NewYork tbsp

Published on April 20th, 2013 | by Greg


tbsp: Grab Dinner At This Cute Chelsea Cafe!

Artichokes. We’ll start there- specifically, the fried artichokes that were the best we’ve had anywhere. You may have been by or heard of Spoon, the catering company and great brunch and lunch spot that’s been “family-owned and operated since 1999″, serving hand picked, seasonal organic produce grown upstate. Next door, they’ve opened up and started serving dinner, with a fairly restrained modern American menu.

The sibling restaurant is called tbsp (link to PDF dinner menu), and we recently visited for an evening tasting. Start off with a Stumptown coffee or cappuccino, or a cocktail, like their take on the Greyhound ($12, vodka, grapefruit juice, thyme with a bit of black peppercorn). We sipped on some wine as well; the menu isn’t large but includes a wide variety, including a solid Pinot Noir from the Pinot Project ($10). They offer a daily soup special, and ours was the watermelon gazpacho- fresh, tasty, but a little flat ($7). It could’ve just been by comparison with the excellent aforementioned artichokes though, lightly battered with tempura and complete with friend lemon slices that made for a tart combination that will have us coming by whenever we’re in the neighborhood. Staff was helpful, friendly, and attentive, offering great suggestions and helping make the evening special. Candlelit and surprisingly big, it’s a space that is used well and doesn’t have you feeling cramped like many other NYC options.

Reasonably priced and generous entrees provide something for everyone- like the grilled salmon ($19), which is served not only with a spicy house made green harissa and red quinoa pilaf, but also with the chili and garlic sauteed winter greens. Prepared medium rare, it was crispy on the bottom and pink throughout, and made for a complete combination. The quinoa was a bit bland, but offered a good contrast in texture to the rest of the dish, and everything looked lovely on the plate. Same for the beer braised pork shoulder (a bargain at $17), which came on a platter like those you’d expect with a make-it-yourself fajita, with pico de gallo and black beans, as well as some excellent avocado and surprising jalapenos on the side and arroz verde (green rice). The meat was fall-from-the-bone tender, and the sauce was excellent. If you need sides, they offer several, including Yukon baby potatoes with Maldon sea salt ($7).

Finish off with a dessert- like the Salted Caramel Brownie Sundae ($6), which comes with some caramel popcorn, a delicious sweet/salty combination that will get stuck in your teeth but leave you full and fully satisfied. A kids menu is great for families- we saw a few while we were there, along with a few young professionals at the bar. You might end up waiting a bit for the bathroom, but you’ll walk away from tbsp happy with your dining experience. You can even order online for delivery!

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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