The new ACME restaurant and lounge

Yes, I had a band that played in the basement lovingly called the "Acme Underground"  And it was a dump.  The food upstairs was Cajun cuisine, ie. fried food and greasy, not very sexy or good.  But Acme has been reborn and it's now the coolest kid on the block and in the city.

Acme has two parts; the downstairs which is more of a bar/lounge area and the main dining room which is the ground floor but also sports a bar that you can eat at as well.  The downstairs area is very nice and simple with a large copper bar and just the right amount of lighting to make everyone look good.  I had a great Old Fashion and the rest of the drink menu was nicely put together.  They also offer some food options there if the wait upstairs is to long for you.

The main dining room/ground floor is really where the action is though.  There is a doorman to get in ala a nightclub, and he was very nice escorting us to the host stand which is half way into the room on the right.  The place was absolutely packed bar and dining room with beautiful people, this IS the hot dining destination right now.  After some drinks downstairs (there was a bit of a wait, but I wasn't surprised), we were seated in the rear of the restaurant surrounded by full tables.  If you are going for an intimate evening, this is not the place.  While the tables have enough distance between them, the noise level here is loud, but really; that's what most people will come for.

The food here I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.The Chef is from the world famous Noma, renowned for its "New Nordic" cuisine.  How they got this chef to come to this place is a mystery to me, but it 's a coup for the owners.  We started with some fantastic oysters; the accompanying mignonette had a brunois of cucumber in it which gave a nice textural contrast to the plump and juicy oysters.   The Duck in a Jar - This I am seeing a lot of now days with having has great versions at Spotted Pig and Saxon & Parole recently.  This one was great as well, a yummy spreadable fat with pickled veggies to break it up.  I loved the smokiness of this with the fennel and carrot.  It kind of reminded me of kalua pig texturally and smoke-wise. 

This dish is the Salt Baked Beets. Loved the earthiness of the beets, they tasted so rich and soft.   The addition of grapefruit and vinegar really brightened up the dish and the radishes added a nice crunch. 

For the he main course I ordered the Creamy Potatoes and the Chicken & Eggs.  Wow!  These have to be the creamiest potatoes I have ever had, these have to be like 80% cream.  I could eat the whole bowl by myself.  To make it even better there is bacon inside of it and it is topped with crispy, fried shoestring onions.  My mouth is watering just thinking about this.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Who cares! In this unassuming clay pot you have a choice to make and there is no wrong one. I would love to know how they got this chicken so moist and perfectly cooked, it was like magic in my mouth. Alongside in the pot you have a couple poached eggs that are then fried, what a great idea and fantastic execution. This dish really is that good, it is up there with my other favorite chicken dish; Jonathan Waxman's chicken at Barbuto.
 The new Acme is on it's way to to being the destination for trendy dining.  Unlike other places that are all scene and no food, this one really holds it's own on the food front.  I love that the food seems so simple while at the same time it is so complex.  Guests are already asking for this as word of mouth is spreading like wildfire.  I'm going again soon to try more dishes and you better get in while you can, it's definitely worth it.