As a frequent traveler to a food-powered city like New York, the question is - do I return to a favorite neighborhoody spot or try something new? Ideally both. Here's why Cookshop (at 10th Avenue and 20th Street in the West Village) is on my list as a regular go-to dining experience.
Launching a recent dinner was a surprise wine find. As a resident of Northern California, where Wine Country options are extensive, I was surprised to learn that the sommelier's choice was a Pied a Terre Sauvignon Blanc. Being leery of something too citrusy, I was happy to find it well balanced and delicious. And then I come to find out that, while it appears on several high end San Francisco restaurants, it's more widely distributed on the East Coast. Clearly there are times you have to leave home to discover what's especially appealing right in your backyard.
- Cookshop's brand emphasizes local and seasonal. Today as the "farm to table" claim is expected, Cookshop consistently delivers fresh regional ingredients. On this late winter evening, the local fish option was Long Island Porgy, which I wouldn't expect to see far and wide, which made the selection more inviting. This particular critter was prepared with ruby grapefruit gremolata, roasted cauliflower and castelvetrano olives. Not your usual garnishes either, but a winning medley. My guest and I shared a side of roasted Brussel sprouts with Duqqa spices and hazelnuts, again not part of the rule book. Kicking off our meal was another inventive combo - a salad of Crimson Crisp and Pink Lady apples, tardive, fresh herbs, sunflower seeds, lemon and olive oil.
- The locals consider Cookshop a place to dine regularly as well. In a city where there's an endless list of competitive alternatives, that's a filter that keeps this lively, friendly West Village location on my "preferred" list.