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“Hundred Acres”

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

Recently the James Beard Foundation published a white paper titled “The State of American Cuisine” based on surveys conducted as part of the 2007 James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® national food festival, written by Mitchell Davis and Anne McBride. In the paper they ponder the state of our country’s cuisine and the compelling question of whether there is an American cuisine and if so, what exactly it is. The paper runs 13 pages and offers some very interesting theories and arguments for our national culinary paradigm. But I have a more concise answer for the questions posed by the white paper. American cuisine exists; it is alive and well and thriving at a restaurant called Hundred Acres. The guy responsible for this fresh and current expression of our country’s culinary backbone is Marc Meyer.

I’ve been a fan of Marc Meyer’s cooking for almost a decade now, ever since he opened the doors to Five Points and started slinging Greenmarket ingredients into his fire-breathing wood oven. When he opened Cookshop with his chef de cuisine Joel Hough, he offered a slightly more refined riff on his seasonal American theme, with a more dedicated homage to his group of farmers (their names are listed on a board that overlooks the spare, modern wood-flanked dining room); I was again hooked. Brunch at Cookshop has become a regular haunt—the promise of warm, flaky buttery biscuits the size of softballs split down the center and filled with soft-scrambled eggs, caramelized onions and artisanal bacon is impossible to resist. Even the threat of a wedding dress to squeeze into in a mere six weeks has not helped. I have no will power when it comes to Marc Meyer’s brunch.

When he and his wife and front of house partner Vicki Freeman, announced they would take over Provence, I was excited to see Marc tackle a different model—Provencal cuisine through the lens of an farm-to-table American chef. I visited Provence several times and enjoyed it but it wasn’t really working for Marc and Vicki. As Vicki told me, you had a Jewish guy and an Irish girl trying to do French food. It wasn’t the right fit. So they returned to an old restaurant idea they had been thinking of for a while—a butcher-shop up front with a café that would serve a daily changing selection of market-driven meals. But they weren’t too sure about actually ... [more, click below]

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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   

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