Craving Claud…NYC Restaurant Review

Timing is everything.

I went from drowning at sea in a horrible script to wallowing in fabulous, creative food at the East Village newcomer, Claud.

Saturday’s challenge was to make it on time to my 5pm dinner reservation after seeing, Life of Pi, on Broadway.

I successfully navigated the trip although I had alerted Claud to a potentially late arrival.

Shockingly, Manager Michael sent me a lovely respond, stating that they would hold my reservation and even if I was tardy to the party my experience would not be rushed or diminished in any way.

Nowadays, interpersonal communication with a restaurant for any reason is nonexistent so this was a very pleasant surprise.

Claud turned out to be a very satisfying experience…Life of Toby was way more enticing than Life of Pi.

Claud is an intimate, gracious restaurant on East 10th Street.

Claud is the brainchild of chef Joshua Pinsky and wine director Chase Sinzer who met while working at David Chang’s award winning, Momofuku Ko.

Branching out on their own, they have gifted the city with a French wine bar gem located in New York City’s East Village.

The name of the restaurant, Claud, was inspired by the nickname of Sinzer’s mom, Claudia, whom he fondly describes as a “very Jersey Italian mother.”

We assumed our position at the bar and began our delectably creative meal with a lovely white wine from Languedoc-Roussillon region ($12) and Yamato Shizuku sake ($18), progressing immediately to truly the best thinly sliced Kampachi.

The Kampachi with Kumquat and Yuzu was sweet, chilled and perfectly seasoned ($22).

The Grilled Asparagus with Ramp Vinaigrette made me green with envy. The incredibly flavorful vegetable was so fresh and tasty with a mild garlic vinaigrette and was accompanied by fresh, warm, crusty bread ($26).

The Mushroom Mille-Feuille pastry was outrageous, layered with sumptuous mushrooms and a creamy cheese. The combination of flavors enveloped by the amazingly flaky, light pastry was a real highlight ($33).

The Peeky Toe Crab Bread is really a mini pizza with the sweetest crabmeat. It was sensational ($42).

The most noticeable piece of edible art is the Devil’s Food Cake that is on display.

Chef Pinsky and his kitchen staff make all the desserts and the devil’s food cake is hard to forget once you’ve indulged in the enormous (more is better when it comes to a fab dessert) light as air, multiple layers and the creamy icing that has just the right touch of sweetness ($22).

I took most of the cake home and a refrigerated version was enjoyed for days.

Discussions with Manager Michael and wine expert, Julia, proved to be interesting and informative.

Talking food for me is up there with my obsession with sports and travel.

Reservations are challenging. A good way to earn admittance is to arrive around 4:30 before the party gets started at 5pm.

The interior is spread out for a small restaurant. We sat at the bar which is comfy even though the stools are backless. The countertop, an attractive slab of Bramante Maestro quartzite made of swirled emerald is a defining backdrop to the stellar cuisine served on white and colored earthenware and clear china plates.

The bar has a bird’s-eye view of all the comings and goings.

Claud stands on its own with a diverse and interesting wine list highlighted by many wines from Burgundy.

Along with deliciously creative, albeit pricey food,  the cuisine is served in a warm and welcoming environment that projects old school hospitality.

Make the effort to rendezvous at Claud.

Claud 90 East 10th Street New York City. Open daily 5-10pm. Reservations on Resy. A monthly wine club subscription features producers integral to the identity of the Claud wine program.

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