- scene: Midtown mish-mosh of after-workers, meet for drinkers and out of towners; front room for drinks and bites is always pretty packed, back rooms have warmer, bistro-like feel
- sip: speciality cocktails, wines, anything
- savor: crispy artichokes; grilled casear; take your shot
- sit: For a business dinner; for a catch up with a friend who lives in another part of town; with people visiting and staying in midtown
- spend: $$
- address: 124 West 57th Street (between 6th and 7th, in the Viceroy, but separate entrance)
- phone number: (212) 707-8000
- website: www.kingside-restaurant.com
“Get ready for me, I am feeling feisty.” That was the disclaimer my friend texted me when she was up the block from Kingside one recent sub-zero night, and I have to say, we had a really pleasant evening. My expectations were kind of neutral and a lunch at Han Dynasty left me borderline impaired, but Kingside fit the bill for a chill (ha ha, double meaning) night of cocktails and shared bites. The joint was not overly packed (most likely due to the freezing temps) and the bartender was friendly and happy and I was able to carve out a nook while I waited, in between stools filled with coats (pet peeve! coat check is free motherfuckers, let mama sit her tushy down) and some shrieking women. The restaurant was not full so we got the choice of where we sat, and the hostess was also extremely friendly and accommodating. The dining room was more brasserie than I expected, I guess the whole idea of a restaurant in the Vicereoy, and in midtown, made me think it would be colder and more metal surfaces, but Kingside had a nice bistro feel, and it wasn’t too noisy.
Now to be honest we didn’t get too deep on the menu; we really shared a lot of small items and didn’t make it to the larger plates. Every request we made ( my friend has a tendency to send back her martinis until they are exactly how she wants it) was met with a smile and an honest desire to please. We asked for toast points for the foie gras dish, and it was refreshing not to be met with a blank stare but rather a problem solving attitude and swiftness to oblige. We ordered oysters, pan con tomate with proscuitto, crispy artichokes, foie gras and the grilled caesar salad. As I said, we didn’t get any of the main courses, but everyhing we had was well executed and had on-point, straight forward flavors. The caesar salad with grilled raddichio was really something interesting, a small twist on a familiar classic that packed a big punch; the grilling softened the greens, which made the dressing feel silkier and the whole dish more hearty. The mignonette, cocktail and green sauce (not really sure what it was) for the oysters were delicious and not overhwhelming, enhancing the briny salty gems and not overpowering them. Foie gras had some bread crumbs on the outside to add some texutre, and some sweet jelly on the side to evoke peanut and jelly. I enjoyed this dish once the aforementioned toast points arrived. The drinks kept flowing and Mos Def and Seth Meyers and some suits were at the next table, so how could anyone complain? As a review based off a single visit and some tasting plates, I have nothing but positive things to say about Kingside, especially the service.
Kingside is a solid choice in a part of town that can be tricky when dining. It might not rock your world, but the staff will treat you royally and the food pleased this princess, so…