Inside AbcV: Jean-Georges Rhapsodic Ode to Vegetables
After multiple such inclusions, it seems Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s AbcV just missed mention on our recent Spring Restaurant Preview list; having finally debuted after three solid years of anticipation.
Carving out still another corner of Flatiron’s ABC Carpet & Home, it’s the first project to open sans Dan Kluger — JGV’s longtime consigliere — who recently struck out on his own with Loring Place. But chef de cuisine, Neal Harden (an alum of Pure Food & Wine) ably advances a recurring ABC theme, by constructing a menu entirely around vegetables.
Being that the ultra-modern space is largely white (save for the odd orange wall panel or yellow chair), all but ensures that attention is focused on the plates; which practically vibrate with a saturated riot of color, that only produce can provide. Currently open for breakfast and lunch, an early morning lineup eschews bland, blonde, American staples like pancakes, muffins and bacon and eggs, for dynamic, internationally-inspired waker-uppers, such as Sea Buckthorn and Persimmon Bowls, Steamed Tofu with roasted cauliflower, and lacy, South Indian Dosas, cradling swiss chard and za’atar.
And don’t expect your standard issue sandwiches, soups and salads come afternoon; instead, innovative, plant-based creations fall under “Light & Fresh” (Shallot and Herb Labneh with crispy mushrooms and sunchoke chips), Warm & Hot (Market Carrots with stoneground nut butter), Legumes & Grains (Beluga Lentils with yams, black vinegar and broccoli stems), and Noodles & Rice (Meyer Lemon and Curry Leaf Ramen with pea shoots); with a “Beauty & Wellness” share menu option, allowing for a kitchen-chosen selection of the above. You can even unapologetically indulge in a midday sugar rush, as a majority of the desserts are vegan; think Chocolate Mousse with mint crumble, Coconut Custard topped with tropical fruit, and a silky Matcha Crème Brulee.
Dinner service hasn’t launched yet, but as the starting lineup has duly proven, it should be well worth another (hopefully, not three years-long) wait.
38 East 19th St.