Saturday, December 14, 2013

NYC Part 1: Kingside

OK, so, as I begin this post I'm already missing NYC and I haven't officially left yet.  I'm sitting in the LaGuardia airport trying to kill 3.5 hours while waiting on our flight back to Savannah (Friday night.) But, by the time you read this post I will be back home. Sigh, sigh. Oh well.  It was good while it lasted and I have these great memories!  We were in the city this time for 4 days and I have some cool food experiences to share with you.  This post is the first of my NYC Food Trilogy!

I'll start off with our first meal in the Big Apple--lunch at Kingside Restaurant, near Central Park in the Viceroy Hotel on iconic West 57th Street.  Kingside is Chef Marc Murphy's latest restaurant.  If you don't know Marc, he is not only an outstanding chef, he is also a regular judge on the popular Food Network show Chopped (one of my faves!) and owner of 4 other restaurants around NYC (I'll post links to the others below.)  I got the pleasure of meeting Marc in person the day we visited.  I know!  A big shout-out to my good friend, Kevin, who knows Marc well and helped make my dream of meeting him a reality.  THANKS, KEV!!!  Marc was kind enough to take time from the kitchen and come out to meet us the day we visited.  He was so down-to-earth and even let me have my picture taken with him!  THANKS, MARC!!!

Such a cool guy! :)
Now, on to the food.  Those who know me well, know that I take my food very seriously.  So when I tell you that this meal was one of the best I have ever eaten in my life--you know that is quite a statement.  No kidding, the entire experience at Kingside was exceptional and everything I tasted was genuinely delicious--from beginning to end!

How do you know you are in NYC and not at the local meat and three?
Marc had me at hello when I opened the menu and saw cold pressed juices listed as a beverage option.
What?  YES!
Y'all know how much I love my fresh juice!  Round one...check!

On to the entree.  We left for the airport at 4:30 a.m. Friday morning and I had only eaten a small snack on the plane prior to lunch, so I was ready for something hearty.  I had read rave reviews about the Kingside Burger, so I decided to try it myself.  Now I understand why all of the critics swoon over it. The burger was topped with giradiniera relish (Italian pickled vegetables), a slice of soppressata (dry Italian salami), and aged white cheddar. Absolutely divine! The burger was tender and juicy and the relish gave the perfect acidic balance to cut the richness of the beef. So delicious!

...Not to mention that it was cooked perfectly... to a pink medium. :)

We also ordered two sides.  The first dish was actually part of the vegetarian small plates menu, but something we were dying to try.  It was a grilled kale salad.  The salad consisted of kale, grilled to perfection; fresh, creamy feta cheese and green olives.  It was garnished with toasted almonds and finished with a lemon vinaigrette.  My kind of salad!

The other side was good old fashioned salt and pepper french fries.  You gotta have fries with a burger, right?  I love fries, but I only like them if they are super crispy and salty.  These fries passed the test with flying colors! Miniature Foodie approved. :D

Marc came out after we finished our entrees for our meet and greet, then we ordered dessert.  I love to have coffee with dessert, so I ordered a cappuccino and I was not disappointed--look what was delivered to the table!  What a cute little teddy bear design! Gah!  It tasted as good as it looks!

The cappuccino also came with a petite chocolate square complete with a custom Kingside wrapper. Nice touch, Marc!

What did we get for dessert, you ask?  Well, we ordered the warm chocolate cake, which had a molten center and was served with toasted coconut ice cream.  The cake was super moist and lucious.  And the surprise for me was the toasted coconut ice cream.  It was so, so, so good!  Just ask my mom, I am not typically an ice cream fan, but this frozen treat was tops!  Mmmm!

Weeee! Lava! :D

My mom and my aunt ordered the caramel pudding. It looked beautiful in the traditional sundae glass and had crumbled pretzel layers between layers of the pudding.  Finally, it was topped with bourbon whipped cream. Oh yeah!  Sweet, creamy and salty mixed.  Comfort on a spoon. What's not to love?

And a surprise from Marc--two extra desserts on the house.
Well, we couldn't hurt his feelings, so of course we had to try them too!

The first was a classic ice cream sundae.  It had brandied cherries, hot fudge and miniature meringue bites on top of the ice cream for a little crunch.  The perfect combination of flavors!

The final dessert was a pistachio tiramisu in a cute little old fashioned hinged lid jar.  This was not your everyday tiramisu--trust me!  It was light and airy, but full of flavor.  The fresh pistachio nuts on top were the perfect garnish. How will I ever eat another "regular" tiramisu again?

If you are in NYC anytime soon and you are looking for a cool new restaurant with amazing food, you should definitely dine at Kingside.  Critics call it "no frills New American cuisine."  It's that and so much more!  It's not just a's an experience.  Check it out if you get a chance!

*Be sure to click on the link below and check out the entire menu.

Finally, be on the lookout for my next post featuring Mario Batali's Michelin Star restaurant Del Posto!

About Marc:

Follow Marc on Facebook here:

Marc Murphy's website:

Link to all 5 of Marc's restaurants:

Kingside Facebook page:

Kingside website with menu:

Thanks to Marc also for supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at the Grand Chef's Gala in NY recently where our friend, Kevin Dwyer, was the guest of honor: