Since Andrew Carmellini’s The Dutch opened last month, it has been packed night after night…after night. Unsurprisingly. The critics have been raving about everything from the crispy fried chicken (with just the right sprinkling of paprika) to the perfectly shucked oysters, while local chefs coming off their own services have relished the late night menu featuring early comfort food favorites like the cheddar burger, little oyster sandwiches, and smoked ricotta ravioli.
Carmellini, of Locanda Verde fame, should be pleased. That downtown joint—still a hard reservation to nab after a couple of years—has been a runaway success, and with the upcoming October release of his book, American Flavor, written with his wife Gwen, (from Harpercollins’ Ecco imprint), Carmellini has proven that he’s a busy guy, doing big things, and capitalizing on the momentum.
This week saw the advent of a killer brunch at The Dutch. In the light of a sunny June Saturday, I settled in for my taste. And, true to form, it didn’t disappoint.
The raw bar that is featured at lunch and dinner, loaded with oysters, seafood ceviche, crab claws and peel ‘n’ eat prawns remains. Though dinner mains including steamed black bass in mussel-lemongrass curry, lamb neck mole, veal pizzaiola, and dry aged beef for two have been subbed out for more obvious (and very delicious) brunch fare.
The heaven-sent fried chicken still begs a look, but the fried eggs over silky hominy grits laced with crumbled chorizo, and soft scrambled eggs with sable, trout roe and a New York-centric bagel were ideal ways to start the morning. Served in silver sauté pans, surrounded by the clean, open room that has windows fronting both Sullivan and Prince streets, I quickly realized The Dutch was one of those spots where I would want to start more than a few weekend mornings. Especially when the blueberry-topped flapjacks met my taste buds.
For more lunch-inspired fare, the pile of fresh turkey and avocado on its rounded bun or the crunchy soft-shell crab sandwich were the standouts. Of course, these should be paired with a generous side of fries and a Dutch Iced Tea or Cucumber-Thyme Lemonade. After all, The Dutch is a place that inspires conversation and comfort. So, when your server offers up the dessert menu, consider taking a peek. While the devil’s food or sticky apple cake might call your name, don’t forget to ask about the daily selection of homemade pies. Then, hope they’re serving up cherry…