Google Ads

<< previous review   next review >>


“Porcupine-- CLOSED”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American Soho Moderate Great

There is nothing like dining at a restaurant and having your expectations not only met, but surpassed. It’s like going on a dreaded blind date, expecting a disaster on two legs, only to discover a charming, handsome candidate with wit and brains. While the latter has not yet happened to me, the former did the other night at Porcupine.

Much of the credit for this cozy American gem in Nolita is owed to the chef, Matt Weingarten, a man with both passion and talent. He delivers a thoughtful menu filled with great food marked by deep and rich flavors. If you remember Quilty’s, where Katy Sparks brought stylish American fare to eager Soho diners, you will see that much of his sensibility comes from the years he spent as her sous-chef. Ingredients are local and seasonal, flavors forcefully speak out individually and yet can still carry a nice tune together; seasoning is correct and assertive, but not overbearing; salt and pepper are on the table, but can remain untouched throughout the evening.

Indeed, Porcupine is what happens when a restaurant without a compass—Mix It—finds a humble and talented leader with a strong vision. It is a terrific little find. From the brown paper notepad as menu, adorned with a line sketch of a porcupine, to the still-life worthy artisan cheese course served with homemade fruit chutney and grilled figs, details are not missed.

A warm pile of chestnut crepes ($12), freshly griddled from the pan, are folded up like dinner napkins alongside a parchment puff filled with a tumble of fragrant wild mushrooms. Spoon the mushrooms into the center of the nutty crepe, wrap it up like a burrito, and take a bite. You are happy now. Believe me. Tender slow roasted cauliflower, charred slightly at its edges, is served in a puddle of rich walnut puree dotted with plumped up dried cherries ($8). I could have this dish at dinner every night of the week. Sweet lettuce soup ($8)—a recipe from Escoffier—is made from dark romaine, celery knob, Boston Bibb, leeks, and a bouquet garni of chervil and tarragon. It is a great winter soup that is lifted up and given an elegant finish with lemon tapioca pearls that burst in your mouth. A sinful round of celery root pudding ($12)—what my friend Kiri correctly identified as a twist on the Italian sformatta (savory soufflé) is whipped up from béchamel fired up with Dijon and horseradish, celery root, and lots of cream, then set to rise an ... [more, click below]

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  

 Make a reservation

<< previous review   next review >>

RSS Feed

Other restaurants in Soho :
+ Balthazar   + Savoy   + Blue Ribbon   + Lupa   + Public   + Kittichai   + Lure Fishbar   + Barmarche   + Porcupine-- CLOSED   + Ama   + La Esquina   + Jerry's- Closed Now   + The Tasting Room   + Papatzul   + Shorty's.32   + The Monday Room   + Ed's Lobster Bar   + Aurora   + Provence   + Tailor   + Hundred Acres   + Delicatessen, By Guest Reviewer Julie Besonen   + The Mott   + The Dutch   + Cherrywood, by Guest Reviewer Dara Pollak   

No comments yet. Be the first to post!

Advertise on the
StrongBuzz site and emails.