Kittichai has been open for over a year now. I finally got there. The restaurant is located at 60 Thompson, which is a small boutique hotel.
Fred had not returned to that location since 9/11 where he was sitting outside at the cafe with a CEO of one of his companies and heard a plane roar above their heads. They walked across the street and watched the plane veer around and hit the World Trade Tower. Conversation turned to that last night, obviously, and it is still such wound in all NYers. Of course we all discussed where we were, what happened, etc. As much as we’d like to put it behind us, it is always there.
The restaurant is quite beautiful. You walk into a small bar that is lit boldly yet intimately. The room is highlighted with gorgeous orchids. Small banquette seating on the left, maybe 4 tables and a small bar on the right. Small and simple.
After leaving the bar you enter the restaurant. Great lighting. More orchids. In the middle of the restaurant is a large square pool with floating candles – that we had fun pushing around – with single orchids hanging above the pool at different heights. Really well designed. The sound is good too. A good buzz but not good loud.
We started with a vodka. Small amounts with lots of ice. Oh well. We also split a bottle of a Sancerre with dinner.
Everyone ordered an appetizer and main course. We tasted each others. I started with the rock shrimp, tempura style, served with grilled eggplant and a spicy lime sauce. It was really yummy. Not really Thai but more high end imaginative Thai. Huge portions. Fred had the chocolate ribs which everyone says is a must try. They are good but not omigod. They are cooked perfectly though. Just enough to stick on the ribs and enough to pull the meat right off. Someone also got the banana blossom with artichokes and chili. It was very Thai. Lots of different flavors exploding in your mouth. Sweet, salty, spicy and crunchy.
I thought the appetizers were better than the main courses. I might just order a lot of appetizers next time. Fred had the monkfish curry which was just ok. I had the organic chicken with roasted cashews. It was really good. Served wok style. We had a pineapple fried rice and steam jasmine rice to accompany that. Someone had the tuna special and I thought the flavors didn’t work at all. The braised short ribs with the green curry were really good. Very flavorful.
For dessert we had the butternut squash cake. It sounded strange so we went with it. Actually delicious, rich and intense.
I really liked the space. The food was good. Not true Thai but fun. As always, the company outweighed everything else.