactly orgasmic. chocolate-cherry concoction very disappointing. after two attempts, i stopped ordering dessert (there are usually only 4 or so).

like bruni and platt, i want to like the place more than it deserves at the moment--you can see the potential, you know it could be a great little restaurant but the crowds and kitchen/service inconsistencies get in the way. maybe when everyone moves on, they will have a chance to settle and i will be very happy to see that happen. for now it's noodles and smokes for me. and riesling.

Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.

P.G. Wodehouse

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The New Yorker has a peculiarly anemic restaurant reviewing program, but it does have the occasional capsule review worth noting. Five Ninth is reviewed in the current bi-weekly issue. The link I've provided always points to the current review, so it will remain valid only until the next issue comes out.

Zakary Pelaccio, formerly the chef at Williamsburg’s super-eclectic and now defunct Chicken Bone Café, has worked his way into the meatpacking district, the land of moules frites and town cars. In an attempt to rise above the touristy mayhem at the cobblestone intersection of Gansevoort Street, Little West Twelfth Street, and Ninth Avenue, he now commands an entire town house. The interior is mid-nineteenth-century minimalist cool—stripped to the original bricks and beams but with floating concrete staircases.

Though Pelaccio is a big greenmarket shopper and scours the outer boroughs for his ingredients, mainly he’s a fiend for pig. He serves a memorable appetizer of braised pork belly with a rhubarb glaze, tosses pork belly on top of a clay pot of frog’s legs, and even mixes it into a jellyfish salad. He takes huge slabs of bacon and stacks them with yellow and red beets, and adds prosciutto to monkfish. There’s even something suggestive of the bacon pan about the way he presents his wonderful chocolate ganache with sour cherries in a miniature cast-iron skillet. He calls his cooking New York Modern. The noodle dishes announce their origins (the garganelli with baby lamb hearts is Italian; the coconut broth with lobster and mysteriously medicinal galangal flowers is Malay), but most of his concoctions, however fearless, feel so natural that there’s no pressure to puzzle out what they mean. The low-key sign out front (there’s just a simple brass “5” above the door knocker) hasn’t kept the place from being overrun. At the parlor-floor bar on any given weeknight you can overhear someone in Wall Street attire saying things like “You’re sure this is your most expensive Cognac?”

Edited by oakapple (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I tried out 5 Ninth last night, and thought it was generally just okay. Overall, not worth the $$ at this point. I would have liked it better if the prices were about 25% cheaper, but for a $27 entree, I expect more. The space, however, is very charming, especially given the neighborhood.

We waited nearly 20 minutes to get seated for our reservation. After waiting about 20 minutes for our appetizers, we attentively knocked out another 30 minutes waiting for our entrées. Finally, we waited for our waitress to pick up our check long enough to tire and switch our payment method from credit to cash. This may still be opening bumps, but after over three months in operation, you can’t be sure.

I started with the roasted beets and out-of-this world bacon ($12). The bacon nearly over-powered the beets, but a bite of the two together resulted in a nice texture. However, the texture of my dining companion's wide noodles in a lobster and coconut milk broth ($15) was off. The broth was the consistency of alfredo sauce and the noodles were too slick for the dish, but the flavors of the coconut and other spices were pleasantly balanced. Others had noted that they liked that dish, but texturally it failed to work for me. I did enjoy the blend of flavors of my John Dory (fish similar to black bass) with garlic sauce, mustard seeds, mushrooms, and new potatoes ($28) - though it may have been a little over-cooked. My companion's duck ($27) was perfectly roasted, but sat in a very salty sauce that overpowered anything that came in its path.

Jennie

Jennie Auster aka "GIT"

Gastronome in Training

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Bruni's review of 5 Ninth will appear in tomorrows Times.

(look on the back page of the Sports Section, it's printed there.)

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought this was a very well written piece and an excellent review of the restaurant. It captures the scattershot opinions I have heard from people -- everything from excellent, to great food but overpriced, to mediocre, to disappointing. He also hits the service issues right on the head. And I have to admit that his opening paragraph on the sad state of the Meat Packing District was a perfect description of the sad state of the Meat Packing District.

Although I don't see how this place gets one star. It's shooting for a 2-3, and I could see calling it a two-star restaurant that doesn't quite make it.

Edited by Stone (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought this was a very well written piece and an excellent review of the restaurant. It captures the scattershot opinions I have heard from people -- everything from excellent, to great food but overpriced, to mediocre, to disappointing. He also hits the service issues right on the head. And I have to admit that his opening paragraph on the sad state of the Meat Packing District was a perfect description of the sad state of the Meat Packing District.

Although I don't see how this place gets one star. It's shooting for a 2-3, and I could see calling it a two-star restaurant that doesn't quite make it.

