This restaurant has closed. 🙁
After a winner of a dinner a few weeks back at Copper Kettle Kitchen, I want to throw something out there….(I’ve read this before and didn’t pay too much attention, but I’m paying attention now.) I think the classic Upper East Side could be the next “it” Manhattan neighborhood.
The truth is –– the food and nightlife scene is booming, and the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway should complete the end of 2016. (I think it might be running on schedule.) That being said, I suspect this section of Manhattan might become one of the best places to live in New York City. And that means a lot coming from a devout West Sider.
Copper Kettle Kitchen is the brainchild of chef Joseph D’Angelo, who owned Spigolo (loved this restaurant by the way, as I had one of my first meals here when I moved to NYC in 2007), and a welcome departure from other eateries popping up on the Upper East Side. In fact, if someone had blindfolded me and dropped me inside the restaurant’s dining room, I would’ve sworn I was in the East Village. The cozy space boasts a large bar, dark wood, brick walls, and dim lighting.
The chef put together a tasting menu for Mike and me, and every single plate was spot on. But first, every great meal starts with a cocktail. I opted for the Old Tom Collins Collins and Mike stuck with his usual straightforward sip – bourbon.
The menu is divided into cleverly named sections: For the Table, Comforts, Features for Two, Greens and Grains, Daily Presses, The Ends. I can definitely see a comfort food theme here, but the ingredients are impeccably fresh, and many from local farms.
Food began appearing in no time, which was awesome since I was starving. I had been saving up all day so I could eat to my heart’s content!
The first dish to land on our table for two was the Octopus (giant corona beans, baby arugula, radicchio, preserved lemon). If you’ve never tried octopus, I recommend waiting and trying it at Copper Kettle. Juicy, tender, flavorful, and downright delicious… I’ve had some tasty octopus before, but I think this version takes first prize.
I grew up eating this Polish dish (I’m a Polish gal, after all), and found the Pierogies (potato, NY cheddar, onions) lighter than most, yet still packed with flavor. And oh, did I mention the Whipped Ricotta (scallions, truffle oil, homemade ciabatta)? Copper Kettle does a smooth, creamy spread made from fine ricotta cheese. Yum! I think I was guilty of double dipping.
We finished off our meal with the Chocolate Brownie (homemade marshmallow, peanut butter) and the Bread Pudding. Both desserts were good, but in all honesty, when I return, I would rather spend my calories on some more of the savory dishes on the menu such as Shrimp-n-Grits (Blooming Hill Farms creamy grits, snap peas, sweet red onions) and the Cheddar Biscuits (homemade biscuit, cheddar, bacon-maple butter).
We sampled several red wines with dinner including a Malbec, Pinot Noir, and Barber d’Alba. The wine menu was limited, but the cocktail selections make up for the variety of vino. Next visit I’d love to try the Gotham is Burning Manhattan or the Three to Get Ready Vodka Soda. For brew lovers, Copper Kettle offers a half dozen or so craft beers, some of which are local.
Portions are small and meant to be shared, so if you’re looking for a big plate to call your own, Copper Kettle Kitchen probably isn’t the right spot for you. Personally, I prefer to taste multiple dishes, so this restaurant is right up my alley.
And service? It was stellar. Thanks to Arbor for a wonderful first experience at this restaurant.
The Upper East Side and its food scene have come a long way since 2007-2008 when I lived in the neighborhood. If real estate is on your brain, you need to make a move now. Otherwise, you’ll probably be priced out of the UES (specifically east of Third Avenue) as downtown’s vibe and prices migrate uptown. If food is on your brain, I recommend taking your appetite to 77th and Second ASAP.
Copper Kettle Kitchen
1471 2nd Ave
New York, NY