palmerkitchen.jpgGothamist is grateful to be within walking distance of a great concept in neighborhood dining. Chef Charlie Palmer, who made his bones at Brooklyn's River Cafe before launching to super-stardom through his Upper East Side flagship Aureole, is the author of the idea: a short-menu 3-course prix fixe for $25, offering the same skill of preparation that you might find at one of his pricier restaurants but with less fussiness. There are five choices for each course, each of them drawing on seasonal ingredients -- the central philosophy of Palmer's cuisine. The result is a pair of restaurants - Kitchen 22 and Kitchen 82 -- that put much of the "neighborhood" restaurants they compete with to shame. Although the desserts seem less inspired and less inspiring than the rest of the menu, on the whole Palmer's "Kitchens" are a bargain for the quality.

Although Palmer is said to be spending most of his time at his Sonoma, California hotel and restaurant these days, there have been rumors of a third "Kitchen" in the works. Gothamist wonders whether the "-2" theme will continue... Hell's Kitchen is gentrified enough that it's probably ready to support a $25-a-plate neighborhood restaurant, and "Kitchen 52" has a nice ring to it.

Kitchen 22
36 East 22nd Street
New York, NY 10017
(212) 228-4399
Closed Sundays

Kitchen 82
461 Columbus Avenue (at 82nd Street)
New York, NY 10024
(212) 875-1619
Closed Mondays; Sundays kitchen closes at 8:00