I have to admit, parts of today’s post is going to make me sound like a hater. But, please note that I will also say some fairly positive things as well.
When one of your favorite restaurants makes some big changes to the menu, you can’t help but be rather hesitant about finding new dishes to replace the old ones you loved so dearly. That’s exactly what I faced when we went to Kingswood for the first time in a few months. I used to pick Kingswood for dinner when I wanted a fun, West Village restaurant scene full of chic fashionistas and hipsters; and we always knew what we were going to order — at least, we knew what our main dishes were going to be. We always ordered their burger and their truffle mac & cheese. But, when I got a glimpse of the new dinner menu, I became distraught and thought that I missed these plates on the menu. Where the hell did they go? When something like this happens I rapidly scan the menu again to make sure I didn’t make a mistake and over look it. There have been times where I didn’t even look at the menu and I told the server, “I know what I want” and then they are the ones that have to break the sad sad sad news to me that my favorite plate is gone. Gone forever.
With our favorite plates gone, I had to decide on what to order — or we had the option of going next door to get in line for a 3 hour wait (it was already 8 p.m. — that wasn’t going to happen).
Are you ready? Here we go… This is what was ordered:
The first order was of the mussels — a fabulous pick! You know the most important part of ordering mussels is how good the broth is — and the chef at Kingswood hit this one out of the park! Made up of shallots, white wine, parsley and chili, the broth was full of flavor and spice that add the perfect kick to this appetizer.
The next appetizer was mac & cheese. Note: this was NOT the original mac & cheese I was talking about. There was no truffle in this dish, and it was not prepared the same way the original Kingswood mac & cheese dish was.
I am a true believer that adding ketchup to food is out of this world disgusting. Eggs, mac & cheese, french fries… it’s so damn gross. The only time I put ketchup on something is when it tastes like crap. Ketchup is a tool to hide nauseating flavor, specifically for foods you don’t have a choice to eat. So, when I saw that this mac & cheese was served with a spicy tomato marmalade, I knew that it was just a fancier way of saying “this mac & cheese is going to suck, which is why we made a fancy homemade ketchup to go with it.” I know, that was kind of mean, but it’s true — this homemade ketchup was a replacement for the truffle and instead of just making normal mac and cheese it was deep fried and came out looking like a brick!
There are only a few times fried mac and cheese is okay — and this wasn’t one of them.
What’s up next? I ordered the Maplebrook Burrata thinking that it would be a winner. My fault, it was a major fail. I was expecting a nice portion of creamy, savory cheese seasoned up perfectly all the while swimming in a pool of flavorful olive juice. The olive juice was there, not exactly the olives I would have picked as the perfect pair, but they were there. But, I was shocked that the portion size was so small and the consistency and taste was more like an average mozzarella. (I’m frowning behind my computer as I type this.)
Time to throw in some positivity…
I absolutely loved the Mushroom Risotto appetizer — made with yellowfoot chanterelle mushrooms, parmesan and chives, this plate was delish! All of us at the table knew that this might be the best appetizer we would come across, so naturally our forks entered a war…
I would order this dish again in a heart beat and it would be silly for them to take it off of the menu!
I did notice that their signature fries were still on the menu, so naturally we ordered them. I used to have these fries on the side of their fabulous burger that is now extinct.
They are super salty, perfectly cooked with enough crisp but still very potato-ey, and they are served with the best truffle dipping sauce. My guess is it’s a mayo sauce — and you can’t go wrong with dipping fries in mayo!
Don’t they look fabulous!?
Next up was the broccoli rabe topped with homemade ricotta cheese and drizzled with honey. Overall the plate wasn’t lacking flavor but it was very difficult to chew. I had one bite of this plate and decided to pass because it was too much work to eat.
For our main plates we ordered the pancetta wrapped chicken breast truffle chicken nuggets, cauliflower puree and baby carrots. You all know I don’t eat pork, but I decided to eat it on this specific evening because it was hard not to. This plate was very good but the size almost categorized it as a large appetizer to me. We also ordered the day boat scallops which were also very tasty.
Overall, the new Kingswood wasn’t horrible… But the reasoning to change the menu to the extent that they did didn’t make sense. Why take off your best selling dishes? Keep them on there and change the rest of the menu!
I did ask a manager about the changes and she said that they are now changing the menu at least twice a week now. Their reasoning behind all of this? I was told that they needed to keep up and evolve to keep people coming back. I find it odd that they feel this way because the restaurant used to be packed without a place to stand near the bar — and on this specific Friday evening there was plenty of space to stand, it felt rather empty in the bar area actually. So, I wonder how business is really doing if that’s the case?