Lately, I've been feeling blessed. The year started off to a rough start, especially for fried chicken, after three sub-par experiences in a row with this feathered fiend (Redhead, Buttermilk Channel, Blue Ribbon). Blue Ribbon's was so disappointing, I didn't even want to blog about it. I just don't even want to think about it.
But enter The Cardinal, Bobwhite, and now The Dutch, and you have yourself a New York trifecta of solid chicken goodness.
They say the fried chicken at The Dutch is available only at lunchtime (brunch on weekends) or very late nights. I am not sure about the latter though, since Diana and I visited the hotspot at 11p one night, and only found fried chicken wings on the menu. Brunch is a great time to visit though, and they take reservations.
The fried chicken comes in a heavy stainless steel All-Clad skillet, with four pieces of thick-battered fried chicken pieces and two very luminous honey butter biscuits.
I could sit and breathe in this fried chicken all day. (I would eat it too, but I could spend a long time just smelling it.) Cajun seasoning was sprinkled generously across these craggly, golden beauts.
Each bite of this chicken was supremely satisfying, and in what seems so rare in our fine city of overzealous food writers, this chicken actually lived up to its hype.
The crust was ridiculously crunchy, even through the last bite, and the meat was perfectly succulent - the breast was almost just as moist as the thigh. Flavored with the southern spice, this chicken was sensational.
The biscuits were soft, but extremely dense. If our waitress could ever be found, I would have liked to ask her for a jar of honey, because that would have made these more tolerable, but without, I could barely eat half a biscuit (although the four consumed pieces of chicken may have played a factor).
On that other late-night occasion, Diana and I ate an uncharacteristically light dinner of oyster sliders (adorable little sandwiches with two lightly battered, plump oysters on a springy sesame-topped bun). The sliders were okay.
We also ate pies, because we love pies. (And The Dutch is known for them.)
The pie selection is seasonal, though usually includes at least the Dutch apple and banana cream. This recent brunch visit featured lemon meringue, which is typically not a pie I would order, but I was feeling spunky.
This pie was gorgeous, with a tall layer of airy meringue speckled with poppy seeds and a bright layer of lemon curd. Poppy seeds also appeared in the graham cracker crust. It was a full on poppy seed party.
The pie was quite refreshing, bursting with clean citrus flavor, and appealed to my key lime loving ways.
The Dutch apple, the restaurant's namesake pie, is served warm with slivers of tart, firm apples and a sweet, crunchy, crumbly top. I could eat a bowlful of the crumbles for breakfast, but the walnut ice cream lacked any nutty flavor, and the apple pie itself was fine, but not particularly interesting.
We also sampled a scoop of The Dutch's cinnamon ice cream (quite good) that came with one of the best snickerdoodles I've had in some time. Delectably cinnamony, soft and chewy. I wish those came in the bagfuls.
The fried chicken plate was surprise hit, and I find myself thinking about it still. Service can be a hit or a miss, a miss on our brunch visit, but definitely a hit during the late night hours.
I mean, they even did long division for us. That's what I call good customer service!
131 Sullivan St
New York, NY