Food & DrinkFebruary 16, 2011 at 7:15 am

Review: The Corner

American cuisine done right.

Thomas Jansen | 34th Street

In the space formerly occupied by Apotheké on “restaurant row,” which houses big–wigs such as Lolita, Barbuzzo and El Vez, lies The Corner. The new American eatery has the potential to fit right in with its neighbors. The small, cozy space is intimate and modest, boasting low lighting and large mirrored walls leading all the way to the back seating area. And of course, the centerpiece of The Corner is a pared down list of comfort food.

We began with the masa tots ($10), small bites of jalapeno and onion, fried and served in a chipotle clam dip. The tots were presented impressively, stacked in a moat of brightly colored aioli. Though the tots were extremely spicy, the texture was perfect, with the creamy green inside matched by the lightly fried shell. This met perfectly with the creamy, dense dipping sauce. Along with the tots, we tried our hand at the octopus salad ($15). Each component was cooked well; the octopus has a nice consistency without being chewy or fishy, complimented by soft smooth potatoes and the nice crunch of raw red onions and scallions.

For dinner, we first tried the truffle–grilled cheese with braised short ribs and fries ($14). Because the cheese itself was truffled cows’ milk cheese, the taste and scent could have been overpowering to those on the fence of the truffle debate. The bread was extremely thick and the ratio of short ribs to cheese was high, so we found that the sandwich was best once we broke it open and ate it in halves in order to let the ingredients shine over the bread.

With the grilled cheese, we tried the maple–bourbon glazed spare ribs with pickled vegetables ($12). The ribs were a bit dry, but depending on personal preference, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The pickled vegetables also complimented the texture nicely. The ribs on the whole were simple, but delicious.

In addition to the sides, The Corner’s impressive drink menu is almost twice the size of the food. In this town if you’re going to serve alcohol it better be good, and The Corner’s bar doesn’t disappoint. A Monk’s Café Flemish sour red ale ($8) was a delightful dark brew with a sour kick. The Mary Kelly’s Last Breath ($11) was an incredibly strong blackberry cocktail. The bourbon and bitters balanced well, but the blackberry was still the last thing you taste, masking the offensive burn of a too strong drink.

For dessert we took a stab at the bread pudding ($9), but the dish was too chewy and sweet and matched with cherry compote, which were too tart. The ice cream, however, was excellent, milky and silky, which was unsurprising once our waitress informed us it was Capogiro gelato.

As a whole, The Corner was a sleek, yet cozy meal, punctuated by attentive service and an excellent soundtrack of Feist, Boize Noize and Phoenix. On the weekends, The Corner is open till 1 a.m. with a different menu to provide late night snacks and bar fare. Stop by if you’re interested in comfort food standbys with an adult twist.

THE CORNER
102 South 13th St.
(215) 735–7500
Don’t Miss: Octopus salad
Skip: Bread pudding
$$$

 
Post a Comment