Photography by Evan LeRoy
I have a special place in my heart for restaurants that do classic dishes perfectly. Anybody can chop up some romaine, squeeze out some Newman’s own and throw on some croutons and parm for a Caesar salad but it takes care and more work than most diners think to get just the right amount of garlic and anchovy in a Caesar dressing or the perfect size, crunch and color on a crouton. This is why I like Stove, on 28th Ave.
Tucked off the main drags, Stove is the kind of restaurant that creeps up on you. Even though the streets outside the restaurant were quiet the dining room was lively with servers hustling between tables delivering delicious looking classic dishes like hanger steak and fries, shepherd’s pie and fish and chips. I started with the crock of French onion soup, my date had the tomato and mozzarella stack with balsamic reduction. The caprese was nothing special but then again it never is. The mozzarella was appropriately creamy, the tomatoes nicely seasoned and the balsamic reduction tied everything up in a nice sweet/tart little package.
My soup on the other hand, was something I’ve only dreamt of. Rich, oniony and bursting with flavor, the broth alone would have made an excellent soup. They should serve it in a Big Gulp but that would be giving up the best part about French onion soup, melted cheese on the crock. Creamy, bubbly and just a little bit browned, the melted cheese and crouton on Stove’s soup crock was the icing on this steamy liquid cake. I ate the cheese in two bites and had to slow down through the crouton because I burned my tongue.
For my entrée I had the rosettes of sole with crabmeat stuffing, fish veloute and pernod essence with a side of mashed potatoes. While the mashers were a little under seasoned, the sole was cooked beautifully and the crabmeat stuffing was creamy and light at the same time. The girlfriend had
a salad that was on special with goat cheese, roasted pears and candied pecans that was a teriffic combination of sweetness, crunch and tang.