In the olden days, Jamie and I would head to Acme for a cheap approximation of Cajun food on a buyer’s budget. That was then. The new ACME is home to Mads Refslund, cofounder of New Nordic sensation, NOMA, and Danish mad scientist of food. Normally, I don’t go in for gimmicky fare. I never really understood the fascination with foam. But Acme’s food, though tricky, is out of this world. Both Jamie and I had sworn off gluten, but no, not when the Sullivan Street bread (charred crust, stretchy sourdough crumb) hit the table with HOUSEMADE butter.
I had visions of a farmer’s wife churning away in the kitchen. Here’s what we ate: a plate of radishes with a vivid green oyster/parsley dip. Slim slices of scallops with equally slim slices of sunchokes. A raw mackerel tart on a crisp crust. Our entree? Butter poached chicken served in a clay pot, with the crispiest potatoes and a ball of fried egg that oozed yolk over the whole of it. Wowza. Beer porridge with salted caramel ice cream was sweet and salty, hot and cold, crunchy and smooth and not quite figure-out-able.
The menu has the same trendy ingredients as every other restaurant in NYC (kale, ancient grains, sunchokes) but here, they are completely, forever, different. Our knowledgeable waiter steered us in the right direction, but one must be patient with the service; it’s not their strong suit. The food is oh, so worth it. Strange and wonderful. acmenyc.com