There’s no bar at High Street on Hudson, owner Ellen Yin and chef-owner Eli Kulp’s effusively welcoming all-day West Village restaurant and bakery, but its cocktails hold secrets to the place nonetheless. Take the harvest highball, fennel-infused vodka embellished with soda water, tart apple shrub, and a heavy dose of celery bitters — the latter bringing to mind Cel-Ray, the locally produced celery-flavored soda from Dr. Brown’s, a favorite of delis across the city. It’s an ingenious nod to New Yorkers from this Philadelphian team, who settled in to their cozy corner space on Hudson Street last December.
It’s a good thing the bar is missing. It means there’s room for comfortably spaced seating and an open kitchen with an L-shaped counter; for the three-tier oven that anchors baker Alex Bois’s ambitious operation; and for the front nook, where his formidable pastries and breads (hard-crusted genzano loaves, tart Meyer lemon cream puffs, and red-eye danishes that layer country ham with espresso-tinged custard) are sold. You can cobble a meal together from small plates, spring for a $65 tasting menu, or have a standard three-courser. Entrées are imaginative, pairing crispy duck with oats softened in buttermilk and arctic char with mustard greens. And unlike many of the city’s birds-for-two, Kulp’s $48 honey-glazed fowl is strong on homey charm, plated with malted potato rolls, chicken liver, and both tangy chicken-skin caesar and sprouted three-bean salads. — Zachary Feldman
Photos by Bradley Hawks for the Village Voice