232 West 14th Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 929-4534

Gastropubs are not as widespread in New York as one might think that they would be. This is understandable. Some people go in and feel like they're getting overpriced bar food, while others go in for the free range organic vegan pulled pork chipwich and feel like the atmosphere is somewhat low class. There is, therefore, a misunderstanding of what a gastropub is. The true gastropub doesn't have a line cook in the kitchen frying up buffalo wings on cue. A true gastropub has a chef who created a menu but isn't the offshoot of some snobby white linen brasserie where financiers can pretend to slum it. I'm talking to you Wollensky's Grill. A gastropub is the kind of place that a person who appreciates a good meal and a good drink can go to without having to change his shirt. The Crooked Knife, sitting on the Meatpacking side of Chelsea, is a gastropub. 

Okay, so long winded definitions aside, how was Crooked Knife? I give it a B+. I arrived with Myna in the mid evening to get dinner before we headed a few blocks over to watch a folk-rock singer friend of hers perform at a nearby bar. He was very good. Anyway. It was still warm out that evening, so we asked to sit outside in the rear patio. The communal table trend has grown exponentially in the last few years and that's how the ones is the rear are set up. I used to loathe it, but it's now so common that I've gotten used to having total strangers hear my conversation. Between the NSA, Google, and communal tables, no one has privacy anymore. Inside, the tables are normal.

Myna and I both ordered cocktails to start with while we debated our dinner. I would skip the cocktail menu as both of ours were poor. Stick with beer, since they have a decent selection. Food-wise, Crooked Knife did a far better job. The Fried Calamari was fried calamari. No one will be sending out any trophies for this dish, but it was good and was promptly eaten inside of five minutes. It was served with a standard marinara sauce as well as a sweet and sour sauce. I probably had more sweet and sour than I should have. The Classic Mac & Cheese with a dusting of breadcrumbs, was much better. Creamy and rich, it was everything mac and cheese should be. It didn't try to be very fancy, which is too bad because I feel like it was made well enough that whoever did it would succeed in experimenting. Still, I recommend it highly.

Myna, who is far more healthy and in far better shape than I, ordered the CK14 Salad: arugula, green apples, pecans, cheddar, dried cherries, and an apple cider vinaigrette. I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit disappointed that she didn't try their salmon or their chickpea stew, but the salad was good. I had the Braised Lamb Shanks, served under a port glaze with mashed sweet potatoes and asparagus. The only downside to this dish is that lamb shanks have notoriously little meat. So, even though Crooked Knife gave a fairly decent portion of them, I found myself needing more. It didn't hurt that they were delicious.

Having to run off to see the show, we skipped dessert, but it was standard American desserts. This was another of Crooked Knife's downsides, along with the mediocre cocktails. An uninspired dessert menu. Ah well. Still, a fun place. In fact, Myna has since returned to take friends.

Our meal of two appetizers, an entree, a salad, and few drinks came to $100.

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