Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen is a great example of why I love the Upper West Side so freaking much. Each location that I go to in this area is moderate in size, but packs a ton of punch and flavor in each of its dish to make you feel like you are getting a standing ovation from your taste buds in each bite you try. This past Saturday night, I took a friend to Kirsh to see what all the fuss is about and was quite pleased with the end results.
Kirsh has many amenities on its side, one especially being where it is located. Only a block away from the 86th Street train stop on the one train, this Amsterdam Avenue hotspot has an amazing duality in it for being a delicious bakery on one side, and a hearty kitchen on the other.
If you are looking for some wonderful intimacy and peacefulness in a city that is anything but, this place would be a great fit for said location. As mentioned before, Kirsh is compact in its size, yet still spacious given how the seating is arranged. We had a beautiful window seat which overlooked the gorgeous streets of Manhattan, as places like this will be at the epicenter of happy and hungry with the warmer weather finally coming in.
What I love about Kirsh is that the menu isn’t like a Cheesecake Factory type where you feel like you are reading a book instead of figuring out what exactly to eat. It is one page- appetizers, salads and mains, and that’s it. That works well for me and semi-eliminates the picky eater issue as it is pretty much honed down to the best of the best in American cooking.
Here is what I recommend you try the next time you are at Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen. For starters, their Bread Basket and Butter may seem generic as every restaurant has it, yet their variety of breads are quite fascinating and taste wonderfully. If you are a soup kind of guy, in particular ones that are potato-heavy, their Vichyssoise Soup with leeks, cream and chestnuts will make you quite happy. Not overtly thick but gets to the point of what this soup is all about.
I also really enjoyed their Sauteed Wild Shrimp & Artichokes with garlic confit and pickled lemons. Such a flavorful profile with the garlic and lemons in the perfectly cooked shrimp and artichokes that is definitely a foodie friendly kind of dish. Also, this might be a bit basic, however they do a bang up job on their Caesar Salad if you are jonesing for something like that.
Their mains are a healthy mix of surf and turf, with some pasta splashed in there for your enjoyment. We enjoyed their Roasted Salmon with mustard, breadcrumbs and a lentil ragout. The Salmon had a great taste to it, and yet another interesting flavor combination with the mustard and lentils lent itself to a fabulous dish. Overall, Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen did a fantastic job on everything from execution to flavor profiles and everything in between! Definitely a place you should check out.
For more information on Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen, check out their official site.