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7.9
NYC

Poulette

"That cute rotisserie chicken place in Hell's Kitchen" is a phrase we never planned on thinking, saying, or writing. Despite being fully in love with pre-made poultry, rotisserie chicken still makes us think of sad single dudes eating in their underwear. And for the most part, Hell's Kitchen makes us think of the same thing. There's something perfect about a rotisserie bird, it's just not one of the classier, cuter meals around. Unless you're part of a small subset of Craigslist creeps out there, it's rare for a nice dinner to involve ripping bones apart with your hands and sucking salty skin-grease off your fingers one by one.

But Poulette kinda sorta almost changes that.

It's not that Poulette has reinvented the rotisserie chicken. In fact, the meal is pretty much exactly what you've come to expect from your heat lamp'd grocery display. But somewhere between the veggie sides, the dining area, and overall presentation (bye-bye chicken in a bag, helloooo chicken in a box), Poulette successfully scales up the entire rotisserie experience.

The space is nice, with a few countertops and stools. Nothing shmance, but it's clean, which sets it apart from most places on Ninth Avenue. And most importantly, it's a step above your couch and Boston Market, which is where a lot of rotisserie meals are consumed. This added touch of class is a welcome change - but it comes at a price. While Whole Foods and Fairway sell a full bird for around $8-10, Poulette asks $17.75 for its version. It markets each chicken as a plump and organic 3-pounder, but even still, that's steep for what is supposed to be a cheap option. Regardless, there are deals to be had and our go-to is the $17 half bird meal, which comes with your choice of two sides, almost all of which are excellent. Going solo on an entire chicken is a bit much, anyway, and no date should witness that kind of carnivorous destruction. Unless, again, well...Craigslist.

Food Rundown

Rotisserie Chicken
Moist, meaty, flavorful skin. Too much description would take away from the simplicity that is the rotisserie chicken, and Poulette’s is just that. Simple. Tasty. (Hormone-Free-Organic-Free-Range) Bird.

Poulette Sandwich
If you insist on going rogue on your paleo diet and eating some bread, go with the Poulette Sandwich, which is just the same rotisserie meat topped with greens, tomatoes, and an herb aioli mayo.

Wings
Not the meatiest wings we've ever had, but they're fried up perfectly and the different flavors are all worth a spin. Buffalo is buffalo, and the sesame glazed is definitely tasty, but the sauce-less salt and pepper might be our favorite. Little baby fried chicken pieces, crisped up to perfection. The only thing to keep in mind is that the sauced wings can get soggy, so if you order 12 or 24, make sure you plan on taking them all down then and there. They won't be nearly as good in half an hour.

Sides
Do not sleep on the sides out here. You'll probably get a couple with your order, but if not, make sure you order at least one. The brussels sprouts are sliced up and come lightly coated in a mustard-tarragon vinaigrette. Good sprouts, good kick on the sauce, the best of the bunch for our money. After that, we like the ratatouille, so long as it's still hot. (Once it dips below room temperature it pretty much turns into mush.) The fries are good too - nice and crispy every time up. Even the kale and quinoa salad, which comes with some tomatoes and the same sauce as the sprouts, was good. It falls to the bottom of our rankings only because it's served cold and therefore a bit of a downer to pair with your steaming hot chicken.

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