Welcome to the 2nd installment of our Beard & Brunch series. This time, Maryam and I had the opportunity to collaborate with Chalk Point Kitchen in NYC to sample their brand new Spring 2017 menu. Chalk Point is an awesome restaurant with a farm-to-table approach, with a changing menu based on seasonally available foods, sourced locally. When Maryam first spoke to the restaurant, she thought it would be hard to convince me to want to go, but not at all. Those are all principles that I can get behind (but only if the food is good).
When we first walked into the restaurant, we almost felt like we were in the south. The entire ambiance of Chalk Point is very homey, with wood and flannel decor, mismatched plates, and not the general “upscale” look of a restaurant of this caliber. We loved it. It was a well done and welcome departure from the norm and I think it really set the stage for the type of food we were about to experience. The staff was very polite and attentive, not just to us (given they knew why we were there) but to everybody that came in to the restaurant. When it got to the food, we got to sample quite a bit off of their new menu, and none of it disappointed. Some of the things we ate were well outside of our comfort zone (like the Grilled House-Smoked Tofu Sandwich), but they were so flavorful that we still thoroughly enjoyed every bite. But, nobody wants a review without a few actual food suggestions, right?
Maryam and I both got fresh juices, the Pineapple-Pomegranate Tonic and the Strawberry Mint Lemonade. All I can say is, my lemonade was finished before I got my lunch and I excitedly waited for the ice to melt just so I could experience the flavor some more. The juices are fresh pressed every morning, and you can absolutely tell.
The avocado toast here has a little bit of a twist, with some calabrian chili that gives just enough of a kick to make your taste buds sing. And it sits on top of multi-grain toast that perfectly balances a crispy crust and a soft center. No matter how good the other appetizers we tried were, we kept going back for more of the smashed avocado toast.
Maryam and I are largely meat-eaters, so our opinion here may be a little biased, but the grilled steak sandwich was to-die-for. The ciabatta, again, perfectly balanced crunch and softness, the steak was juicy and cooked to perfection. Every bite was bursting with flavor, with the toppings adding a simple complexity to the flavor that you have to experience to understand.
Matcha Panna Cotta. This is something I probably never would have ordered on my own, if I’m being honest. The panna cotta by itself has a very strong matcha flavor (duh), but if you take a fresh berry into every bite to cut some of the bitterness of the matcha with a burst of sweet and tart juices, it’s delightful.
All-in-all, our experience at Chalk Point Kitchen was wonderful. From the environment, to the staff and food, we didn’t have much to complain about. A big thank you to the Chalk Point Kitchen for having us, we will definitely be back!