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About a month ago, I was invited to have dinner in the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Ken & Cook. Ken&Cook, is no stranger to the foodie realm. With several of my favorite bloggers and online food magazines, even a yelp event in some months passed, Ken&Cook is making a name for itself. Boasting of delicious cocktails and unique dishes, dining and Ken&Cook promised to be quite the occasion.

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It was a slightly breezy weekday night. The commute to lower Manhattan from my apartment was a mere 10 minutes. I was hungry.

The conditions were perfect.

I invited my friend Stacey because I like a lot of girl talk mixed with business.

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It was still kind of early when I got there and tables were not yet filled. I partook in the rustic yet chic décor of the dining area. I appreciated the minimalist look. It felt very clean and modern without being too out there. The waiters wore burlap sacks for aprons which I really liked. It gave them a rustic and artsy vibe.

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It was after work hours and the bar area was getting much love. The bustling crowd were knocking back beers and some expertly crafted cocktails. Stacey and I couldn’t help but partake in the merriment.

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I ordered the tall baby on the right mainly because it had champagne and St. Germain in it. Two of my favorite things.

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Stacey ordered a fruity little number with a dollop of sorbet in it. It reminded me of a punch my mom used to make when I was little with ginger ale, orange juice and sherbert. Good times.

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We decided to get right down to business looking at the menu. We ordered several appetizers to taste and share to get a better idea of the offerings. What we didn’t anticipate was leaving 20 lbs heavier from all the food we ate. IMG_9712

We started with a grilled calamari salad, compliments of the chef. Tender strips o gently charred calamari on a bed of greens adorned with thin potatoes, sour cream and crispy onions. A flavor explosion for sure. I am not sure about you but give me crispy onions and potatoes any time of the day and I am a happy girl.

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Stacey ordered the beet salad. A gorgeous platter of golden beets, Candy cane beets, ruby red beets, with avocado and greens. Visually, a stunning dish. Stacey inhaled her beet salad and loved every bit of it. I tried the candy cane beet because I was so intrigued by it and it was cooked to perfection.

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The chef sent us his heirloom tomato salad which was chocked full of peak season heirloom tomatoes with fresh sprigs of basil, diced red onion and crispy homemade croutons. It was a light starter compared to the other two, but this dish did not overwhelm the palette at all.

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I opted for Oysters Rockefeller (because I had never had them). A plate uniquely decorated with sea salt and topped with oysters that have been stuffed with garlic and spinach. An instant favorite for me.

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As we pressed on, the room left in our bellies was growing close to non-existent. But in the name of research, I continued.

The things I do for you!

Stacey ordered the fried chicken. If there is one thing that I have a hard time saying no to, its fried chicken. The chef brines his chicken followed by dredging in buttermilk before deep frying and the results are a super light and crisp skin followed by the succulent texture of a juicy piece of chicken. Each bite was accompanied by a slurp from the explosion of juice going on.

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I opted for the salmon with charred corn, bacon and basil. The Salmon was cooked perfectly with its slightly pink and sot center (medium rare), and sat atop the most amazing corn I have ever tasted. The corn acquired a creamy and smoky flavor that can only come from adding bacon and heavy cream. IMG_9737

Despite being full, I ate every bite.

The dessert menu came rolling around and I wanted to push it away. Stacey talked me into ordering a litle something and when I did, this came out.

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That’s not what I ordered… but apparently, the chef wanted me to have this beautiful cup of mixed berries and cream. A very nice change of pace.

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We DID order the All American Apple Pie. Complete a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, this apple pie is the bees knees. It arrived warm and covered in powdered sugar. Layers of apple thinly sliced, like paper, play nicely with cinnamon and nutmeg in a pie crust that, while tasty, could have been a tad sweeter. But rest assured, I tore this pie up despite the buttons bursting off of my pants.

Ken & Cook is a great for a girls night or a perhaps a date- though I cant say it’s a romantic date as the volume makes romantic whispering impossible. Crawl in here for brunch too! Its in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. If you have never been, you are in for a treat.

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