The review did not leave me with any eagerness to visit 5 Ninth. It sounds like an awful lot of trouble for an experience of unpredictable quality. I would say that a restaurant with the unevenness and service issues mentioned in the review would be highly unlikely to garner two stars, much less three. Whether 5 Ninth was in fact gunning for that level is an interesting discussion. I could believe two, but not three.

Customarily, Times reviews don't say how close a restaurant came to getting the next higher (or lower) rating. They also don't say, "This is a restaurant trying to be two stars, and would be if only the following N things were fixed." That's for all of us to guess at, but it sounded to me that 5 Ninth has more than just a few things to improve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Upthread, I wrote that Frank Bruni's review "did not leave me with any eagerness to visit 5 Ninth." That all changes when you receive an invitation, and your host is paying the bill. That's what happened last night.

The building's facade conceals its intentions. It occupies an eighteenth-century townhouse that has seen better days. Amid the glitz of the meatpacking district, it's the building that time forgot. Only the brass #5 on the door tells you that you're in the right place. (My companion, who is not a New Yorker, had to ask at three different storefronts nearby before he was directed to the right one.)

It's a narrow building, and therein lies part of the problem. The entire ground floor is the bar. Dinner seating is up a treacherous staircase (we saw one patron take a scary tumble during dinner). Most of the tables seat only two; all of them are small. No one takes your coat; your server just directs you to hooks on the wall.

The menu at the website isn't much use. It doesn't show prices, and most of the offerings have changed anyway. Prices have also gone up. The Bruni review stated that entrées are $25-32. As of last night, they were $30-34. (I don't recall seeing any mains below $30, but if there were any, it was only one or two.) There was no amuse bouche, and at these prices I think there should be.

Dinner starts slow at 5 Ninth. It was nearly empty when we arrived (6:30pm), but nearly full by the time we left (8:30 or 8:45). An empty restaurant is no guarantee of efficient service. A basket of bread was deposited on our table, along with a heavenly homemade whipped butter, but without bread plates or spreading knives. We thought that perhaps this was part of the meatpacking ethos—who needs plates when you can eat off the table?—but bread plates finally arrived after we'd had two slices apiece. Not that this bread was even worth the effort, as it was crumbly and stale.

For starters, my companion and I were both attracted to the sardines. We each received two whole fish, quite a bit larger than usual, grilled crisp and just a bit spicy. Separating the meat from the bones required a bit of labor, although well worth it. We kept the same knives that we had used to spread the butter. I'm sure the staff would have replaced them had we asked...but you shouldn't have to ask.

For the main course, my companion had the goat, which looked wonderful (it resembled duck breast, but I forgot to ask how it tasted). I ordered something called "Mr. Clark's Pork." It turns out this dish is named for the farm where chef Zak Pellacio sources his pigs. From the description, you have no idea what you're getting. It turned out to be heaven for pig lovers: pork loin cooked in its own fat, along with another body part deep fried. This came with what could only have been a potato fritter, grilled flat, with a salsa paste on top.

At the table next to me, a young lady also ordered Mr. Clark's pork. Unlike me, she didn't ask the server how the dish was prepared, and she was disappointed to receive a preparation with such a high fat content. It wouldn't hurt 5 Ninth to be a little less cute with their descriptions.

We skipped dessert, but we were in the mood to finish with some scotch. "Do you have any scotch?" we asked. "Hmmm...I think we have some Laphroig, a McCallans, a Johnnie Walker Blue, and maybe a few others." Here again, this seems basic. Either the server should know, or the after-dinner drinks should be on the dessert menu. Anyhow, we both chose the Johnnie Walker Blue. I'm a single-malt guy, but this was so smooth that I might just be converted to blends.

5 Ninth has been open since May. Service glitches ought to have been worked out by now. The artistry of Zak Pellacio's food deserves better.

Edited by oakapple (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Shabby Chic New York City Entry #63

When preparing to leave chef Zac Pelaccio's 5 Ninth (on the edge of the Meatpacking District), a diner is given a postcard image of the neighborhood from a century back. An elevated train line is being raised in a district that had seen better days. This is still another quarter of laboring New York. The el has been and gone, and the district thrives mixing townhouses and industrial spaces: Dancehall Gotham. Such a vision of history is shared to evoke nostalgia for a world that customers can barely imagine, while they consume skate marinated in lemongrass and monkfish braised with Sichuan bean paste. The wacky strain between the authentic and the postmodern is palpable, as in so many gentrifying corners of Manhattan.

