A.G. Kitchen * 269 Columbus Ave. New York, NY 10023 * $$
It isn’t too often when you have a day filled to the brim with pure joy. In fact, it isn’t too often that we are able to tap into ourselves and feel pure joy in the midst of our daily routines. This was what it felt like on the day that I tried out the menu at A.G. Kitchen.
I guess it helps when you’re having a delicious meal in a gorgeous restaurant while catching up with one of your best friends, but by the end of our appetizers we were already agreeing that A.G. Kitchen would certainly become a go-to spot for our friend group. The atmosphere of the dining area is airy, full of natural light and enclosed by windows. Pops of bright orange, green and blue could be found along the bookshelf and on the water glasses on each table, matching the uniforms of the waiters, waitresses and chefs. Right outside you can see Columbus Ave. a busy street that’s bordered by bright buildings (like the purple and yellow structures you can see below,) high-end stores and a two avenue walk from Central Park. It made me so nostalgic for Notting Hill and Kensington, London because the similarities in the atmosphere were most certainly there, though the accents weren’t.
The first things on the menu that caught my eye were the exotic guacamole flavors. Instead of just the plain ol’ avocado (which is always delicious on its own, anyway) they also had options like Papaya and Mint and Pomegranate and Pineapple. The menu offers a guacamole trio – which I immediately ordered and began to devour.
They made it right in front of our table on an adorable guacamole cart, which I loved especially because then I could see exactly what ingredients were going into it! I ordered it Mild (I still can’t do spicy guys!) but since my +1, Gab is a spice lover, she ordered jalapeños on the side… the waiters were so accommodating to each of our tastes.
It became instantly clear upon first bite that A.G. Kitchen only used fresh and locally grown produce in their dishes. Everything tasted SO fresh it totally elevated the flavor to another level. This could be tasted in everything that I tried, even the fruit-infused cocktails – Strawberry Fields and Simple Pleasures.
It is so rare for me to eat out and love absolutely everything that I taste. I just went to one of the “top” restaurants of NYC Restaurant Week and could barely finish my entree to the point where I ended up ordering a side and ate that as my main meal instead. I wouldn’t say that I’m a picky eater, but I do appreciate good and creative flavor in the dishes that I consume. This is the way that I cook for myself and the people that I love and what I’ve come to expect when eating out with friends, family or on dates with Ben.
This is most certainly one of the main reasons why I fell in love with A.G. Kitchen. Their dishes were each meticulously crafted, plated, used fresh ingredients and they were flavorful and CREATIVE.
A.G. Kitchen actually has a Zagat thanks to their burgers. I of course, being the meat lover that I am, had to try one. I ordered one made with organic grass-fed beef, A.G. Kichen’s “special sauce” and locally grown mushrooms; it was to-die-for. Gab ordered the “Meatless” (being the almost vegetarian that she is) and I tried some… I will be ordering that upon my next visit. Her burger was handmade from fresh veggies and tasted absolutely amazing.
Something I noticed on their menu is that their burgers automatically come with Whole Grain buns, but this can be changed to a Potato Bun or Gluten-Free bun, depending on preference or dietary restrictions. The entire menu features options for everyone, making it so incredibly versatile, healthy and delicious.
The creatively delicious taste and beautiful appearance of the food I tried is without a doubt thanks to the restaurant’s owner, Chef Alex Garcia. You may know him from his shows on Food Network, “Melting Pot” and “Nuestra Cucina.” Chef Garcia is also one of the founding chefs of the Nuevo Latino cooking movement. With A.G. Kitchen, he aimed and succeeded at combining Latin and American cuisine to create the ultimate comfort food.
I’ll be completely honest. We did a job on the first few courses (and our drinks!) The food was SO good that I forgot to leave room for dessert. By now, even if you only know me as a blogger, you know how much of a sweet tooth I have. I did end up asking to see the dessert menu, and the red “binoculars” were what I received.
As if A.G. Kitchen wasn’t already perfect enough, they even got creative with the visual display of their menu. YES. You look through the display and click through to view the desserts on the screen. How adorable is that!?
Remember how I said we were too full for dessert? Well, one look at the menu was enough to change our minds. For dessert I tried the Hot Chocolate Brownie, which is made to share and comes with ice cream (YUM) and the Banana Mania, which was probably the best banana bread cake I’ve ever had. By this point, I was certainly full and happy, but declared that our meal could not be complete without trying a spiked Mexican hot chocolate.
If you live in NYC, work in NYC or ever find yourself in the vicinity of NYC, do yourself a favor and make your way to A.G. Kitchen on the Upper West Side. I can pinky promise you that you will not leave disappointed. And when you do try it out, especially if you manage to eat as much as me, be sure to go for a stroll through the West side of Central Park, it’s so beautiful, quiet and peaceful there, and your full and happy tummy will thank you.
Stay Classy! xx