When there are voids, people fill them. In NYC, there is no lack of restaurants but there are always new ones opening. A few have been highlighted this year as "really good". One of those restaurants is Cookshop.
The location is perfect if you happen to be in the ever expanding gallery area of Chelsea. There is certainly a void of restaurants over there. The meat market, which is becoming a huge restaurant area, is a tad farther than you want to go but I see the future of 10th Avenue with many restaurant from 14th up to 23rd.
Cookshop is owned by the same people that own Five Points. Five Points has been open for quite awhile so I guess it was time for the owners to expand on their success. I have only eaten at Five Points once and I didn’t think it was so great. Supposedly they have a good brunch but I generally don’t do brunch anywhere except my kitchen.
Perhaps I am spoiled rotten when it comes to food. Perhaps my expectations are too high. Perhaps I am more honest about the food than the whole experience but I did not find Cookshop that good. Actually, it was very similar to Five Points. Just average.
The restaurant is really good looking. Big glass windows taking over the entire corner of 20th and 10th. Big bar in the front room. The restaurant is shaped like an L. In the back corner is the kitchen which is totally open for the public eye. Really beautiful. Acoustically, a nightmare. The noise is so loud in there you can barely here your dinner partners or for that matter here the waitress give you the specials.
I will say one thing, they pour a serious drink. There are noshes you can get for the table to begin. We passed and just ordered dinner. I had the escarole salad which was there take on a Caesar. Escarole, radicchio, warm anchovy dressing, shaved Parmesan and toasted bread crumbs. It was just OK. Boring. Fred had the razor clams roasted. Again, nothing wow. The waitress said the squid was full of garlic, so I passed on that one.
For dinner, they are "known" for the short ribs. Short ribs braised with a spicy cinnamon rub. Fred ordered them. They were good but not a taste that was so incredible. They were served with small fried onion rings which were good to sop up the sauce. I had the special which was skate that was served with raisins, brown butter sage sauce and pine nuts. The skate was dry, the sauce wasn’t that flavorful. I ate half of it.
We tried one dessert. Chocolate ice cream sandwich basically. Again, just OK.
When we got into the cab to go home, Fred said immediately, the food wasn’t so great. I totally agree. We had a great time with our friends, but Cookshop is not a rush back. Actually, I am not sure I will ever go back. Oh well. That particular area of town does have a void and I hope someone fills it with something really good.