From the outside 5 Ninth's townhouse seems edging towards condemnation. Entering one realizes that the restaurant has been carefully contrived to that end. The design team was challenged to create a workingman's restaurant that the beau monde could love. Everything from the carefully constructed wood planks to the airless bathrooms tries to persuade that we are in 1906. Everything until the menu arrives. We soon learn that this is contemporary American cuisine filtered through Singapore nights. Not a single item - even for sentiment sake - could be imagined by the one-time residents of Gansevoort Street. Fingerling potatoes, honey tangerines, and always radicchio?

Still, in 2006 these treats are perhaps not so exotic. While Pelaccio develops a distinctive flavor palette, Nouveau Amerasian, he operates within the constraints of Manhattanite cuisine. And, at its best, his choices are impressive.

Best of the three courses was my appetizer, Veal Bacon and Egg Congee, cooked in a clay pot with Chili Paste and Shiitake mushrooms. I had recently dined at Chinatown's Congee Village, and found this to be a shrewd reconstruction of the more traditional porridge. The congee had a discerning artfulness not found in Chinese country cuisine, and the veal bacon was explosive with taste. Pelaccio's traditional preparation made this one of the most impressive fusion efforts that I have recently encountered.

As an entree I selected the Loup de Mer (a variety of seabass), steamed, and served with chili lime paste, ginger, and cilantro and bok choy greens. The fish, otherwise well cooked, was swimming in a soupy essence that detracted from the plate, making the ginger, cilantro, and greens watery and limp. With less liquid this would have been a much improved dish, although even so, the sushi-grade ginger dominated.

I admired the idea for dessert, persimmon cake and coulis, served with cashew-vanilla ice cream. The nuts added an odd saltiness to the vanilla scoop, which at its best should have a purity of taste. The persimmon cake was tasty, particularly when its slight dry cakiness was combined with the ice cream or the persimmon dice. Pelaccio evoked an haute Asian dessert. With a little custard tinkering and some cake moistening, this would have been a startling ending.

Unlike Pelaccio's more hectic Fatty Crab around the corner, 5 Ninth is a restaurant that directs attention to his culinary choices. If 5 Ninth can't quite decide whether it aspires to the exotic street life of old New York or of old Kuala Lumpur, we can suffer the chef his shabby fantasies. In the end it is our own culinary fantasies that may transform Gansevoort into the chic of Araby.

5 Ninth

5 Ninth Avenue (at Gansevoort St.)

Manhattan (Meatpacking District)

212-929-9460

My Webpage: Vealcheeks

Edited by gaf (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

My friend and I had dinner at 5 Ninth last Friday evening. The restaurant was running a bit late, and our 9:00pm reservation was honored at more like 9:20.

Some of the silly service quirks remain from my last visit, such as serving bread without bread plates. This seems so elementary that it defies belief they haven't thought of it. On the other hand, the wine list is to the restaurant's credit. We had no trouble identifying a very pleasing red for around $27, where one would much more commonly pay something in the 40's at a restaurant in this price range.

We both started with the Berkshire Pork Belly in a garlic chilli paste. It was four gorgeous hunks of pure fat, which is of course the tastiest part of the animal, so we found it wonderful.

Anything after that was bound to seem bland. My friend had the hangar steak, and I had a baramundi (one of the day's market specials). The baramundi had a nice crisp exterior, but it was totally unmemorable after the pork belly.

I didn't note the prices of individual items (and they aren't shown on the 5 Ninth website), but the total for two, with tax and tip, was a very reasonable $127.36.

Edited by oakapple (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We both started with the Berkshire Pork Belly in a garlic chilli paste. It was four gorgeous hunks of pure fat, which is of course the tastiest part of the animal, so we found it wonderful.

As I keep saying, whatever Zac Pelaccio's other merits and demerits might be, the guy's a Master of Fat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of the silly service quirks remain from my last visit, such as serving bread without bread plates. This seems so elementary that it defies belief they haven't thought of it.

It is common practice in many French bistros and braserries, it is symbolic of bread being for everyone or some such path of logic(it came up in one of the recent discussions on the France forum). Regardless I will have to try this place, the menu looks good and I have a weakness for pork belly and the cocktail list looks superb not a sign of the V word.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm looking at the cocktail list on their website -- which is VERY abbreviated compared to the one you get in the restaurant -- and I'm not seeing any of the offending ones. There was a rum cocktail a friend ordered that we both thought was too bitter (I think it was called a Pompadour). There was a gin cocktail or maybe two of them I ordered that I also found too bitter. Understand, I LIKE bitter drinks -- one of my usuals is a Manhattan, and at home I'm on a Saranac kick. But these drinks went too far.

So I guess my problem is that 5 Ninth isn't like the Pegu Club, where you can order any cocktail that looks good and be confident that it will probably exceed your expectations. Some cocktails here just don't work (to my taste and that of at least one rum-drinking female).

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...