ABC Kitchen (New York, NY)

The mix matched vegetable spoils!

One month after moving to Los Angeles, New York Magazine cruelly published an entire issue dedicated to the future of vegetables. Anchored with the article Vegetables Are the New Meat, the magazine declared, “At serious restaurants all over town, carrots, peas, and the like are no longer just the supporting cast – they’re the stars. Move over locavores, here come the vegivores.” Fortunately, I’d already booked my friend’s sofa for a return flight back East!

After thoroughly reading New York Mag’s “The Vegetable Movement’s Must-Visit Restaurants,” I gathered a party of 4 to dine at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen— quite possibly “the vegivore restaurant of the year”! Apparently everyone else had the same idea. I had to pull strings to secure a 8:00pm Saturday night reservation with just a few days notice… not that I actually know important people, but I do know their personal assistants!


There was no question that the Roasted Kabocha Squash Toast with fresh ricotta and apple cider vinegar ($10) would be the very first dish I ordered. According to all the press outlets that matter, it’s a top vegivore dish at ABC. Was it life changing?! Well, no… but imagine silky kabocha slivers lying in a bed of ricotta and crackling whole grain bread with a sprinkle of rooftop basil leaves. It may not change your life, but it will give you a solid 10 minute foodie high. ABC Kitchen (New York, NY)

Vinegar Hill House (Brooklyn, NY)

As expected from the Freeman’s pedigree, the decor is colonial shabby with all the idiosyncrasy of the Sporting Club and veiled with a refined ladies touch. But from the beginning, many elements of the night were working against us, let this be a lesson in the futility of the “I know someone” mentality, because even though we got hugs and kisses from the all right people, we couldn’t get a timely table… but the birthday party in the basement, the surprise health inspector, and the diners who obstinately refused to move to the bar long after finishing their desserts even after the hostess offer them a free round of drinks didn’t help either… so we waited well over an hour in the charming but cold courtyard while the hostess offered us the boorish table’s free round(s).

We began with a round of salads; I was quite fond of my Bartlett Pear Salad ($10) with an oily slab of roasted fennel adorning a crown of baby arugula festooned in salty white nuggets of pecorino. Personally I would have liked more pear less fennel but my friend felt the opposite so we traded some portions to adjust the salads to our preferences. 

Vinegar Hill House (Brooklyn, NY)