The Mercer Kitchen

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Until it closed in 2007, 66 was widely considered the black sheep in the Jean-Georges Vongerichten camp. Now, we have the Mercer Kitchen. The circus begins with the snobbish, condescending reservationist and continues on in the subterranean dining room. Though the environs are appropriately sleek (patrons can watch the silhouettes of pedestrians cross over the glass-stippled sidewalk above), the yawn-inducing victuals don’t deserve the JGV seal of approval. Scallops served as a limp pedestal for squares of pancetta, rendered to a flavorless, fat-less crisp; a bright, spicy chili-lime mayo is wasted on chewy rings of calamari. If you must go, you’d do well to lower the bar. More conservative dishes, like a strip steak—salty, but satisfying, with a heap of ginger-infused shiitake mushrooms—are more respectable, if not quite befitting of the restaurant’s pedigree.
Venue name: The Mercer Kitchen
Contact:
Address: The Mercer, 99 Prince St
New York
10012
Cross street: at Mercer St
Opening hours: Mon–Sat 7am–1am; Sun 7am–midnight
Transport: Subway: N, R, W to Prince St
Price: Average main course: $24. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V
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