Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

CHARLIE BIRD, 5 King Street (at Sixth Avenue), SohoCharlie Bird is a strange, but very cool restaurant. It’s both trendy and refined, loud and intimate, exclusive and welcoming. And it just happens to be one of the highest rated restaurants of last year.

We finally got to try it out in 2014 and I was impressed by the food and service. I didn’t mind the loud hip-hop music as much as some of the nearby tables did, but it did seem very out of place along with the composed Italian dishes and impressive wine list (I love that every bottle is also available in half bottles).

While the skate on the wing (gummy cartilage and all) was a bit disappointing, everything else we tried was full-flavored and balanced. We loved the sweet and minerally chicken liver studded with raisins and walnuts, the refreshing fluke ceviche with bright pickled tomatoes, and the rich and citrusy duck egg spaghetti with sea urchin and pork cheek.

Stracciatella Cheese Toast at CHARLIE BIRD

But a simple small plate of toast, cheese, and vegetables made this week’s Dish of the Week. Straciatella is a nice change from the usual menu options of ricotta or burrata. This stretchy buffalo cheese is imported from Italy and is just lightly melted onto warm toast. The result is a soft and rich cheesy sensation that enhances the thick toasted bread and is enlivened by olive oil and pickled black trumpet mushrooms.

Charlie Bird will be talked-about well into this year as well. The food is worthy and the disparate sounds and vibes might be slightly off-putting, but also thrilling and exciting.

CHARLIE BIRD
5 King Street (at Sixth Avenue),
Soho
(212) 235-7133
charliebirdnyc.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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