Who said pale isn’t interesting? With its light, airy space, and low-key palette of blonde wood, white marble bar, snowy banquettes, cream cane-backed chairs and whitewashed brick walls, King debuted in West Soho to relatively little fanfare in September. But since then critics and diners have been buzzing about this understated little charmer no end.
The welcoming green exterior, fringed with awning and potted plants, hints at the sunny, seasonal fare within. A fabulous concept from former River Cafe London chefs Jess Shadbolt and Clare de Boer, with Annie Shi (ex-Clove Club) running front-of-house, this elegant eatery offers a simple, daily-changing dinner menu influenced by Southern France and Italy.
Typical starters include Florence fennel with parmesan salad or salt cod with braised artichokes and chickpeas. Heartier mains such as Provencal fish stew with lobster, clams, fluke and saffron aioli will please clients and dates (whole roast lobster with Pastis, chili and crushed flageolet beans proved a recent hit). And who can resist Concord grape granita with prosecco for dessert? A snappy cocktail list knows its Euro credentials – the cheeky Sbagliato is our tip, a Milanese mix of Campari, Cocchi Dopo Teatro vermouth and sparkling wine.
The subtly inviting interiors are by de Boer’s mother Jane Gowers. King is proof that a female-run restaurant can take New York, providing you have the culinary skills to pay the bills.
King / 18 King St / SoHo / +1 917 825 1618 / 5.30pm-midnight Mon-Wed, until 1am Thu-Sat / kingrestaurant.nyc