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Delancey & Co (CLOSED)

Restaurants, American Goodge Street
Delancey & Co (© Kim Lightbody)
© Kim Lightbody

Time Out says

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Please note, Delancey & Co has now closed. Time Out Food editors, JANUARY 2020. 

Delancey & Co would like to believe that it’s in Manhattan. The name refers to Delancey Street, a major east-west thoroughfare on the Lower East Side – and formerly the home of Ratner’s, one of the great Jewish restaurants in NYC for nearly a century.

And Delancey itself pays homage to an NYC deli. Sandwiches feature salt beef, smoked salmon, smoked turkey, presented both simply and in a few slightly more elaborate presentations such as a Reuben (salt beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese). Plus the standard condiments and sides. And ‘Bubba’s’ chicken soup. All for takeaway or for consuming on the premises at rather narrow counters.

Some aspects of the deli-dream translate well from Delancey to Goodge. Sometimes very well. The salt beef is good. Pickles are acceptable if not world-class. The matzo balls, the best thing we ate, are airy and delicate. When badly made they are denser and deadlier than cannonballs, and while the dish is very simple in theory, it is surprisingly difficult to get right.

But there are also serious negatives here, principally the disgraceful ‘rye bread’. It is flavour-free, mass-produced pap, so soft it starts falling apart the instant you pick up your sandwich. If you served this in a Jewish deli in New York, customers would laugh at you. Some portions are mean – excuse me, is that really one paper-thin slice of cheese on a Reuben? The broth in the chicken soup was insipid in the extreme, not the flavoursome bronze-coloured potion that warms the heart and sets the taste buds alight. And the servers behind the counter add condiments for you; there’s no provision for adding more when you sit down to eat. This is deli-anathema.

Is Delancey more big disappointment than Big Apple? Only if you’re comparing with New York’s finest. But don’t despair: they already do some things well, and that means the other things can be improved. Note to Mr Delancey: buy better bread, boychik! 




Address: 34 Goodge St
Transport: Tube: Goodge Street
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