Any restaurant whose URL reads greatbiscuits.com is worthy of review and Gothamist is happy to report that the Clinton Street Baking Co. does, in fact, have great biscuits. A plate of five buttermilk mini biscuits, served in lieu of rolls at the start of the meal is part of the rave-reviewed Lower East Side locale’s recently expanded dinner menu.
Adding to a repertoire of breakfast, lunch, brunch and custom baking, Gothamist sat down with three friends on a recent balmy Monday night. Overwhelmed by the offerings on the menu, Gothamist was initially disappointed when the waitress reported that the recommended jalapeño corn bread, which comes accompanied with jam and a pat of butter, was unavailable that night. Instead, the table started with a plate of sweet potato fries, thickly cut wedges, expletive-inducing-ly hot, lightly dusted with coarse salt and a sprinkling of rosemary.
Gothamist and our dining companions decided on the “order and share” option for the night, each too indecisive to choose a single entrée. Dining companion #1 fluctuated between the San Diego Fish Tacos and the Yellowtail Flounder Po’ Boy sandwich, but sprung for the latter, a fried fillet of flounder served with tartar sauce on a toasted French roll with accompaniments of coleslaw and homemade potato chips. Clearly the meal of choice for any one looking to replace Morgan Spurlock in the gourmet-version sequel to Super Size Me, the sandwich was tender, juicy, and the fish fried just right. The mound of potato chips made the fry-factor a bit overwhelming; the table decided that French fries, chips, and a fried sandwich all at once was excessive.
Much needed roughage was found in the Goat Cheese Salad, a hearty helping of market greens with roasted beets, Boucheron, and balsamic vinaigrette. Gothamist feels about beets the way some people feel about pickles – we love them. If you are one of the beet-averse, Gothamist highly recommends trying these roasted beets and you’ll realize eating beets is really just eating candy vegetables. The greens were fresh, the dressing fitting, and the cheese of the highest quality.
Another dining companion splurged for the Crispy Salmon, a seared fillet of salmon perched on a mound of buttermilk mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach, accompanied by a Creole mustard sauce. The sauce, replete with tang and kick, was made of whole grain mustard creating a perfect texture alongside the rich salmon and smooth, buttery potatoes. Of all the entrees, the salmon won first for appearance; the perfectly crispy salmon skin made Gothamist wonder how long the chef trained to create such an appetizingly seared sheen.
Gothamist’s own plate was the special sandwich of the night, a seared Cajun cod sandwich with watercress and aioli on sourdough toast. Served with French fries we couldn’t muster the stomach room to eat, the Cajun in the cod jolted our tastebuds in just the right way. Our only complaint was the excess aioli, which soaked the bottom slice of bread before we’d even taken our first bite, rendering the sandwich inedible without use of knife and fork.
With no room for dessert cocktails or a slice of the carrot cake which sat at arm’s reach away during the meal, Gothamist vows to return for any number of meals at the Clinton Street Baking Co. Far from po’ on flavor, this is a perfect place for a hearty meal that can be dressed up with a glass of wine off their moderate list and indulgence in the candlelit aura of the medium sized establishment. You can also order custom baked cakes, or the great biscuits of their namesake URL, online.
Clinton Street Baking Co. is located at 4 Clinton Street (b/w Houston & Stanton) and open M-F, 8 a.m. - 11 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m./6 p.m. - 11p.m. and Sunday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.