You would think after a decadent and wonderful lunch at Bouley Saturday, followed by lots of beers and a giant cheese steak during football Sunday, that the last thing I would want to do Monday afternoon is stuff myself with more food and drink…Well if that’s what you think you don’t know me very well.

I woke up on Monday feeling like a million bucks. Sunday I spent the entire day inside watching football and barely moved off the couch. All the energy I stored up doing nothing seemed to be pouring out of me and I was anxious to spend the day being active. I spent most of the morning shopping- everywhere from SOHO up to Times Sqaure when hunger finally struck me around 1:30 and I decided to head back near home for lunch.

Since it was a Monday I figured I would have no problem just walking in for a bite. Man was I wrong! I opened the door only to be greeted by a packed restaurant filled with noise and multiple parties waiting for a table. I almost walked out after being quoted at least an hour wait when the wonderful host spotted a corner bar seat that had just opened up. It was perfect for me! I only had neighbors to my left and I had a view of the entire restaurant.

For those of you that don’t know ABC Kitchen is Jean-George’s newest restaurant located inside of ABC Carpet and focuses on locavore sustainability. The theme of this restaurant was immediately apparent upon sitting down. The placemats and menu were made out of recycled paper, the napkins nothing more than a dish towel and the wait staff had a slight urban hipster look about them.

I was having trouble deciding what to order when I noticed the lunch pre-fix. Appetizer, entrée and dessert for $25- decision made!

This is the Roasted Kabocha Squash Toast with Ricotta Cheese and Apple Cider Vinegar. The first thing that struck me about this dish was the wonderful smells of autumn that came from the fresh squash and cider on the plate. The toast itself was on the sweet side. At first I really enjoyed the flavors, the squash almost tasted like it was drizzled with honey. Then about a quarter of the way through the sweetness started to get to me. Was that honey or was that the vinegar that was starting to bother my taste buds? This dish would have been good as a starter for two people to share maybe but for me alone the sweet flavor was overpowering and it was hard to get through even half.

For my main course I chose the Grilled Portobello Sandwich with arugula and parmesan, lemon mayo and jalapeños. When this plate came out I was excited about two things- the fabulous looking sage fries and the thick meatiness of the mushroom.

Close up you can see all of the components of this sandwich and just like the Squash Toast I loved it at first. The tangy lemon mayo went perfectly with the parmesan and arugula and I really enjoyed the flavor of the earthy shroom. However after a couple bites I began to become overpowered taste again. The pieces of pecorino were huge and soon that was the only flavor I was tasting. I tried to take a chunk of two out but then the dish became unbalanced. It was weird honestly- I couldn’t decided if the pecorino was destroying the dish or the only thing balancing it out. I got a little spice from the jalapeños but not a ton (later on when I ate some as leftovers I found most of the jalapeños had been regulated to the other side of the sandwich. I think I had about 4 jalapeños in one bite- Holy Hotness!).

The French fries were also interesting. These guys look like my favorite kind of fry- long and crispy with a bunch of fried sage. However the flavor was a little bit different. I couldn’t put my finger on it but they didn’t taste very good. I’m not sure if it was the kind of oil they used or if the oil itself had been used too much but they tasted a little stale.

I was so conflicted with my first two courses I was looking forward to just a straightforward delicious dessert. Imagine my surprise when this enormous bowl arrived with the ABC signature sundae!

There is no way to describe how big this thing was! Let’s just say this- everyone up front waiting for a table proceeded to turn around and stare as it was walked over and the two ladies next to me at the bar each gasped in shock as it was set down in front of me.

I have to say I was excited. I have no problem finishing dessert! There were three scoops of salted caramel ice cream with candied popcorn and peanuts all drenched chocolate sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.

Much like the two courses prior, I loved this at first. The salted caramel ice cream was insanely creamy and had just the right amount of sea salt, the peanuts had a nice crackly shell and the chocolate sauce was ridiculously thick and rich. However as I was finishing the second scoop of ice cream I began to realize how insanely sweet this dessert was. My stomach started to ache and I realized finishing the dessert would probably put me out of commission for the day. I put down my spoon and asked for the check.

So I’m completely conflicted about ABC Kitchen. I love the concept but the food just kept being too much. I’m not going to close the door here but I’m going to give them some time before I return.

ABC Kitchen