I first discovered ABC Kitchen because it's located in ABC Carpet & Home, the gorgeous housewares store where I "needed" to shop on a recent visit to New York. I hadn't read any reviews of the restaurant, wasn't familiar with its reputation—and I loved it. When the food started coming out I was in heaven. It was beautiful, spare, and delicious. In addition to whole wheat-crust pizzas and entrees, there were all kinds of interesting small plates with an emphasis on fruit and vegetables (which is how I love to eat): roasted beets with housemade yogurt; crab toast with lemon aioli; roasted carrot salad with avocado and cumin. What also struck me was how healthy the food was—a kind of secret perk. People say they want a healthy restaurant, but who wants to go to one that advertises itself that way? Somebody always wants a burger. (And, yes, ABC Kitchen has a fantastic one, too.) Before leaving, we stopped by the open kitchen to thank Dan Kluger, the talented and generous chef. What an absolute doll of a guy! —Jody Adams, Rialto, Cambridge, Massachusetts
35 E. 18th St.
New York, NY 10003