Sun-Mon, 8:30am-10pm; Tue-Thu, 8:30am-10:30pm; Fri-Sat, 8:30am-11pm
C, E at 23rd St.; 1 at 23rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
At his modestly sized, discreetly satisfying new restaurant in Chelsea called Trestle on Tenth, the chef and owner, Ralf Kuettel, indulges his particular tastes to an almost extreme degree. In the manner of other homegrown gourmet outposts around town, the restaurant occupies a utilitarian, brick-walled space, with a snug, boxy bar in the front of the room and a small garden out back, where you can dine under the shade of cherry and locust trees. The tabletops in the dining room are made of unadorned dark wood, and the row of pendulum lamps hanging from the ceiling look like they've been affixed there by Kuettel himself using a somewhat erratic staple gun. Kuettel grew up in Zurich, and it's his mellifluous accented voice you hear on the restaurant's answering machine. And it's his particular brand of earthy, down-home cooking on the menu, like "pizokel" (small, gnocchi-like dumplings) drizzled with melted Gruyere, crépinettes made with braised pork shoulder, and servings of knobbly veal kidneys doused in a creamy sauce made with Trappist ale.
Among the first appetizers to hit our table were copious platters of cheeses (mostly Swiss) and cured meats (speck, soppressata), a toss of Boston lettuce drizzled with a nice buttermilk dressing and many salty nuggets of bacon (good), and a generous slab of oxtail-and-pigs-foot terrine seized in a pinkish, overly rubbery gelée (not so good). The best item on the appetizer menu by far, however, is the pork crepinette, which is composed of pulled pork shoulder, savoy cabbage and spices, bound together in a fat little package, propped on a mound of spinach, and finished with a rich pork reduction.Ideal Meal
Pork crépinette, stuffed veal breast, gratinéed pizokle, Nusstorte