Sunday, May 20, 2007

Kitchen 64

After a few false forays, we finally landed at Kitchen 64. The menu posted on the front window, not to mention the sign at the top of the building advertises breakfast. When we arrived on Saturday morning, the place was forlorn and locked up. Since no hours are posted, yet, I have no idea when breakfast or lunch is served. If any of you know, give me a holler.

But never fear. We continued to be resolute and went back early on Saturday evening. We dined al fresco. The evening was lovely. The building blocked most of the gusty breezes. And, surprisingly enough, the traffic was barely noticeable. I did take a gander inside. Both the bar and the dining area is non-smoking (thank you dining gods for smiling upon the Northside with breathable air!). I liked the funky and shiny green bar top (which was very lively) and the Trask paintings high up above the blond wood booths. The menu held appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees, and pasta dishes. Something for everyone. The wine list was short, but contained at least one gem: A 2004 75 Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon, Amber Hills Vineyard. We knew this was a gem because we had tasted it earlier in the day at a special tasting put on by The Wine Cellar. Full-bodied, good fruit, and just plain yummy. The Wine Cellar retailed this wine for $24.95. The price at Kitchen 64 was $36. Not too shabby and extremely serendipitous for us.

Food wise we could not resist ordering the Roasted Red Peppers and Fresh Mozzarella as an appetizer ($7.95). Surrounded by olive oil and sprinkled with a fresh basil chiffonade, it was a great starter for an evening of outside dining. The other great thing about this dish was the flexibility. If you wanted tomatoes instead, you just had to ask. The only thing we would add to the dish is Balsamic vinegar. And since a salad dressing option is oil and Balsamic vinegar, we would probably just have the wait staff bring the oil and vinegar with the appetizer. The bread was a little course and a little yellow and a little hard. The slices were accompanied with butter pats, but tasted much better with the olive oil from the appetizer plate. Once again, we would request the oil and vinegar dressing for the bread. As we still munched on our appetizer, my husband’s house salad arrived. (I assume with most new restaurants kitchen timing can be tricky at first. Our appetizer, salad, and entrees eventually all piled up on our table at the same time. I’m confident that this will be worked out in short order). The Vidalia dressing that my husband had requested did not appear (the kitchen was out), but a creamy Greek with Feta appeared on the side and he was quite satisfied.

As for entrees, we selected the Home Run Pasta($11.95) Рlinguini with meat sauce and meat balls covered with cheese and baked and The Duchess of Pork($14.95) Рsliced pork tenderloin topped with thyme-roasted shallots accompanied by mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables (green beans, zucchini, and asparagus on this night). First of all, these entrees were BIG. The pasta was served up in a huge white ceramic bowl. The meat sauce was hefty and bursting with flavor. And we loved the ample amount of gooey melted cheese. The meatballs were also huge, but milder in flavor. We could only eat a third of the dish (lunches at work will be divine next week!). The pork did not disappoint but lacked that in-your-face flavor that the pasta had. But once again, the portion was huge and we boxed up half of it. As we enjoyed our food other selections passed our table destined for other diners. All looked very large and delectable. Sandwich and burger plates were piled high with fries. The nachos were enormous. A shrimp dish made us envious (and this was after we were full from our own dinner).

Generally, we do not consider dessert, but with a new place, a lovely evening, and a restaurant within walking distance, we splurged. Desserts could be viewed from a rotating carousel between the bar and the kitchen. My husband was tasked with selecting something for us to share. He returned raving about how big the peanut butter chocolate cookies were and how tempting Death by Chocolate would be to the taste buds. In the end we ordered the Key Lime Torte ($3.95). Homemade with tiny bits of lime peel in a graham cracker crust, served with whipped cream, fresh blackberries, and a raspberry sauce. Delicious!

Funky and fabulous . Several of the wait staff sported multiple visible tattoos. All were pleasant and commented on how good the food looked or smelled. Our waitress, Sara, was thrilled that we ordered a bottle of wine. She wants to learn more about wine. We turned her onto The Wine Cellar. She has a fabulous journey ahead of her. And we have a fabulously new local joint to enjoy. Life is indeed good.

Kitchen 64
3336 N. Boulevard
358-0064

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kitchen 64 Saturday night was the worst dining experience I have had in years, with our meal taking 3.5 hours, causing us to miss our evening plans, and when it arrive not one of our party thought that their food was any good. And, to top it all off, it was simple, straightforward food - mushroom sandwiches and grilled cheese.

Anonymous said...

It's a new place. You should try it again. Our experience was great!

Anonymous said...

From one Anonymous to another:

You've obviously never been to a restaurant in its first week. To go to a newly opened restaurant (regardless of the owners' extensive experience) and complain is simply ignorant. You further support your own ignorance by complaining about the type of food...did you not read the menu before ordering? Since when does "simple, straightforward food" mean "bad?" Sorry, pjpink. I hate to use your blog as a sounding board but I can't stand people who clearly don't get it.

