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

QUALITY EATS, 19 Greenwich Avenue (between West 10th and Christopher Street), West Village

The new Quality Eats is not a steakhouse. At least that’s what they’d like you to believe. The restaurant group wanted to separate their new casual neighborhood restaurant from their Midtown beef behemoth named Quality Meats.

But there is still a knowing wink to their comfortabilty with steak. The logo and menu (both with a crossed out or muted letter “M”) are designed as if somebody assumed the place would be a steakhouse and then at the last minute, they broadened (and economized) the menu.

And while there is a nice section of simple steaks at a more affordable price, it’s the rest of the menu that is most appealing. We did order one of those steaks (because you sort of have to, right?). It was a very nice piece of charred hanger steak at a reasonable $27. It even came with interesting pickled and then grilled onions and a delicious bowl of corn brulée.

But it was not the best thing on the table that night. In fact, it needed a little salt and perhaps a sauce of some kind.

The quality part of this restaurant involves the seafood and sides. We had another excellent entrée of tender octopus covered with bright and strongly seasoned rice, lentils and beans. And the side portion of scalloped sunchokes (doused with cream and cheese) was a surprising take on the oft-tired potatoes au gratin.

Hamachi Crudo at QUALITY EATS

But it was the very first appetizer we tasted (and thus the first bite) that assured us we were in for some quality eats. I am usually hesitant to oder hamachi crudo because it is often sliced so thin and just covered with a few bits of garnish and too much citrus.

Not the case here. While still small, this was one of the better crudos I’ve had in a long time. The soft and buttery fish was cubed so you could also appreciate the freshness and texture. It was tossed with citrus juice and pistachios. But the most interesting component was the addition of cubed roasted pineapples that were browned, sweet, and acidic. They played beautifully with the fish and I almost could have eaten a plate of just those.

The restaurant might be subsconsciously trying to get you to order steaks (since the restaurant has Meat in the name, but it also doesn’t), yet after trying their seafood and sides, I assure you, you can resist and still have a quality meal. Price: $16

QUALITY EATS
19 Greenwich Avenue (between West 10th and Christopher Street),
West Village
(212) 337-9988)
qualityeats.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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