in fly fishing terms, it's the sweet spot to hook a catch. With this in mind, The Eddy in the East Village couldn't be more aptly named. That a tiny, humble little nook of a restaurant can create food this sophisticated, imaginative and compelling is nothing short of astounding. Chef Brendan McHale's
food brandishes dazzle that its modest surroundings might belie. Fancy enough to offer a tasting menu, but cozy enough that servers seem like friends. Granted, the prices are steep for this neck of the woods, but the culinary eddies of
excitement created in this kitchen prove the price points are more than merited.
The menu is divided into untitled strata, starting off pricey and waxing even more so. But beef tendons are puffed magically into crisp clouds, anchored by a dollop of dill-inflected creme and smoked trout roe that burst with subtle salinity, are like nothing you've ever tasted.
Chewy sunflower-rye toasts affix cool, plush pillows of uni, delicately oceanic, with ricotta whipped to ethereal lightness and brightened with a shoyu mignonette. Butter poached Barnstable oysters go down, well… like butter, a garlic-smacked savory granola spritzed atop adds a nutty crunch.
And these are just snacks. They may be the menu's fireworks, but the next tier (probably considered appetizers) sports a hamachi and mushroom escabeche which is no less delightful. Firm yet delicate slips of rosy fish wallow in a tangy, zesty cure that balances brightness and intensity no less miraculously than Philippe Petit. Crispy sunchokes, more
sturdy than crunchy, form a substantial salad, earthy and dense with sweet slices of crisp pear in a luxurious bed of gently peppery robiola.
As plates grow larger, some of the creativity might wane, but the quality in no less profound. A crisp-edged filet of cod flakes luxuriously into an earthy puree of sunchoke, with toothsome cubes of Japanese turnips and a luscious bonito butter provide a wink from the east. A magnificent grass-fed ribeye heralds unrivaled beefiness, coated in a alluring salt rub, and sided simply with crushed fingerlings and a charred bulb of romaine squiggled with a creamy
dressing. A side of charred cauliflower, unmissable in its own right, also serves as a wonderful side dish for the meat. Or on its own. Or for breakfast. (I digress.) It's charred sinfully black, anointed with a verdant gremolata piqued with pimenton. Try this dish to turn a cauliflower-phobe into an afficionado.
Though the cardamom panna cotta is so popular they can't seem to remove it from the menu, a ginger cookie compilation with citrus and coconut sorbet didn't live up to the rest of the meal. It was weirdly plated in that aphelion style, all off to one side and for no good reason. Better off to go for a Bedrock Fizz from the cocktail list, a fruity gin-based tipple, sweet with brandy and cream… and topped with real Fruity Pebbles. Because The Eddy isn't above that kind of playfulness: and they can back it up.
342 East 6th Street