Chelsea Market
75 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(212) 741-6623

Upscale food malls are de regueur in Manhattan lately as Eataly and the Limelight Marketplace can attest. Chelsea Market beat them to it though. L'Arte del Gelato is here, along with Amy's Bread, Fat Witch Bakery, and a host of other restaurants and specialty food shops. The Green Table is the restaurant wing of The Cleaver Company, a catering business which wholly embraces the mantra of the organic, small-farm, locavore lifestyle. Everything here is either organic or local or both. Guilt free food for reasons finally having nothing to do with being on a fad diet.

The inside it's small and cozy and warm. It's dimly lit but not to the point of being romantic. I've heard Green Table called a wine bar (actually, it says so on the business card) and it certainly has that atmosphere, but it's not one. It  is similar to the kinds of places I'd expect to find in Brooklyn. 

If you read this blog at all regularly, you know that, outside of cocktails, my favorite kind of restaurant are upscale casual new-Americans like Quaint in Queens and Fort Defiance in Brooklyn. So while the atmosphere here was spot on and the service was great, I can't lie and say that I was blown away by what we got on the plate.

The menu is a seasonal one and we ordered off of the current "Autumn" menu. Although it may feel like spring out there, it's almost winter so I expect that this menu won't last much longer. 

While looking at the menu, Speeds and I shared a small bowl of Olives, which were curiously served piping hot. I certainly wasn't expecting to get a mouthful of searing hot olive oil, but I there it was. I think I can safely say that I prefer olives at a nice room-temperature temperature.

I started the meal with the Market Soup, which is a sort of trendier way of saying the soup of the day. On this particular day the soup was creamy parsnip. I finished the bowl feeling far more healthy than when I started it, which is a nice feeling to have. But the soup itself was disappointingly tame. It just didn't have, to use a technical term, much oomph. I would have added some salt or some pepper if there had been any to add at the table, but as there was not, I made due (I don't usually ask for things that aren't provided). Speeds ordered the small-sized Harvest Salad, which was actually rather large. She loved the dressing and raved about the walnuts, but was let down by the sliced apple, complaining that they were completely tasteless. "It's like I'm eating a raw potato," she told me.

As an entree, Speeds got the Gnocchi, served with chanterelles, sage, butter and an assortment of "autumn vegetables" (potatoes and the like). She liked it and ate as much of it as she could, but it was a heavy dish. My opinion, having stolen a few bites, was that it wasn't more than just okay. I found the plate overall dry and bland. I'm was very pleased that I ordered the Organic Chicken Breast, a roasted, skin-on chicken breast with local greens and thyme au jus on a bed of lightly toasted spaetzle. Though the chef went a little overboard on the spaetzle, the chicken had tons of flavor and was as moist as anyone could hope for. I highly recommend this dish.

So the chicken and the salad (save the apple) was great, Speeds and I had differing opinions on the gnocchi, the soup was squarely in the middle and the olives... well, I think you should just skip those altogether.

The Green Table is far from prohibitively expensive. Our meals totaled $37 each after tax and tip.

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