September 29, 2003 | Ask Gael
I’ll go anywhere if the food is good.

        My expectations are zero when I enter Patio Dining through the slammin’ bar next door. Patio? It’s a funky curtained-off alcove with a kitchen and half a dozen tables. But as long as Picholine-prepped Eric Korsh is doing his manic magic act at the range, expect to be impressed by impeccable products, deft seasoning, and a mature simplicity. Butter-poached lobster on purée of late-summer corn with pea greens. Juicy pan-roasted Niman Ranch pork chop with just-made applesauce. Young pheasant from D’Artagnan—the legs confit’d, breast roasted mid-rare, with pancetta-flecked oven-caramelized Brussels sprouts. Mornings spent in the Greenmarket dictate a daily changing menu. But Patio’s much-loved spaghetti baked to a crunch with tomato, pine nuts, and spinach is a constant. Sure, the sound blasts nastily through the curtain—but stick around for a fresh ricotta tart with citrus zest. Luscious and clear, almond ice cream tops autumn’s first apples warmed in honey.

31 Second Avenue 212 460 9171