Back Forty West

Back Forty West is the latest addition to the space that Peter Hoffman and his wife Susan Rosenfeld have occupied for years.  Savoy was there for at least 20 years.  I remember when Savoy opened.  I still remember who we had dinner with when we went there back in the early 90's.  Fast forward, our daughter Emily happens to be in the same class with Peter and Susans son.  I bring this up because the food and restaurant industry has changed so much since those days.

I remember telling Susan that we had gone to Savoy when it first opened and I still recall when New York Magazine reviewed them.  She told me an interesting story which is worth telling.  When Savoy was reviewed, the long tail of that article was a surge in business that went on for almost a year.  That enabled them to expand the restaurant upstairs and create a sold foundation for the restaurant.  Many years later, like the early 2000's, Savoy was written up again in New York Magazine, and the long tail of that was quite short, the surge lasted about a week.  It says something about how the industry has changed.  Reviews are being written every day, new places are being scouted out so the minute the doors open the surge is fast and furious before many move to the next latest and greatest.  I always think about that even particularly now when new restaurants open their doors and they don't even have a second to breath before they are quickly reviewed in the blogosphere.  Just an interesting observation.

So I was excited about going to Back Forty West.  The original Back Forty is in the east village.  This restaurant is an extension of the brand and Peter brought over Shanna Pacifico from the original spot to be the chef at Back Forty West.  I had lunch there the other day.  The food was quite good.  I've always loved the location particulary the wrap around windows in the front room.  

We began with a chick pea puree with small warm pieces of pita breads on the side and some marinated beets.  The bread was crusty and soft.  The dip was addictive.  

This was clever.  Grilled peas in a pod covered with smoked pimentos, sea salt, lemon juice and herbs. A new version of edamame.

Super garlicky grilled kale and escarole salad.  Too garlicky for me but really well done with the shaved parm on top.

Sauteed brocolli rabe as a side.

Buttermilk fried chicken on a waffle with maple syrup on the side.  Very Southern.  The fried chicken was juicy, crispy and so damn good.

For lighter fair was a smoked chicken breast sliced over greens, pumpkin seeds and a nice lemon dressing. 

This dessert was killer.  The rhubarb slices had been poached to the point that the pieces literally fell apart when you cut in to it.  Set in a puffed pastry and just the right amount of sweetness with a scoop of intense vanilla ice cream.

Nice job.  Might have to go back for dinner.