Jump to content


Photo

King

Soho

  • Please log in to reply
42 replies to this topic

#1 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 62,132 posts

Posted 17 October 2016 - 06:19 PM

King is a restaurant run by three young women from London that seems like it ought to be adorable and lives up to that promise.  It should be a very good neighborhood spot but, because there aren't that many restaurants that pretty much nail their proffer, it is sort of a destination lite.

 

Chefs Clare de Boer and Jess Shadbolt worked at River Cafe (and it shows).  FOH person Annie Shi was at Clove Club (and it doesn't show so much).  The place is a typical West Village* type nice/charming/comfortable but not chi chi space (where Mekong was for a long time, as joethefoodie points out -- but they made it nicer and airier).  You walk into the bar area (where the full menu is also served); the dining room is behind.

 

The menu changes daily (although maybe the change isn't complete every night).  The food is kind of light, refreshing Mediterranean; it might be cliched if it weren't so well and freshly done.  Based on my one meal here, the food is pretty consistently delicious, which is the important thing.

 

Maybe I looked hard-boiled in my Fedora, or maybe my bulk suggests need, but as soon as I sat down the bartender warned me that the cocktails on their list are "light" and said he could make me a classic if I preferred.  I figured I would go with the flow, and had two from the list.  I like the "light" cocktail trend in theory:  as with low-ABV wines, I like that you can drink these cocktails without worrying too much about consequences.  But I wish they weren't so "light" in flavor as well.  I wonder what they'll do in the winter -- maybe go heavier on oloroso sherries.

 

For an appetizer, I had whipped salt cod on a thick piece of oily toast, with some nice tomatoes and mache on the side.  A simple dish, but a very very tasty one.  (The kind of thing you take for granted at River Cafe.)

 

My main dish turned out to be exactly what I was in the mood for:  a whole lobster roasted in vermouth.  Now lobster (especially roasted) can be dry, it can be chewy, or conversely it can be mushy.  This wasn't any of those things.  This was nice, flavorful lobster, the vermouth contributing a subtle but discernible tang.

 

This seemed so up-their-alley that I couldn't help but wonder (as with the cocktails) what they'll do when the weather calls for more rib-sticking dishes.

 

Dessert was a concord granita in prosecco:  light as a feather, but full of that foxy flavor that we Northeasterners love (I'm happy that these London chefs can appreciate it).

 

This is a very easy place to like -- in fact, to love.  It's already a favorite of a lot of people -- and as the next few weeks go by it will only become a favorite of more people.  There should be many more places like this, throughout the City, because a restaurant like this shouldn't seem at all exciting.  And I guess, really, it doesn't.  Only exceptionally charming.  And, of course, delicious.

______________________________________________________

* Neighborhood boundary fanatics will recall that the Village used to extend down to Spring Street before SoHo was invented -- and the blocks around King Street look more like the West Village than any other neighborhood.


Bar Loser

MF Old

#2 Anthony Bonner

Anthony Bonner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 13,975 posts

Posted 17 October 2016 - 07:25 PM

yeah - I mean this place sounds like its in my sweet spot and I can't get a sitter appropriate table to save myself.  


"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#3 Neocon maudit

Neocon maudit

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,886 posts

Posted 17 October 2016 - 08:50 PM

Maybe I looked hard-boiled in my Fedora, or maybe my bulk suggests need, but as soon as I sat down the bartender warned me that the cocktails on their list are "light" and said he could make me a classic if I preferred.

 

I want to be the sort of diner who bartenders can classify through sartorial cues.  I mean other than 'shabby' and 'poor'.

 

Sneak, did you make a reservation, or literally walk in?  I assume the restaurant was at capacity?



#4 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 62,132 posts

Posted 17 October 2016 - 08:54 PM

I literally walked in.  It was a Monday night (which must be their worst night a week).  The bar was nearly empty.  I didn't look into the dining room.


Bar Loser

MF Old

#5 rozrapp

rozrapp

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,862 posts

Posted 17 October 2016 - 09:11 PM

I literally walked in.  It was a Monday night (which must be their worst night a week)....


Uh, not exactly. I just looked at Resy. Sold out tonight. Tomorrow only 10 p.m. and only 10:30 on Wednesday. Rest of the week, sold out.

#6 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 62,132 posts

Posted 17 October 2016 - 09:13 PM

OK, maybe last Monday . . . .


Bar Loser

MF Old

#7 Neocon maudit

Neocon maudit

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,886 posts

Posted 17 October 2016 - 09:20 PM

Pity Sneak didn't look in to the dining room.  I'm curious whether there are any tables that seat parties larger than two [I never see any reservations available for bigger parties, and in the photos all the tables look like they're for couples].



#8 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 62,132 posts

Posted 17 October 2016 - 09:23 PM

I thought it would look creepy.  I dunno.


Bar Loser

MF Old

#9 Neocon maudit

Neocon maudit

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,886 posts

Posted 17 October 2016 - 09:33 PM

For maximum effect, you should have looked in whilst wearing the fedora drawn low over your eyes.



#10 rozrapp

rozrapp

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,862 posts

Posted 17 October 2016 - 09:34 PM



Pity Sneak didn't look in to the dining room.  I'm curious whether there are any tables that seat parties larger than two [I never see any reservations available for bigger parties, and in the photos all the tables look like they're for couples].

 

Yes, they can definitely seat parties larger bigger than two.  I posted my photo set elsewhere on this board, but it really belongs here, so I'll repost it.  You'll see that there are tables set for four at the end of the banquette where we were seated, and there was a table set for six in the center of the room.  On the other side of the room, two couples were dining together (not visible in the photo).  The reason you are not seeing reservations available for larger parties is that they are sold out for those numbers.  There's also a note on the website that for parties larger than 7, you have to call the restaurant.  

 

King photo set 



#11 Lex

Lex

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 23,867 posts

Posted 17 October 2016 - 10:02 PM

Oops.
"I don't understand what's wrong with thinking of correlation as a pricing convention the way one thinks of Black-Scholes vol. I mean, vol curves aren't "real" anyway, but nobody uses local vol models to price vanilla options." - Taion
 
"But this is blatant ultracrepidarianism on my part." - Taion

I have a dream of a multiplicity of pastramis.

"once the penis came out, there was discussions as to why we didn't order the testicles" - Daniel describing a meal in China

#12 taion

taion

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,659 posts

Posted 18 October 2016 - 12:59 AM

Pretty sure they showed no reservation availability on Resy last week either. I might try for a walk-in tomorrow.
I didn't tip at Per Se either.

#13 johannabanana

johannabanana

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 398 posts

Posted 18 October 2016 - 03:26 AM

I'm excited to try this place next week. The only thing I don't like about the London River Cafe is the price.



#14 ulterior epicure

ulterior epicure

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,626 posts

Posted 18 October 2016 - 04:24 AM

I just left NYC, and during my brief, three-day tear-through the city, King was one of the most mentioned places.  I will have to hope to get to it on my next trip. 


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.” – Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

the ulterior epicure

#15 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 62,132 posts

Posted 18 October 2016 - 05:44 AM

Um, hi, UE!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Bar Loser

MF Old





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Soho