Bubby’s and The Dutch

Food in NY, how can you go wrong?  Well if you don’t have a memorable experience then maybe you did go wrong.  We certainly had one at Bubby’s.  I ate there twice on this visit, mainly because for that second time it was getting late and I wanted to go somewhere where I knew where I was going.

Bubby’s is a quasi-southern fresh vegetables kind of place that wraps itself in vintage look and feel and specializes in desserts like grandma used to make.  They smoke up their own barbecue which is a section unto itself.  Then the other entrees are in the Fried Chicken, Meat Loaf type category with fried okra, black-eyed peas, and green beans as the vegetables.  However, unlike a typical New York pseudo-southern food establishment, they hit it pretty square up with all the good and none of the not good.  And unlike an authentic meat and two place down south, they branch out to include cauliflower (something called James Beard style), spinach (your choice – sautéed, steamed or creamed), and broccoli with crispy garlic chips – not to mention Matzoh ball soup which is undoubtedly the most out of place thing on the menu.  Instead of feeling like you are at a southern hole in the wall diner, you feel more like at grandma’s vintage pie baking shop with fresh vegetables and grandpa’s barbecue pit – and by the way grandma grows all organically now days.  Maybe you could say the decor is recently visited and remodeled by Martha Stewart – nah, it’s not that quaint, but you get the idea.  Downstairs on the way to the bathroom is an authentic picture booth vending machine and the bathroom is trimmed in fragrant wood for a unique experience.  Highly recommended.

The Dutch is right down the street from the Palmer Trading Company (see review – Lifestyle) and is purportedly co-owned by Robert De Niro.  We went there before going to a Broadway show.  It was a little loud, and quite crowded even prior to 7 pm (of course it was Friday night come to think of it), but we were seated right away without a reservation.  We were in a slight hurry so they bunked up our drinks order, though I got to experience white bourbon, and they forgot one of our appetizers.  However, I had scallops and they were terrific.  Rhonda had a pasta dish with which she was less enamored.  They had oysters from different areas with descriptions of the different subtleties of taste which I always find to be a bit pretentious.  What looked like the best appetizer as we viewed it coming out to other tables was the oyster sandwich appetizer.  Those were fun and much less pretentious.

One got the impression if you were a regular or you got a better seating arrangement (I heard there was a downstairs area) that the experience could be more sanguine.  Our experience was a little less than that, however this place is something more than just ordinary for sure.  Recommended.