food 07.13.04

UK New York

Weird: April Bloomfield, the young British chef cooking at the Spotted Pig, the popular gastropub in the Village, was planning to be a cop (she entered cooking school as a stopgap until she could apply to the force). Fiona Carmichael, the young British chef at UK New York, 22 Warren [Church/Bway] 212.513.0111, was a cop in South London. Well, the British police force's loss is our gain.

Reviews of British restaurants almost invariably come with some knee-slappers about over-boiled veggies and other English crimes culinaire (les rosbifs, as the French call the Brits). But that is to ignore the past 20 years of British cooking, in which new crops of first-rates chefs have reinvigorated and, in some cases, reinvented its native fare.

Ms. Carmichael does more of the former at UK New York, which has been open less than a month. Her food, though, is already fully confident. You will indeed find roast beef on the menu, (in the form of mini Yorkshire puddings, stuffed with a bite of the meat and a bit of horseradish), along with beef Wellington and toad in the hole (entrees average $21).

But these and other dishes benefit from Ms. Carmichael's light touch. Pea Souper, a warm pea soup served in a cocktail glass, seems perfectly suited to the season, thanks to the addition of fresh mint. Chicken soup gets a tune-up with spring vegetables and an Earl Grey infusion. The black pudding is a little grainy, but the scallops paired with it are flawless. So, too, the Barnsley chops: delicate lamb chops marinated in rosemary.

For dessert, the small menu includes trifle and spotted dick, (of course), though a English cheese plate is available, too. The tiny wine list needs some serious work. But service is attentive and UK New York has a comfortably contemporary design.

It may seem that much of this food will be more appetizing when the temperature drops. While that may be so, Ms. Carmichael's cooking is worth getting to know now, especially when you've had your fill of raw food and summer salads.
Lunch Deal
One of the city's underheralded chefs is Andrew Carmellini at Cafe Boulud, 20 E. 76th [5th/Mad] 212.772.2600. Treat yourself to his three-course lunch for $20.04, Tuesdays through Fridays, through the rest of the summer.

Offensive Quotation Marks
In Cindy Adams' column today in the Post, she writes the following:
The B.D. Wong and companion Richie Jackson split: It took 13 movers two days to empty their 26th Street loft. They share custody of "son" Jackson, 4.

If Messrs. Wong and Jackson legally adopted a child, it's their son (or their adopted son), not their "son". A heterosexual couple's adopted child wouldn't have had those quotation marks.

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