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abcV

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

38 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003 40.73798 -73.991473
nr. Broadway  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-475-5829 Send to Phone

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  • Cuisine: American Nouveau, Vegetarian/Vegan
  • Price Range: $$$

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Critics' Rating:

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Reader Rating: Write a Review
Photo by Liz Clayman

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Official Website

abchome.com

Hours

Mon, 8am-10:30 and 12pm-3pm; Tues-Wed, 8am-10:30, 12pm-3pm, and 5:30pm-10:30pm; Thurs, 8am-10:30, 12pm-3pm, and 5:30pm-11pm; Sat-Sun, 5:30pm-11:30pm

Nearby Subway Stops

4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R at 14th St.-Union Sq.

Prices

$10-$17

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Breakfast
  • Dine at the Bar
  • Good for Groups
  • Hot Spot
  • Lunch
  • Notable Chef
  • Notable Wine List
  • Open Kitchens / Watch the Chef
  • Take-Out
  • Design Standout
  • Reservations Not Required
  • Online Reservation

Alcohol

  • Full Bar

Reservations

Recommended

Profile

With its roster of soul-­cleansing juices; its breakfast muffins with uplifting names like “Morning Glory”; and its clean, white, vaguely medicinal décor, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s much-praised veggie palace abcV looks like it’s been almost willfully designed by the great chef to set off alarm bells deep in the heart of even the most modest carnivore. Nearly everything in the open, light-filled space (tables, chairs, wall decorations) is brushed with the kind of pale, soothing colors that you might see in the cafeteria of a first-class rehab facility. The menus are filled with all sorts of ominous-sounding items (steamed broccoli, lettuce cups, restorative tonics containing “ashwagandha”), and the friendly wait staff tend to exude the kind of toothy, wide-eyed well-being that you see among the ranks of what the late great carnivore Josh Ozersky used to refer to suspiciously as “the Veggie Army.” But never fear, carnivores. The ranks of the Veggie Army have grown in stature and confidence since Ozersky’s time, and Jean-Georges, who spent the early part of his career creating culinary fads (molten-chocolate cake, anyone?), is in the business, these days, of perfecting them. His abcV is not a vegan restaurant, but if you feel like a helping of gluten-free pancakes in the morning, it has an excellent version with almonds, topped with a puff of banana whipped cream. If you wish to sample state-of-the-art “cold pressed” juices, it has those, too (try the “Root Renewal,” spiked with turmeric and ginger, among many other edifying things), along with a decent Martini touched with raw coconut water, and a clean, Jean-Georges-approved version of avocado toast sliced over fresh-baked polenta bread and touched with cumin and lime. The tomato sandwich at this department-­store café costs $16, it’s true, but the heirloom tomatoes are foraged from the famous Greenmarket down the street. If you grow weary of inventive twirls of spinach-spiked spaghetti (dusted with saffron crumbs) or perfectly steamed spears of broccoli (next to creamy beds of farmer cheese), then go at breakfast, which begins at 8 a.m. sharp and features the kind of elegant morning delicacies that even a bilious, meat-deprived restaurant critic can love. You can get your farm eggs perfectly poached (with a medley of buttery wild mushrooms) or scrambled (with dill and a folding of Rupert cheese), or over easy and nestled (with a seasoning of za’atar and some sautéed Swiss chard) in a great flap of dosa. The much-Instagrammed abcV dosa isn’t quite as crispy-fresh as the classic southern-Indian variety, it turns out, but it’s a decent vehicle for soft slices of avocado, or maple syrup mingled with gouts of melted butter, and it works just fine as a toast substitute to mop up the yolk.

Ideal Meal

Pine nut and lemon with harissa, wonton soup (dinner), tomato sandwich (lunch), dosa with Swiss chard, egg and za’atar (breakfast).

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