Kirschen-Clark's Painterly New Food at Café Cluny
Heirloom beet salad -- Bartlett pear, arugula, ricotta, walnuts
First cutting his eye teeth at Jimmy's No. 43, playing a pair of hot plates like a DJ, chef Philip Kirschen-Clark bounced around trying to find a new place that was a good fit. Most recently, he developed a menu at Vandaag representing the adapted cooking of Holland and Denmark, incorporating his usual local and seasonal sensibilities. It closed, according to a recent interview with Kirschen-Clark in Grub Street, because there weren't enough customers. Now, he's installed at Café Cluny, a clubby and not-cheap boite in the West Village with a strong neighborhood constituency. His mission: keep the good stuff on the menu the locals love (like the tuna burger and pastas), but add his own French, vegetable-y, and color-intensive touches. At a recent lunch there, a friend and I found some of his new dishes amazing - great tasting and beautiful to look at, too, while employing some startling juxtapositions. Here are four.
Warm house-made mozzarella -- seasonal garnish (in this case stewed apples and shredded hot-chile pickles), black garlic toasts
Artichokes barigoule -- roasted turnips (and raw turnip shells, too!), white miso, Meyer lemons, affilia cress
Sauteed organic king salmon galettes -- puntarella, kumquats, roasted garlic vinaigrette
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