I moved to New York City in July of 2002, a time in which your best resource for finding information on things was often not this new thing called "the internet" but instead some version of words on paper. I was new to the city and highly interested in restaurants, and I often found myself frustrated when trying to sort through my options. Why?
Let's take New York Magazine for example. Back then, their restaurant listings were relegated to the back of the book, and space limitations basically allowed for about three sentences worth of copy to summarize each place. And you know what made me crazy? The fact that two of those sentences were almost always devoted to calling out the credentials of some chef that I'd never heard of. That information simply wasn't relevant or useful to me. I just wanted to know whether or not I should spend what little money I had on a meal there.
Ultimately, that frustration is what led us to start The (Immaculate) Infatuation, and here we are today. What's funny is that for all that has changed since 2002, when it comes to food media, very much is the same. Most of the people covering this stuff still focus on the "who" rather than the "why."
The "why" is what brings us to today's review. I have absolutely no idea who the chef of The Eddy is. None. I don't know where he or she trained, I don't know who his or her mentors are, and I know nothing of the philosophy that this person brings to the kitchen. What I do know is that I love this restaurant, and I think you will too. Here are the reasons.
The Eddy is a tiny little place, but it has a ton of New York charm. This is one of those restaurants that you sit in on a snowy Friday night and order a second bottle of wine because f*ck it you own this town and nobody is waking you up early tomorrow. It's also Perfect For any type of date, especially one with four people because you'll be guaranteed a bigger table and a bit more room to make charming hand gestures (never fails). The good news is that regardless of where you sit, the service will be excellent. For an East Village restaurant, this is a pretty upscale experience, and the staff is trained accordingly. The wine list is serious but affordable and accessible, and the details have been attended to - like nice glassware and a bottle that's served at the right temperature.
As for the food, the menu is your choice of a $65 tasting or a la carte. We recommend the order-at-will approach, but the tasting is a good move if you want to spend less time thinking (and more time hand gesturing). You will see some bar snacks listed, but make no mistake - this menu is advanced. You probably don't want to bring a picky friend, but you definitely do want to bring a friend that would be into eating some beef tendon puff or having some chicken skin mixed in with the burrata. Don't have any friends like that? You need to start running with a new crowd.
Maybe that's what the back pages of the magazine are for.
We love the mix of soft cheese, sour fruit, and meaty chicken skin. You will too.
How good is The Eddy? They made me like the taste of beef tendon. Or maybe they made beef tendon not taste like beef tendon. Either way, good job.
Lamb and mint are never going to be bad together. Whatever Panisse is, we like that too. A+.
All photos by Noah Devereaux.