Early Trip to Kin Shop
October 20, 2010 § Leave a comment
On Friday night, we took several out of town visitors to Kin Shop, Harold Dieterle’s recently opened restaurant in Greenwich Village. Having been the one to select the restaurant for the one big dinner we had with visitors who had ventured all the way from Europe, I realized choosing such a new spot was always a risk but in this case my confidence in Perilla and Chef Dieterle. Rupert jokingly reminded me I was on the line if things went south, and I gladly accepted the challenge!
For a restaurant that had literally been open for five days, Kin Shop was impressively smooth with respect to all aspects of service. The quality of food was right on par with what I’ve come to expect at Perilla making it clear that Dieterle and his partner Alicia Nosenzo’s talent translates well into modern Thai cuisine. The restaurant, located just across the street for BLT Burger on 6th Avenue is long, narrow and about size as Perilla. The chef’s counter in the back would be a fantastic place to sit when walking in with a similar, close-up spectator view to the open kitchen that Casa Mono offers. Chef Dieterle was there right in the mix of things, which is always nice to see.
One thing that I believe will bode well for Kin Shop is it’s fantastic selection of wine. Usually when craving thai, I go straight into beer mode and quite happily order a Singha, but the spice of thai always makes my mind wander to think of the fun pairing ideas that exist. To ensure it was a crowd pleaser, this evening I went with the 2008 Julien Meyer Pinot Gris from Alsace. The wine was teh perfect smooth, crisp complement to the food that followed. If it’s beer or cocktails you seek, however, Kin Shop has no lack of exciting options in those categories as well. On my next visit, I definitel intend to have the Sohm & Khing, which features house-infused ginger mekhong, domaine de canton, aperol, grapefruit bitters and lemon soda. While the classic Sigha makes the cut as well, a more interesting venture would be the Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Japan.
Being a large group, we had planned to order family style and our friendly, well-informed server told us that was the recommended way to go. For our first course, we started with the Spicy Duck Laarb Salad, Warm Sliced Snap Peas with Bay Scallops and Hand Cut Beef Tartar. The duck, served in romaine lettuce leaves was one of the spiciest dishes I’ve had (our served was candid about this!) and I loved every almost painful bite. Those with less affinity for spice should definitely order a side of milk, as water and wine do little to cut it! Whatever you do, don’t forego ordering it! The coconut flavor of the curry like sauce under the perfectly cooked scallops was sublime and cooling in contrast to the duck. Finally the beef tartar was simple yet fresh and almost melted in one’s mouth. I especially liked the rice crackers that accompanied it.
Moving on to entrees (and a second bottle of Pinot Gris) we sampled the Stir Fried Wonton Noodes with chicken sausage, thai broccoli rabe & oyster sauce, the Pan Fried Crab Noodles and the Roasted Duck Breast with Red Curry. I especially enjoyed the wonton noodles but the duck was the leader of the pack. Each thick, medium-rare slice was meant to be paired with and wrapped with green mango and curry in crispy roti. I could eat the roti alone or days! When dining on my own I will definitely be sampling the rabbit and goat curries (which came highly recommended) as well, but was not sure how those would fly with our guests so did not want to rock the boat when ordering for the table.
I will definitely be paying another visit to Kin Shop soon, and I can see it as a great weekend brunch spot once the open for those hours.