Quality Meats and Quality Eats are midtown staples. Then in November 2015, the Quality Meats, team under Michael Stillman, opened their newest and first downtown location in the West Village, located at 19 Greenwich Avenue. The West Village spot brings a more youthful vibe to the genre. The music is cool, and the restaurant has a warm and casual atmosphere. Although a new restaurant, it was designed to look like it’s always has been in the area.
The Executive Chef, Ryan Bartlow, has a good pedigree – he did a two-year stint at the three-star Akelarre in San Sebastián and was part of Chef Grant Achatz’s team that opened Alinea, one of my all-time favourite restaurants (read my review: here).
The restaurant is quite small, the shape is long and narrow. One side is the bar and the other is row of tables. There is also a small cozy dining area in the back. The wooden bar is hand etched with all manner of quirky designs and phrases. The theme continues on some of the serving platters and in the beautifully illustrated pictures on the walls. Even the restrooms have whimsical tilework. The design team did a great job – the decor is low-key, charming and diner-like.
I liked the brunch menu a lot, there were many interesting choices and modern twists. We all loved the Large Format Good Morning Bun served with a creamy cheese spread. It was like a cross between a sticky bun and a bubka. Another delicious bread was the monkey bread, that was not sweet but savoury, served in a cast iron skillet with three types of butter: bacon, salmon and Bloody Mary, which was bloody genius. If that wasn’t enough bread we also had to try some ricotta schmear, with spiced honey and pistachios on French toast fingers. For something a little lighter, I enjoyed the crab and avocado dish which had large chunks of jumbo lump crab, cubed avocado and pink grapefruit in a bright cilantro and citrus vinaigrette. The coconut quinoa bowl with apples, bananas, almonds, black sesame and dried cherries was an innovative and healthy dish. The LA Eggs were served on a crispy tortilla and topped with melted cheese, salsa rosa and avocado. The Grilled Nueske’s Bacon was a dream come true for bacon lovers. Inch thick slabs that Bartlow serves with a smear of crunchy peanut butter, jalapeño jelly and minced Granny Smith apples. There was also the “obligatory” steak du jour that per one of our guests was to his liking. Another of our lunch companions really enjoyed their patty melt on a large challah bun. There were a lot of other excellent sounding options too. Overall, I didn’t find the experience overly kid-friendly, but our little guests had dishes they could enjoy too.
We were too full for dessert. Had we not been, I was told to try the Birthday Cake, a concoction of ice cream, confetti cake cubes and icing piled high with a candle on the top. I am sure it is delightful.
This spot is an excellent addition to the West Village food scene for brunch. I will have to try dinner on another visit.