Charlie Bird

On the corner of Sixth Avenue and Houston, right below the corner park, is a space that has gone through many different owners over the last decade.  Each attempting to create a restaurant with staying power.  When I drove by about a month ago I noticed a new spot, Charlie Bird.  As a kid I took guitar lessons at the Charlie Byrd studio and it wasn't the best experience so I ignored the restaurant figuring this one would not last either.  Wrong. 

I was hearing from all my foodie friends that I had to go to Charlie Bird.  It is the place of the summer.  I am hoping it will also be the place of the winter.  We went last night and am looking forward to returning.  My pictures are sub-par as I forgot my camera and my phone does not take great pics.  There is a great vibe in there.  Super simple decor matches the simple with a twist menu.  There are 5 sections of the menu (not including dessert).  Raw, Pasta, Small Plates, Vegetables and Large Plates.  The menu is just how I like to eat.  Ramped up simple.  You can share or you can go solo.  There isn't a thing on there that you would not be interested in eating a few times a week which is why Charlie Bird will succeed. 

We started with a bunch of small plates and pastas.  Farro Salad.  Farro mixed with pistachios, chopped mint, Parmigiano cheese and a splash of vinegar.  Delicious.

Grilled Octopus.  Perfectly charrged mixed with speckled brown beans and a hint of green garlic.  Not a garlic fan but did not even notice which is a sign of a good chef.

Knife & Fork Salad is market vegetables, spring greens and vinegar.  Totally seasonal.  Sliced tomatoes with slices of nectarines, basil and braised leeks.  I am sure this salad will just change as the summer continues.

Duck egg spaghetti.  Uni, spring onions and lemon.  Decadent and divine.  They split the pasta up to share which is always a bonus.

Then we went into our large plates and vegetables.  Dry aged ribeye topped with arugula and a salsa verde and shaved parmigiano.  Delicious.

Suckling piglet.  Pulled pork alongside an escarole kimchi and pepper mostarda.  Another winner.

Roasted chicken.  We split it.  Roasted chicken with a crispy skin over a crispy salad with a few croutons, beans and a creamy basil sauce.  Winner.

On the side we had light yet crispy squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta and anchovies.  The intensity of the anchovies changed the entire flavor.  Really good.

This is the one dish I did not love.  Grilled summer beans with a baby fish sauce.  Could have been much less heavy handed. 

Had to try dessert.  Lemon pistachio cake with vanilla gelato.  One of my favorite combos.

Strawberry rhubarb with a honey mascarpone and salted oats.

All and all a really good meal and a fun night.  Returning as soon as I return to the city.