5 Ninth is certainly one of the restaurant in the Meat Packing area that will last. Zak Pelaccio, who has a few restaurants including Fatty Crab (a must try) is the guy behind 5 Ninth. Not only is the food innovative, but surroundings and vibe are really warm and intimate.
He took an old 3 story brownstone, renovated it keeping with the flavor of the old neighborhood and put in a restaurant. The old wood floors, the large windows makes you feel as if you have entered another world. I loved it the minute I walked in. The bar is on the first floor. Windows were open creating a breeze and you could feel the beginnings of spring. A huge floral design over the bar and upstairs keeping with the look of the place created just the right atmosphere.
We started with a few specials. Deep fried jalapenos stuffed with cheese and prosciutto. Sounded strange but we went with it. Wow. Really interesting and delicious. The combination of the heat with the cheese worked really well. We also had a mixed green salad with small slices of ricotta salata, pomegranate seeds, slices of orange with a light vinaigrette. It was simple and almost cleansing to the palette.
For the main course, three of us chose the same thing. Josh went with the pasta. Rigatoni with broccoli rabe, sausages and a light sauce. I can’t remember everything in the pasta but it was quite good. I didn’t expect pasta to be good there. Fred went with the striped bass special. But the best was the Loup de Mer. All the girls ordered that. It was delicious. A whole fish steamed and the fish literally falls off the bone and has so much flavor. It is steamed in a chili lime paste and served over a Japanese green vegetable which is like Bok Choy called Yu Choy. It is soft and buttered and served with along side ginger. The fish was really good.
I will definitely return probably for lunch first and sitting at the bar might be calling my name. A worthwhile trip.