Jean-Georges Vongerichten, you magnificent bastard. Dan Kluger and Ian Coogan, you conniving conspirators. The flavors coming out of the kitchen at ABC Cocina are astonishing. If you thought fusion was a muddled mess of techniques and traditions, this restaurant will change your mind.
We started with a couple of cocktails — a beautiful caipirinha and gin with coconut water, no photos — and these spicy little fried chickpeas.
Then the hits just started coming.
Spicy! The textures were so playful: firm, fresh fish; crunchy rice; leafy microgreens and herbs. Love.
Hands down the winner of the night. Bananas?! Why yes! With spicy shrimp and crunchy almonds, yes! It’s like the way you’d use plantains in a Carribean dish. And that sauce! Like a cross between a red curry and hot sauce. Insane.
All of the above: gooey, spicy. But also crunchy and addictive.
Very spring pea-y. The pastry was flaky and light.
Wood-grilled asparagus with pickled spring onions and marcona almonds:
Beautiful. Just gorgeous. Tender asparagus, kissed by wood.
Just perfect. Flaky, crunchy fish; bright cabbage; creamy mayo. Yum.
Maitake mushrooms with goat cheese and Fresno pepper vinaigrette:
So meaty and rich. A wonderful end to the meal.
The 411 on ABC Cocina: Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s newest presents seasonal, local ingredients with a Latin twist in a sleek, cool room at ABC Kitchen & Home. The chefs Dan Kluger and Ian Coogan are masterful. 38 East 19th St., New York, NY 10003. 212-677-2233, www.jean-georges.com.