As the chef of the newly opened ABC Kitchen in New York City’s Flatiron District, chef Dan Kluger is quickly making a name for himself. His passion for local ingredients and thoughtful, seasonal menus has kept ABC Kitchen, which opened last year to rave reviews, packed to capacity practically every night since.
Just steps away from the Union Square Farmers Market, the restaurant sources a majority of its menu ingredients directly from local farmers, a practice that Kluger believes in wholeheartedly. “The New York culture is so committed to charity and philanthropy, what better way is there to show your support for the community than by supporting its local businesses?” he asks.
Having traveled extensively throughout the United States, opening restaurants for Jean-Georges, Kluger still feels most inspired by New York City, where he was born and raised. He has trained with some of the country’s most prominent chefs, including Floyd Cardoz, Tom Colicchio, and of course Jean-Georges, who opened ABC Kitchen under his eponymous restaurant umbrella and continues to inspire many of the restaurant’s menu items.
From pressed juice at the bar to mouthwatering entrees that combine flavor and texture in unique and delightful ways, Kluger insists he isn’t reinventing the wheel. “When you love food, and you’re using the best ingredients you can find from farmers you know and trust, it all just works,” he says with characteristic modesty.
The restaurant’s décor is similarly inspired by this philosophy: tables are made from fallen Oregon wood, lighting is low-voltage and energy efficient. All of the plates and service items are either refurbished antiques or have been hand made locally. Menus are printed with food dye ink on recycled paper, and the restaurant uses green-cleaning chemicals, soy-based candles and composts as much as it can.
The menu at ABC Kitchen changes every four to six weeks, often sooner based on the availability of ingredients. In the spirit of “think globally, act locally” Chef Kluger and his staff at ABC Kitchen are doing their part to keep our world beautiful and keep our palates inspired by fresh, local fare.
ABC Kitchen: 35 E 18TH ST., NEW YORK, NY 10003 40.737558
Sugar Snap Pea and Endive Salad
By ABC Kitchen Chef Dan Kluger
FOR THE SALAD:
3 cups sugar snap peas
12 spears Belgian endive
12 spears red endive or radicchio di Treviso
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
2 tbs. each parsley, chives,
chervil, tarragon, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
FOR THE DRESSING:
1 cup Parmesan, grated
1/2 cup plus 1 tsp. Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
FOR THE DRESSING:
Combine the Parmesan, vinegar, lime juice, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender. Emulsify with the oils. Reserve.
For the salad: (1) string the snap peas. Blanch for 30 seconds, and remove to an ice bath to cool. Dry the snap peas, and (2) slice into thin strips. To plate each serving: Place 1 Belgian- and 1 red-endive spear on a plate. (3) Top with a small mound of sliced snap peas, a drizzle of dressing, and sprinkle of cheese. Repeat twice using smaller endives each time. Sprinkle with herbs, and drizzle more dressing around the plate. Finish with black pepper. Serves 4. Save remaining dressing for another use.
Recipe originally appeared in the june 14, 2010 issue of New York magazine, adapted from Dan Kluger by Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite. Reprinted here with permission from Dan Kluger.