NYC Restaurants

Whym
889 Ninth Ave (58th St)
New York, NY, 10019
(212) 315-0088
Website
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Cuisine: New American , Continental

Menu:   View the Menu

Reader Ratings:

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Cititour Review:
It wasn’t quite a whim that led me into Whym the other night. I had spotted the brightly lit marquee some weeks ago while driving down upper Ninth Avenue and put it on my mental to-visit list. A theatre date at Lincoln Center -- just six blocks to the north – provided the perfect opportunity to check out this five-month-old eatery from the owners of nearby Eatery (just five blocks to the south).

At first glance, Whym seems the epitome of chic, with its dark wood furnishings and trendy light fixtures. But once you’re seated, the design flaws become readily apparent, from the stained upholstery to its scuffed floors. But the seating is comfortable, the staff is quite attentive and friendly, and the wine and cocktail list is modestly priced, so these minor sins are all quickly overlooked.

You’re likely to feel in an even more forgiving mood after one bite of the delicious spinach and onion tart, in which the beautifully cooked vegetables are given added depth by dollops of gorgonzola and bits of pistachio. Choosing a second appetizer was a more arduous decision, with our waiter giving particular praise to the house’s calamari and the unusual duck negamaki. But we gave into the temptations of the evening’s shrimp special, and were duly rewarded by a quartet of perfectly grilled shrimp atop two shallow pools of nicely spiced charred tomato coulis. In the middle was an irresistible tangle of warm spinach, chorizo, tomato, and mushroom. (The grilled shrimp is regularly paired on the menu with a tamale.)

One reason we had foregone the negamaki was that we had opted for the Long Island duck breast as a main. What arrived was a half-dozen expertly cooked pieces of the fowl fanned atop a mound of gorgeously sautéed vegetables. (Even I ate most of them!) It was even easier to remain virtuous since the “starch” was an odd concoction of Asian noodles wrapped in seaweed and fried in a tempura-like crust. On the other hand, my dining partner’s side dish – a magnificent and surprisingly large salad of frisee, French beans, lardons, and Roquefort in a warm vinaigrette -- outclassed the slightly overcooked if otherwise pleasing sea bass that was meant to be the star.

Feeling a bit full, we decided to sample only one dessert: a trio of barely cinnamon-flavored meringue cookies which were arranged Napoleon-like with a filling of berry-flavored whipped cream. It’s properly light and summery -- well, if you manage to ignore the intense Valhrona chocolate sorbet that shares the plate. Remember, it is bathing suit season. And October isn’t that far away.
Review By: Brian Scott Lipton

Neighborhood: West 50s

Entree Price: $20-25


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