We’ve been wanting to try out The Fat Radish since it opened, but just never made it. Circumstances put us right in the neighborhood last night, so we walked in at 10pm. Naturally, there wasn’t a seat available in the place except at the counter right in the front window. We were game, why not? It turned out to be our own little special space where we got incredible service and chatted with the staff.
My first venture out of our little spot was to head downstairs to the ladies room. The decor in the restaurant is clean, white brick with wood and steel. There were flower boxes throughout adding gorgeous pops of color. The crowd was totally hipster. They were loud. We got to see each person as they left and all but a few left the front door open like a barn door behind them. It was really a testament to courtesy or lack thereof. But the hostess told us that having awesome customers like us makes up for all of the obnoxious people. And a couple of times she closed the door for us.
Our waitress was totally adorable. We were picking at the flower box next to us (after just finishing our balcony in the a.m.). We noticed the flowers were pulled from pots and just stuffed in the box with no dirt or water. We asked about it and she said once she tried to water the flowers and was told not to touch them. I guess new flowers every week, then? Well, they look great.
I know, what about the food already? I can’t say enough good things. I think we chose well from the menu. We went for the grilled cheese and pickles appetizer. OMG, heavenly snack. The pickles were Gus’ style with pickled onions. We had another item not listed on the website menu, which consisted of fresh peas, ramps, and mint to the best of my recollection. It was a nice English dish. Everything was so fresh. And I am officially obsessed with ramps. Since it ’tis the season, it may be time to do some random ramp tasting. Marc Forgione usually does a ramp menu in spring. Last, we had the Celery Root Pot Pie with black garlic and gruyere. Wow, what a beautiful dish. The crust was so light and airy. It was our favorite. Sadly, it was dark so our pics were a failure. I’ve included a few anyway, plus some official website and blogger photos.
We decided to revisit The Fat Radish with my Dad, as we generally don’t take parents to the LES. We thought it would be fun to do something different. We enjoyed a drink at the Gray Lady before dinner and made a note to drop by for a drink another time. We were very early to the Fat Radish – 5:30, which not optimal. So we bought tickets a Jazz show afterward to fill the evening at 92Y Tribeca. If you ever have the opportunity to see Michele Rosewoman, do it.
The place filled up quickly enough, but interestingly never filled up for a Saturday night. I am sure by 10pm that was not the case. However, I will say, we were not overly impressed with our meal. Everything was just barely lukewarm and the highlight was a Saxelby’s Cheese Plate, which we could buy up the street at the Essex Market. Here’s the rundown…
Steve ordered a special, which was Daily Chicken Soup with fine herbs and dumpling with carrots and leeks. Matzoh Ball soup. The highlight was the Matzoh Ball. It was flavored with bouillon and leeks. Served barely hot. Sorry for the crap photo…it is too dark for good shots here as it was the first time.
The Saxelby’s Cheese plate was enjoyable with a soft rind, hard cheese and a Stilton. I forgot to take note of the assortment. It was served with toasted raisin bread. Our favorite combo was the soft cheese and honey complete with honeycomb.
I ordered the Deviled Brussels Sprouts which were caramelized and wrapped in bacon. Again, barely warm. My expectation was pretty high on these, as it sounded great. The coolest part was the garnish, which was loose Brussels sprout leaves deep fried and sprinkled on the top. Otherwise, the dish was surprisingly tasteless. And bacon usually fixes everything.
Next up, we had the Scotch Egg with Cornichons and Seeded Mustard. We have had it at The Highlands, where it’s delicious. Unfortunately, this version wasn’t so exciting. Again, cold and flavorless. A Scotch egg is hard boiled and encased in sausage and breadcrumbs and deep fried.
By the time we got our entrees I had lost interest in photographing the food. We all tried fish entrees. I went with the Special, which was Lardo Wrapped Block Island Tuna with Parsnips and Grilled Radichio. I enjoyed it for the most part. I love a parsnip. Again, not hot! My Dad ordered the Green Curried Monkfish with Wild Rice, Thai Eggplant and Snake Beans. His first comment was…’There’s monkfish under there somewhere.’ The pile of green curry sauce on the fish was so thick he couldn’t find the fish. And once he did, he couldn’t taste the fish. Let’s leave it at overpowering. Steve had the Olive Oil Poached Cod with Warm German Potato Salad and Leeks. His was too much potato. The pieces were rather large. It was missing flavor. And did I mention nothing was hot?
I think this may be the last time we go to the Fat Radish 🙁
17 Orchard St. – Lower East Side