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. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Ryan Drew

    God bless restaurants for having the fortitude to open in the face of quick criticism and short diner/industry attention spans.After a bad meal (food, service related, etc.) I’ll 100% give a place the benefit of the doubt (bad night, cranky staff) and either write the place off, or try again at a later date. The last thing I’d do is post a scathing review. Knee jerk reactions drive away customers, and an attention grab on the part of the reviewer can affect the livelihood of the restaurant and its employees. Reviewers need to practice the restraint of food critics, who are critical after multiple visits and experiencing repeated shortcomings.So a meal sucked, I’ll get over it. Lesson learned. To immediately trash a place (publicly) is wrong.

  2. kirklove

    Thought Savoy was just average. Though love the space. Been to BFW a few times since it’s around the corner from work. Again, sadly, just average. Was hoping for more. Check out Jack’s Wife Frida nearby on Lafayette. Great little lunch spot.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I need to get to Jack’s Wife Frida.

      1. kirklove

        Oh cool, you’ve been. Dig that joint. Best little burger around.

        1. Gotham Gal

          haven’t been. need to go.

          1. kirklove

            Ha, I’m an idiot. Read that as I need to get back… Duh.

  3. andyidsinga

    oh my gawd that dessert! love rhubarb – its been too long 🙂

  4. Angela Moulton

    I really enjoy your restaurant posts.  I saw the musical Hairspray today.  In the musical, the dad goes out and gets fried chicken and waffles.  I’d never heard of that til today…  and a couple hours later saw same thing here on your post.  I felt a big smile spread across my face.Thank you for sharing!

    1. Gotham Gal

      it is funny how that happens. you see something for the first time and then it is everywhere. lol.

  5. William Mougayar

    I had a chuckle when I realized that was lunch. 

  6. rafisyed

    i think you’d like dinner here and at jack’s wife freda. the bfw dinner menu is similar to lunch with some larger plates as additions, including an amazing montauk squid