Chefs from London and New York are constantly crossing paths somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. The latest of the London transplants to set up shop in NYC are chefs Jess Shadbolt and Clare de Boer. Along with their friend Annie Shi (a non-Brit who was working in the UK capital), these talented women have taken everything they learned at the delightful River Café and poured it into their own space: King.
The small space is lined with whitewashed walls and kitted out with elegantly tablecloth-covered tables, comfy wicker chairs and beautiful wait staff in linen shirts. You might think that you’re in Paris for a moment but the local customers from Soho and Tribeca will soon remind you that you’re not. A tiny open kitchen sits to one side of the dining room. The thought of more than one person navigating it makes me anxious but the small team of chefs work together silently and beautifully – and produce the most wonderful food.
The daily changing menu looks to Italy and southern France. The food isn’t daintily plated: it’s all about the flavor. This is food that’s made to be enjoyed. Start with the salty, addictive panisse (chickpea fries), eat as much pasta as you can squeeze into your tummy and choose from one of the beautifully chargrilled fish or meat options: you want a taste of that charcoal and a good soaking of the fragrant olive oil.
A lick of London, a hint of the Mediterranean and surrounded by happy New Yorkers, King will welcome everyone – and the food and service will make you fall in love with this big city.
King, 18 King Street, New York, NY 10014.