There are not many all-day restaurants in New York City; it takes certain amount of courage and dedication to operate a place in this hectic, high-rent city. Yes, there have been some restaurants notable for offering some amazing breakfast and/or lunch options, but mostly the focus of most restaurants in the Big Apple still lies in dinner. Chef Eli Kulp and his business partner Ellen Yin came all the way from Philadelphia to change that with a New York outpost of their highly acclaimed High Street restaurant. In the morning, the restaurant is a bakery serving pastries; at lunch, it serves a variety of sandwich options; for dinner, it becomes a full-fledged restaurant incorporating many of the breads baked in the morning. That kind of versatility is a scarce asset in New York dining scene, and I was certainly intrigued to see what kind of food the kitchen was delivering. Overall, I had a very pleasant dining experience on my recent weekend dinner.
There is nothing fancy about the food at High Street, but you can tell that a lot of thoughts and preparations have been devoted to it. There are a handful of toast menus, and I enjoyed the one with smoked eel, spicy radish and parsley that had a lot of delightfulness to each bite. Among a small list of pasta dishes, don’t skip seaweed bucatini that comes with nduja, mussels, bread crumb and lobster bottarga. It was a wonderful (and beautifully plated) pasta dish that has great balance of flavor; I initially wished the noodle were a little bit more firm, but over time, the softer texture of noodle started to gel really well with the other elements of the dish.
For the entrees, I felt the Long Island duck was a bit more successful than grilled arctic char. Arctic char, which came with crispy potato, mustard greens, pickled gribiche and black olive, came away a little too aggressive in seasoning, although the fish itself was very nicely cooked. On the other hand, duck was cooked to near perfection for absolutely juicy, tender texture, and worked harmoniously with soured oats and grains, charred leek and turnip that accompanied it. For dessert, we had roasted milk chocolate with Japanese cheesecake, preserved lemon and cocoa bean, a solid but not particularly memorable dish.
The restaurant has a somewhat concise menu of wine (many of them from the nearby New York area) and beer and I wish they could’ve really ramped up their wine selection to make the dinner even more memorable. Getting a reservation wasn’t particularly challenging, but the restaurant has been getting a lot of buzz lately and the dining space is not particularly large, so make sure to book in advance if possible. I really liked the inviting vibe of the dining space that makes it well-suited for the type of all-day neighborhood restaurant that it strives to be. Well, there is at least one Philly import that has made a successful move to New York; I’m curious to see if other Philly restaurateurs and chefs will follow the path of chef Kulp. Certainly, High Street on Hudson is the type of restaurant that is so reliable as to make it a place that you would want to visit again.
- Creativity: 8.0/10
- Execution: 8.5/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
Address: 637 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
Telephone: (917) 388-3944