A disastrous start to our NYC sojourn (disembarking original aircraft due to engine issues, milling around Heathrow for 3 hours, boarding new plane then waiting an additional hour for the ground staff to locate misplaced luggage) led to us rocking up at our SoHo digs much later than planned. Shattered, we just had room service and hit the sack. Feeling slightly cheated, we made up for our lost evening the next day by eating A LOT.
We kicked the Sunday off with brunch at The Dutch. Everything on the menu looked amazing. Fried Eggs served with Hominy Grits, Chorizo and Salsa Verde, or for the more adventurous – with Barrio Tripe and Pico de Gallo. Almond French Toast with Bananas Foster. Curry Sugar Donuts. We wanted to order it all. However the intensity of our eating schedule held us back and we settled for The Prince Platter from the raw bar and a portion of Hot Fried Chicken and Honey Butter Biscuits to share. There were plenty of oysters on the platter so I thought what better than a bloody mary to wash it all down with? Imagine my disappointment/horror/disbelief when the waiter informed us that New York state law prohibits restaurants from serving alcohol before noon. WTF?! Begrudgingly I ordered a grapefruit juice. Sweet, refreshing and a pretty shade of pink, but a poor substitute for the cocktail selection that teased us from the menu.
The platter was a three-tiered masterpiece that took two people a mammoth 45 minutes to prepare (I can only imagine they weren’t seasoned shuckers) and aside from 2 dozen oysters featured an exotic selection of other cold fish and seafood.
The top tier boasted meaty crab claws beautifully offset with a mustard aioli, sweet barely cooked chunks of tender lobster tossed in a light herbed tomato dressing and generous lobes of creamy golden uni.
The four varieties of oysters on offer were Fanny Bay, Wellfleet MA, Big Rock and Kumamoto. The former were probably most classic in taste, but it was the latter three that stole our hearts. The Wellfleets were pure and clean, the Big Rocks strangely tasty and the Kumomotos (one of our long-standing favourites) were characteristically sweet and creamy. The middle tier also included a bowl of flash-cooked chilli-dusted prawns, still raw in the centre and served with a spicy cocktail sauce. Delicious. As were the raw bay scallops presented in their shells with a zippy blood orange marinade.
The bottom tier held more oysters, as well as Little Necks that were sweet but intensely clammy, and a fresh-tasting Hamachi and Avocado Crudo, garnished with radish slivers, micro herbs and thin strips of tortilla chips.
As soon as our emptied platter was whisked away it was replaced with a skillet of piping-hot Fried Chicken, impossibly juicy and coated in a light, crisp perfectly seasoned crust. The accompanying coleslaw was a tad limp and the honey-coated biscuits on the stodgy side but we really didn’t care as the chicken was possibly the best we’ve ever tasted, rivalling that of Little Skillet in San Francisco.
An excellent start to our eating trip here in NYC. Hopefully many more great eats to come.
131 Sullivan Street
(corner of Prince Street)
New York, NY 10012