All New Yorkers want to know the latest hot spot, and there’s no neighborhood more scene-y than that of the Lower East Side. That’s why The Orchard House blends in so well in the dynamic LES with their extensive menu of delicious eats, colorful decor, and eclectic clientele.
We were stunned by the vibrant aesthetic of the restaurant, brought to us by owners Teddy Kambouris and Kevin Jackasal who enlisted designs by Steve Lewis of Lewis & Dizon Designs. Even more stunning was the delicious menu of food, where Chef Matthew Redington, veteran sous chef of Jean-Georges, came aboard to consult on putting together the New American menu, putting a contemporary twist on old favorites.
What’s a dinner without kicking it off with some cocktails? Bartender Jack Makoska whips up a delicious cocktail menu, including the irresistible Rum Punch with two types of rum, vodka, cranberry syrup, and a whole mess of citrus and tropical fruits. For a take on the traditional margarita, the Tequila Garden has a twinge of pineapple. Or try their signature Orchard Fizz with sparkling wine, Absolut apple, cranberry and citrus. For beer lovers, they also have a rotating selection of craft brews on tap, as well as wine recommendations to go with your dishes.
One of the many highlights are the appetizers. Most of the dishes are portioned out and meant to be shared, but believe us when we say that you won’t want to. We checked out the warm spinach dip melted with Parmesan cheese over grilled pita bread. For pickle lovers, a house favorite is the fried pickles that come as chips with a side of horseradish and whipped sheep’s milk ricotta. For those who want a healthier option but are sick of boring salads, go for the frisee avocado salad topped with red grapefruit, hearts of palm, and spiced carrot dressing.
And that’s just the start of the starters. Try the novel Devils on Horseback, the plump blue-cheese stuffed dates soaked in port wine, served in a sweetly caramelized wrap of pan-seared bacon. You’ll still have to head a little further south to find some epic crab cakes, but their Jumbo Lump crab cakes were topped with a zingy balsamic glaze and aioli sauce. Certainly can’t go wrong with lamb sliders, and these come with a tomato jam with an avocado, basil and scallion mayo.
The most intriguing of the small plates was the mac & cheese pancake. Taking note of the salty and sweet trend, what is otherwise a normal mac & cheese bite comes with a side of Vermont maple syrup. My first few bites left me utterly confused – but after getting over the initial shock, you can help but devour the rest instantaneously.
I was excited about the prospect of the Ricotta Gnocchi. It had slight room for improvement, but the wild mushrooms and brussel sprouts in an oregano cream sauce and black truffle oil is a great place to start.
On the other hand: the Half Chicken. Again, at first we scoffed – pfffft, you can find chicken in any restaurant! We were proved wrong. Doused in a tarragon-whiskey sauce with chanterelles and grapes, coupled with a side of buttermilk crushed potatoes, this was not a dish to be messed with.
Though stuffed beyond comprehension, we tried the apple bread pudding for dessert with a side of cinnamon ice cream. Next time we come back, we’re saving room for the decadent Chocolate Pôt de Crème and the Sweet Spaghetti Squash Tart.
Not only can you enjoy The Orchard House for dinner, but they also have a weekday prix fixe Sandwich Lunch Box, happy hour specials (Monday through Friday from 4-7:30pm), and you bet your ass that we’ll be back for the brunch prix fixe, a great deal for under $20 which offers your brunch entree with three drinks of your choice! And stay tuned for Orchard To Go, available soon. So make some friends in the neighborhood soon, those lucky bastards.
The Orchard House
146 Orchard Street
Lower East Side
New York, NY 10002
Tuesday & Wednesday 5:30pm–10:30pm
Thursday through Saturday 5:30pm–11:30pm
Monday through Friday 11:30am–3:00pm
Sunday 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Monday through Friday 4:00pm–7:30pm (bar only)
Fridays & Saturdays 11:30pm–3:00am