I want to make out with Brian Loiacono. He is the new executive chef & partner at Acme. It’s not because he’s a beautiful man (which he is) or because I have a weakness for chefs (which I do). It’s because the man can write and execute one hell of a menu. He is the former chef of Daniel Boulud's DB Bistro. The owners of Acme have assembled a stellar lineup. The cocktail list is the creation of Dev Johnson of Employees Only. Rounding out the team is wine director Nicole Hakli who was previously at The Nomad and Eleven Madison Park. I’d draft that team too.
I’ve always enjoyed sitting at the bar at Acme. It is busy & beautiful, hip but not pretentious hip. I love to go there after work and have drinks with friends at the bar, or to their club downstairs on the weekend. However, I’ve never bothered with the food to be honest.
This time I thought I’d give the menu a spin. All of the dishes were reinterpreted (exceptionally well) variations on things I’ve eaten. I was pretty sure you couldn’t improve upon clams casino until I had them with bone marrow on top of them. The fried artichokes were crispy and sitting in a delicious pool of lemon ricotta. Even the caesar salad, made with brussel sprouts and a 6 minute egg, was special. The only thing I ate from the ages of 12-18 basically was caesar salad, so I’m an expert. The meatballs…I’m just gonna say it…they are the greatest meatballs I’ve ever eaten in my life. I was pretty sure I needed to go back to Italy or at least Staten Island for balls like this. Nope, just go to Great Jones Street. Go have dinner there, have lots of cocktails, stay a while. But stay away from the chef, I already called dibs. Here's what we had:
Caesar salad, brussels sprout & kale, 6-minute egg
Lemon ricotta, crispy artichoke, croutons
Butternut squash steak, stracciatella, sunflower seed
Clams casino, bone marrow crumb, clam chowder
Shrimp & egg yolk, pickled turnip, celeriac chip
Veal Agnolotti salva cremasco, truffle
Address: 9 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 203-2121