City slickers can't seem to get enough of the haute barnyard dining thing, or at least that's what the owners of this new Upper West Side restaurant are banking on. Elizabeth’s Neighborhood Table may be located on the ground-floor of a 25-story high-rise apartment building, but if you see it from the street you might think you've wandered right into Anytown, USA. The exterior facade features a shingled roof, white picket fence, clapboard siding, wrap-around porch, and swing. Why look, there's Aunt Bee pickin' "Let's Get It Started" on the banjo!
Yet there's some substance under the ersatz Americana surface, because owner Nat Milner has enlisted chef John Lee, who's done great work at Rouge Tomate specifically one arm tied behind his back by that restaurant's strict dietary restrictions (mainly, no dairy). Here Lee is cutting loose with a full palette of ingredients for an "American comfort food" menu. But don't expect Frito Pies and Ovaltine; the restaurant is named after Milner's wife, who is a practicing holistic health counselor and "a strong proponent of using fresh ingredients."
Lee collaborated on the menu with Natural Gourmet graduate Hiranth Jayasinghe; it features items such as Jumbo Lump Maryland Crab Cakes with apple, fennel and a homemade dipping sauce; Gravlax Plate with cucumber salad, herb yogurt, and rye crisps; Farm-Raised Roasted Duroc Pork Chop with garlic mashers, braised red cabbage, and pork jus; and Crispy Fried Chicken with mac and cheese, chicken gravy, and seasonal greens. The signature cocktail is Elizabeth’s Sweet Beet, made with Vermont Gold Vodka (fresh beet infused), fresh Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Maple syrup. Served Straight up. ($13.50)
This being the Upper West Side, there is, of course, a daily kid’s menu, plus a brunch menu. Pile the whole family in the Packard and drive up for a fun weekend in the country!
680 Columbus Avenue at W93rd Street // (212) 280-6500