Anonymous said...

I agree - give the new place a break.

However, I think when the above comment said it was "straightforward food" - they meant it should have been quick and easy to make - not that it wasn't good.

Anonymous said...

i completely agree with the person above me, the first person who posted a comment here is completely ignorant- my husband and I went to kitchen 64 friday night, which i believe was their third night open, we sat down, and ordered the shrimp and gorgonzola in phyllo as an appetizer, it was absolutely fantastic, we then proceeded to order the filet with the crabmeat sherry dijon sauce (this was amazing), as well as the tortellini which was equally as great. yes it did take a long time, close to two hours, but we completely expected the wait and not only did our waitress profusely apologize, she said the owners would like to buy us dessert, this was completely generous, our dinner and dining experience was absolutely wonderful! we will be back very soon!

Anonymous said...

Definitely try the black bean hummus appetizer plate as well as the grilled cheese with avocado and bacon. It's simple, but divine!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where you could view the menu? I called today and they said they were out of to-go menus and their fax machine is temporarily broken. Is there a posting or scan of it out there somewhere???

Anonymous said...

They are supposed to be starting breakfast either this weekend June 2nd, or next. This place is a treasure for Northside. Our food was great and you will find some similar dishes from "Stellas" on there as well. New restaurants need time to settle in and get used to running their business. Don't give up on this place yet!

Anonymous said...

Hmm...what does a server having visible tattoos add to the quality of a restaurant? I'd take it as a bad sign, figuring that the slack hipsters would be as unconcerned with good service as they are at most Richmond restaurants.

But still-- I hope to try Kitchen 64 and judge for myself :) We're in dire need of good new places. Thanks for reviewing.

Anonymous said...

That's a load of rubbish. As much as I loathe and hate scenesters and hipsters, I've worked Richmond kitchens and some of the best people I've worked with have been tattooed hipsters.

Anonymous said...

if you've failed to notice all the "tattooed hipsters" you've pointed out that work at kitchen 64, are two older women. real hipster.

listeningman said...

the "drunken couple" over at in vino veritas- that blog, are absolute idiots in terms of reviewing restaurants, this blog is fantastic and extremely fair in terms of reviewing, especially for this new 64 place.

Anonymous said...

I give every new restaurant I patronize up to 3 strikes before I write them off. Kitchen 64 already has 2 in my book. Like many Northsiders I eagerly awaited the opening and couldn’t wait to get in there. Sadly both my visits have been sullied by an unprofessionally run restaurant. Both times my appetizer appeared after my dinner. On my first visit it took 1 hour and 9 minutes to produce a cobb salad. Both visits had me having to visit the bar to get tea refills. I ask coworkers and friends their experiences and they all have the same experience with the apps and refills. This place needs to get it together or change it’s name to Kitchen Closed!

Bonnie said...

My mom and I and my 2 yr old daughter decided to try Kitchen 64 on a Sunday afternoon. It was packed and very loud. My mom and I were bumped several times by waiters and bus boys walking by. The waitress was horrendous. She was hardly ever there, not bringing refills or stuff she said she would bring. My mom ordered a sub w/o mayo; it came with mayo, but my mom ate it anyway and thought it was great. I ordered the salad that comes with fried chicken and vidalia dressing. It was the worst salad I've ever had. The only think I enjoyed was the fried chicken which was delicious and the cucumbers. The dressing tasted like Italian. My mom and I didn't complain because we had already waited FOREVER for our food and did not want to wait any longer. I could not wait to get out of there! The only good thing I can say about it is the subs do look really tasty.

Anonymous said...

2 words: MMMMMMM GOOD!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Kitchen 64 has awesome food. I went on a weekend for brunch and had a lovely turkey sandwhich with a cranberry sauce. It was amazing! I love that their menu has something for everyone, from straight up non complicated all-american foods to dishes that are unique and complex in a good way. Its great food and I love their patio.

Anonymous said...

I was in Kitchen 64 having lunch last week and a gentleman came in to speak with the manager "Johnny"....seems the man had a problem with an incident in the restaurant and the manager was EXTREMELY rude to him to the point of solving his problem then telling him to "Go F--k yourself!",....I sat there flabbergasted that a restaurant owner/manager would be so crude and rude to a customer....ESPECIALLY when the restaurant had been at fault in the incident......I'll not return.

Anonymous said...

The incident you're referring to (above post) was a man attempting to extort money from a business owner with a scam. i know because i was there and was privy to all of the details and not just an eavesdropped conversation that unfortunately occurred at the restaurant where this man had spent 2 days harassing and abusing both a server and a female manager to try to get something for nothing. maybe next time reserve your judgement until you have even a marginal understanding of the circumstances as a whole.