Kenmare NYC: Chef Joey Campanaro’s “New” Restaurant
We've never had the opportunity to try Chef Joey Campanaro's food at the tiny, romantic, always-hopelessly-booked Little Owl. Securing a reservation there to sample his famous sliders and porkchops, even one month out, has so far proven elusive. Enter Kenmare NYC, Chef Joey Campanaro's newish, super-sceney restaurant between Soho and Nolita, at which we scored a table–albeit on the very early side of the dinner hour–twice this past week.
We are total suckers for this sort of cooking–impeccably sourced ingredients, simply prepared, with lots of love–and Campanaro and his kitchen totally nailed it. Of the five dishes we ate at Kenmare restaurant, four were complete winners, and even the fifth was more than a little good, too.
Chef Joey Campanaro has brought a few Little Owl favorites across town to Kenmare NYC, including the must-gobble-down Gravy Meatball Sliders, these tiny, two-bite treasures a lovely blend of beef, pork, veal, and pecorino, perfectly cooked, smothered with a thick tomato sauce, delivered on a chewy roll. We loved these. Another nod here to Campanaro's Kenmare restaurant's greatest hits is billed simply as "The Chicken", a crispy, juicy confit served over bitter grilled escarole and soft butter beans, all sopping up a saucy reduction.
Even better than the above, perhaps, were a couple of Chef Joey Campanaro's newcomers, including an outstanding appetizer, the Basil Gnocchi with Shortrib Ragu, the pillowy pasta and tender beef swimming in an intense, meaty broth. We also loved the generously portioned Sea Scallops, four fat bivalves grilled just long enough, liberally salted, and piled on drizzles of a sweet balsamic bernoisette. A bright spinach strawberry salad complemented the dish nicely; a crunchy bundle of fried potato was less necessary. The only unmemorable dish we had in our two visits here was the Artichoke and Hearts of Palm Salad, tossed with boston bibb lettuce and a lemon vinaigrette. It was fine, nothing bad, but clearly there are much better things to be had at Kenmare NYC.
Kenmare NYC Details
Kenmare restaurant is located on Kenmare Street between Mulberry and Centre Streets, and is open every night for dinner from 6:00 until 11:00 p.m. Despite the huge, beautiful-people crowds that can make trendy club/restaurants like this almost unbearable, the staff at Kenmare are uniformly warm, friendly, helpful and totally professional.