The Dutch: Soho

In 2011, famed chef and restaurateur Andrew Carmellini opened his vibrant SoHo eatery, The Dutch. Carmellini, a recipient of two James Beard Awards and a Michelin Star, is known for his culinary wizardry at the heralded Italian hot spot Locanda Verde in TriBeCa as well as the high-end French eatery Café Boulud, among others. At The Dutch, Carmellini has aimed to hit and hold an entirely different note from his previous ventures. While many successful chefs attempt to replicate prior successes, or at the very least create highly derivative versions of them, Carmellini likes to create something fresh with each new endeavor.

The Dutch specializes in American comfort food and is beloved by regulars for its unusually refined takes on classic American fare. Centrally located in SoHo, The Dutch is very much a reflection of the neighborhood it calls home, as it’s consistently lively and bustling but also feels intimate. And while the food is, in its own way, sophisticated and beautifully prepared, the atmosphere at The Dutch is never stuffy. With a bar that clearly reflects the renewed interest in cocktail culture and is stocked with 27 different brands of bourbon and a smorgasbord of flavored bitters, the drinks at The Dutch are generally as well-crafted as the food.

The Dutch is also a raw bar that features an array of fresh oysters from various regions along the Eastern Seaboard. Their Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Crab Louie – one of the best shrimp cocktails in Manhattan – features a savory and piquant dipping sauce that complements the subtle flavor of the fresh shrimp. Carmellini’s take on fried green tomatoes also hits the mark, and the Double Cheddar Burger is well regarded for good reason; it’s flavorful and well balanced without overloading the palate. But the true star of the menu at The Dutch is their famous Hot Fried Chicken, which has developed something of a cult following in the neighborhood. Served in a classic format with biscuits and slaw, the Hot Fried Chicken is lightly breaded and has the often-elusive perfect ratio of juiciness to crunch. Add a little hot sauce if you prefer a bit of kick. For dessert, the Coconut Cream Pie and the Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp are both sweet and flavorful good choices, but be sure to ask about other pie options as they are made daily and shouldn’t be missed.

There is nothing pretentious about The Dutch, which has quickly become a New York fixture. Both locals and those who venture here from other neighborhoods appreciate that, like SoHo itself, The Dutch is clearly special and high-end, yet unassuming and welcoming.

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