Cookshop — Hype Unfounded

18 Oct

There are always those restaurants friends incessantly urge you to try. You know those restaurants–they have huge lines out the door, feature semi-exotic takes on classic dishes, and are often filled with lots of fun, young, and beautiful people. Cookshop, in the heart of Chelsea, fulfills all of those dangerous quotas. So naturally, it sat loudly atop my “must-eat” list.

Unfortunately, those restaurants tend to live on hype instead of execution and service. This was certainly the case with Cookshop. I excitedly went to the teaming restaurant for dinner with family, and immediately noticed the lacking service. Our waiter was extremely inattentive, but it also appeared as though the restaurant was understaffed. “Maybe the food will make up for it,” I positively thought.

I should have stuck with my generally pessimistic, New York roots. The beet soup was chalky, the pork was overcooked and fatty, and the chicken was bland and had overwhelming sauces. I’d also like to mention they were “out” of two dishes we wanted to order, so that too was disappointing.

Despite my dinner experience, I somehow couldn’t just let go of Cookshop. “Maybe brunch will be better,” I again, positively thought. Considering I’ve stopped giving change to people on the train years ago, I find it odd I was falling for Cookshop’s facade. What kind of New Yorker am I?

I decided to stop in for brunch to give Cookshop another shot. I ordered the buttermilk pancakes with seasonal fruit compote and syrup–that is, about 45 minutes after I was seated. I honestly must have read the entire newspaper and beaten BrickBreaker three times before the waitress realized I had a pulse. Mind you, the restaurant wasn’t even packed, so it’s not as if orders were flying in. I assume the chef was also reading the newspaper and playing BrickBreaker.

Like dinner, brunch too missed the mark–the pancakes were bland, the compote was too sugary, and the syrup was probably Duane Reade brand (do they make syrup?).

With the plethora of great food in Chelsea–and in New York for that matter–there’s little reason to waste your time and money in Cookshop. For a laughable average of $27 per entree, you could be slapping high fives at Spice Market with Jean-George. Trust me, he loves high-fives.

156 10th Ave (between 19th St & 20th St)
(212) 924-4440


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