This week, Pete Wells reviewed High Street on Hudson, the newish West Village restaurant by chef Eli Kulp. The fact that I’m even calling it newish feels insane, because it only opened in December, but the rate of openings in the city is at a fever pitch, and newish is where High Street on Hudson falls. It’s an unassuming place, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, a concept becoming increasingly popular in California that Wells notes “New York could use more of.”
The majority of the restaurants that we do have that are open all day tend to be heavily focused on one meal (dinner, mostly) and the others are an afterthought. If you’ve ever been in a place like this, it’s easy to tell which meal you’re there for. But, Wells says, “Mr. Kulp and his business partner, Ellen Yin, understand that coffee and a great pastry can be just as meaningful before noon as an artfully plated duck breast is after dark.”
Before noon and after dark are important times to remember here. Lunch, Wells says, “is the weakest meal of the day. The sandwiches are the trouble.”
At breakfast, though, there are lots of options. The red-eye danish is a “flaky golden swirl with warm country ham over a bull’s-eye of bittersweet pastry cream made with espresso.” Or, you could go with a black bialy. “This oddball creature, dark with squid ink and strewn with sesame seeds, is soft and chewy, with pickled peppers and a mound of tart, uncreamy whitefish salad pressed into its divot.” His favorite of the breakfast sandwiches is the Bodega, “an incongruous name for a countrified affair of flattened sage sausage and Cheddar on a biscuit with a mule kick of black pepper.”
The breads are equally good during dinner service. Standouts from the dinner menu include tempura broccoli, Arctic char, and duck breast. And, he says, “Do not, for any reason short of an allergy, ignore the bucatini with squid and mussels.”
There were some issues with service. Wells said that the menu is mainly just one category, called “to share,” and “the kitchen decides what to send out when, and it doesn’t always make the right call.”
For breakfast or dinner, though he recommends it, and he gives it two stars.
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