Flatiron ABC

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Casual Cocina at Union Square

ABC Cocina restaurant in the ABC Carpet & Home building in New York City. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

ABC Cocina restaurant in the ABC Carpet & Home building in New York City. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Once dismissive of restaurants situated in strip malls (so suburban!) and those located in department stores (crustless cucumber sandwich, anyone?), I keep expectations for ABC Cocina, located in the same building as the store I love to love, ABC Carpet & Home, low, especially when, arriving three minutes before opening time one weekend morning, we are told we must wait (even though we have a reservation). How is it that rather than chastising customers for being late, now people are critical when you are punctual? My acupuncturist recently took me to task for arriving five minutes before appointment time, too. Really? Three minutes early is when one should want patrons to arrive. Grateful is not standing on the street unless there are free cups of mint ice tea passed all around.

But Jean-Georges Vongerichten never disappoints, either at his Inn at Pound Ridge, or down at ABC Cocina, which is just north of Union Square. After appreciating the fresh vegetables at the farmer’s market at Union Square, we appreciate the equally fresh brunch (salad and corn empanadas for me) we are about to enjoy at ABC Cocina.

We are in the city, on a weekend, in a store—that means there are kids in this crowd. But what fortunate kids they are to enjoy a place, and food, like this.

ABC Cocina, 38 East 19 Street, New York, N.Y. 10003

—Lori Tripoli

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