Abe & Arthur’s (Meatpacking District)

So I met up with my companion last night at this relatively new outpost in MPD and wasn’t really sure what to expect.  It is the MPD afterall and there was a cougar in a waaaaay too tight strapless dress w/ cork-soled FMH’s perched at the front bar deciding whether to her stick claws in the middle-aged suit or his much younger model sidekick. *sigh* Yes, alas, this uber-trendy outpost has snuggly fit itself well into the former shoes of the lounge giant, Lotus.  Still cavernous, but now decorated in a masculine-chic decor.  The main bar at the entrance, along with the bar upstairs (where we ate) are in a nutshell what this oxymoron of a venue is all about…Contemporary Vintage??  The sturdy wooden bars are topped with varnished zinc and outfitted with nice antique barstools.  As you walk around you notice the walls are a smoky glass which lead you into the significantly brighter, main dining room with the unremarkable linen-covered pendants hanging and atiqued mirrors.  Despite the ostentatious ambience, Chef Becker seems determined to prove his food cred (all 15 years worth of it) while having to serve bar food and nouveu twists on steakhouse classics. 


Onto the important part of this post….the food!  Let me start off by issuing a disclaimer on these particular photos…they ain’t mine!  I was enjoying my conversation so much, that I forgot to take pictures!  *sigh*  Thank goodness for the venue’s website, because they had pictures 🙂  So we opted to go the app-route since we were not Angus-devouring hungry.  The three dishes we ordered were their Spicy tuna tacos, blue crab cakes and sweet potato fries.  The tuna tacos arrived with tuna tartare heaped in mound with the avocado flanked on the side with a dollop of their chili aioli.  The dish arrived with four MINI-tacos….if they were pounded flat they would be a little larger than silver dollars.  Yes, we definitely knew we were in the model-infested waters of the MPD with the portion of this dish.  The tuna was extremely fresh, but underwhelming due to the complete lack of seasoning.  They took a tuna steak, diced it and plated it.  They relied on the dollop of aioli and the half-dozen or so soy drops on the plate to provide the much-needed flavor.  Meh.  C+/B- only because of the tuna’s freshness.


Saving the best for last, the blue-crab cakes.  So our cakes looked a little different than this picture.  When we ordered the crab cakes, I didn’t realize the dish involved a bed of shredded fruit (as opposed to the corn in the pic), which is a good thing, because I would have been weary that the sweetness would have overpowered and masked the quality of “good” blue crab meat.  The fruit accessory was perfect because it was not sweet at all and paired impeccably with the slightly over-seasoned crab cake bite.  The flavor of the cilantro-coconut sauce was ok, however I could take it or leave it only because I think the dish stood pefectly without it.  I’d give this one a B+.

I can’t really rate this place until I’ve had a proper meal here, but I would definitely come back for the stiff drinks and the entertainment value the characters bring to this venue.



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