Poulette’s Rotisserie Chicken Arrives In The Upper West Side
One of the great trends on the Upper West Side over the past few years has been the migration north of many solid downtown restaurants and casual, counter-service joints. Red Farm, Luke's Lobster, Momofuku Milk Bar, Han Dynasty, The Smith, Oaxaca Taqueria, Peacefood Cafe, Mille Feuille… it's getting to be a nice, long list of established crowd-pleasers opening UWS outposts. Now there's a new name you can add: Poulette Rotisserie, a "very French" chicken spot that started serving their signature birds about a month ago on a stretch of Amsterdam Avenue which already houses several key neighborhood transplants. Poulette, it should be said, earned its faithful following in Hell's Kitchen before opening this new branch, not downtown, but still, it's another reason to be excited about the UWS dining scene.
Fried Chicken & Fixins: Poulette Rotisserie
Unlike other rotisserie chicken options in the neighborhood (including the now decades-old Chirping Chicken, the equally venerable Flor de Mayo, and the Peruvian-style Pio Pio, which are all good choices by the way), Poulette emphasizes both "all-natural" ingredients, starting with their free-roaming, hormone- and antibiotic-free birds, as well as their French heritage with imported herbs, and the main rotisserie machine, which also comes from France. The side dishes, of which there are about 10, also reflect these twin influences, with lots of fresh vegetables and unusual-for-the-genre choices like ratatouille. The space itself is clean and comfortable, with several tables (and actual china dishes!) for dining in, but the bulk of the business here is certain to be take-out or delivery.
What To Eat At Poulette Rotisserie
I dined in at the Upper West Side's version of Poulette Rotisserie the other night and was able to try a hefty portion of the short but appealing menu. And while nothing blew me away, everything was fine, the ingredients fresh, the overall quality pretty high. First: the namesake roasted poultry. I ordered a quarter chicken, dark meat, which was perhaps under-seasoned (a rarity at these places) and over-cooked (less of a surprise), but my side of vinegar-based hot sauce helped on both those counts. Of the two types of chicken wings I ate, the Buffalo model, messy with fiery red sauce, was better than the more straightforward Salt and Pepper, though again, neither version could be accused of being too juicy. As far as sides go, the surprise winner was the least healthy-sounding one on the Poulette menu, the non-nonsense potato French Fries, which had great flavor (no extra salt needed) and texture. The Quinoa Kale Salad (the MOST healthy-sounding), was just ok; better was the generously-sized bowl of roasted Brussels Sprouts, with a nice tarragon and mustard seed finish.
For Menu and More Information on Poulette Rotisserie
The UWS Poulette Rotisserie is located at 426 Amsterdam Avenue between 80th and 81st Streets and is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.