|Octopus and Sweetbreads|
But for every end, there is a beginning and the food at the newly reopened Fedora, Gabriel Stulman's third West Village restaurant (after Joseph Leonard and Jeffrey's Grocery), is absolutely wonderful. It's the best of his three ventures, actually. On a recent evening, fat little Kusshi oysters were briny, fresh, sweet, clear and cucumbery. They didn't need the mignonette that accompanied -- just a tiny spritz of lemon -- though the mignonette was delicious. There were also Blue Point oysters on offer, which I didn't try.
|Crispy Pig Head|
My main dish of sweetbreads and octopus with roasted lettuce and red butter (pictured at the top of this post) was balanced and so well conceived as to seem obvious: Why aren't octopus with sweetbreads dishes more common? They are a lovely match. In this dish, tender, chewy, mildly-flavored octopus played well with the slightly metallic tang of creamy sweetbreads. The bitter roasted lettuce honed your tastebuds, enhancing the delicacy of other flavors in the dish. All of this came plated on a bed of pearl barley with striking red (beet?) tinged butter on the side and a wee bit of creamy, white something that I think was bechamel sauce.
|Crisped Duck Leg|
As good as the food was, cocktails could've commanded the stage in their own right. Between the two of us, we tried three cocktails: a Black Squirrel Old Fashioned with "Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Citrus, Maple Wash and House Pecan Bitters Inspired by the Voyageur Hotel’s Famous Bar"; a lovely green-tinged Songbird (with IIRC Gruet brut, elderflower liquor, violet bitters and a few other things); and the Mr. Graves Pendelton made, according to the menu, with "Elijah Craig Bourbon, Clove BBQ syrup, the spirit of the South and our pal Alex’s grandpappy". The old fashioned and Mr. Graves Pendelton were brawny, serious drinks, though the Graves Pendelton was a bit sweet for my tastes. The Songbird was a lovely, light springtime drink, sweet, but not overly so. It was well named. These cocktails rival the best in town and give the likes of Little Branch and Pegu a run for the money.
I'm thrilled to have this restaurant just around the corner. Part of me wants to keep it very hush hush so I have it all to myself.
239 West 4th St # A
New York, NY 10014-2664
New York, NY 10014-2664