9 Restaurant Makes Hell’s Kitchen Heavenly

Hell’s Kitchen used to be a dangerous neighborhood where gang violence ensued and the most gourmet meal you could get would be a hot dog from a cart. Now, the only gang drama you are likely to see are Broadway actors on their way to perform in West Side Story, and the culinary options include a myriad of trendy and upscale restaurants. 
9 is one of those restaurants, with a small but happening bar space, and a mood that is cool and young, but not snobby. 
Which is great…because I am young but not snobby.
Note, I didn’t say cool.
I know you all aren’t dumb enough to believe that.

We started with a very reasonably priced glass of Prosecco. A bit sweet for my tastes, but my sister loved it and happily finished off my glass. Next time, I would likely go for the a glass of Brut, which has the drier, more minerally and acidic tastes than I like. 
Aged Brisket Sliders with Red Wine Bacon and Vermont Cheddar
YES! Now this is one HELL of a slider! Juicy, meaty, slightly funky tasting meat that was loosely packed an none too finely ground. It was like eating a chopped steak sandwich more than a hamburger – no mushy or grainy texture, just small chunks of deeply flavorful beef. Soft in texture and juicy in taste, it was cooked pink all the way through. The bacon was thickly cut and crispy, not chewy, so it was easy to eat with the burger – no obnoxious gnawing at chewy bacon necessary. The cheddar was mild and creamy and went well with the sharp and acidic housemade “A2″ sauce. The burgers were perfectly sized, and my only complaint was that they didn’t come with…
Fries.
Obviously, I remedied that situation STAT. Fresh, crispy, skin on fries that were well salted and the perfect counterpart for those delicious little burgers. A little mayo wouldn’t have hurt for dipping purposes, but I wasn’t complaining.
Beef Carpaccio with Aioli, Pickled Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese.
A huge letdown after those fab burgers. The meat was mushy and tasteless in some spots and literally frozen in others. I totally understand freezing the meat to get razor-thin slices, but let it defrost before you serve it, fellas. There was no sweet, tender taste or texture here, and if the mushrooms were pickled, then I’m a monkey’s uncle. The only thing I really tasted was the salty, nutty cheese and some slightly spicy mayo. Major fail.
Glazed Brussels Sprouts, Apples and Bacon
AND WE’RE BACK!
Tender within and crispy-crunchy without, these were Brussels Sprouts at their finest. Vegetal, creamy and tasting a bit like wonderfully sauteed cabbage, they were paired with crispy bacon, apples that were fit for a pie and a honeyed glaze that must be what angels eat every day. Seriously the most amazing mix between vegetable and animal, sweet and salty, crisp and soft. Awesomely delicious. Definitely need to recreate it at home.
Red Velvet Cake Doughnuts with White Chocolate Ice Cream and Drizzle.

YES! Cakey, dense, chocolaty, heavy doughnuts. I mean I love the word heavy when it comes to dessert.

And I loved this dessert. Get it.

And get yourself to 9! It has great food in cool surroundings with great service. I DO have to mention that they only let you put 2 credit cards on a check, which can be extremely prohibitive if you are dining with other people – I mean, we all like to get miles, right? It is a wee bit expensive, and there are VERY few vegetarian options, but other than that, I think anyone would love it.
And that’s what is happening with Hell’s Kitchen.

Comments

  1. Hungry says:

    You're a much better neighborhood contributor than I am.

  2. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Hungry-well, I am also way lazier than you. You go out of Manhattan a lot more!

  3. Chef of Hell Kitchen 2011 says:

    From dangerous bar to a classy dinning restaurant. very impressive.

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