By Aida Toro
Acme’s exterior and interior are eye-catching. The red doors have golden colored lizards as handles rather than traditional door knobs. Once inside the lobby, you’ll notice a piece of art made out of recycled party folding chairs with a wheel containing LED lights that say “Have a Nice Day”. You feel welcomed already. You’ll also notice the steps that’ll lead you to the restaurant’s downstairs lounge and a painted canvas of Donald Duck hanging right on the brick wall by the stairs.
When I walked into the restaurant, I felt as if I was walking into an elegant and chic speakeasy. The lights were dimmed and the decor consisted of different artwork being hung on the brick walls. A big mirror consisting of a half circle shape is placed behind a couple of the booths that resemble lounge seats. There’s music to fit the mood, such as the soul classic “I’m Your Puppet” played during dinner time.
I was greeted by the host and manager on duty They accommodated my guest and I with one of the best tables in the house. The menu was curated by Chef Thomas Romero, who took the helm of the kitchen in February 2018.
“Up until I took over the kitchen, we had a strong Italian and French bistro influence in our food,” said Romero. “I am expanding our lens to be more inclusive of different techniques and ideas, starting with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors. Every cuisine has its own meaning to add to the global conversation of food. We try to respectfully communicate that through our cooking.”
Romero mentioned that the menu at Acme is seasonal and showcases a variety of European flavors and techniques.
“I am a California boy at heart, so I bring some of those sensibilities to the table, but we aim to be quintessentially New York,” he said.
Currently, the restaurant is offering a Pre-Theater menu for $49 dollars. You’ll receive three courses, including an appetizer and dessert. But first,…
The waiter brought us some chips and a smoked aioli sauce rather than your typical loaf of bread and butter. This was to die for. You actually felt the smoke in your mouth after taking a bite out of the chip. Since my guest and I both ordered two Pre-Theater’s, our appetizers were the Roasted Carrots and the Duck Ragu. The Roasted Carrots were dressed with turmeric, tahini, za'atar, and puffed quinoa which was savory. You can taste the spice of the turmeric and the aromatic and tangy taste of the za’atar. The Duck Ragu appetizer was a delectable small bowl of fettuccine, cherry tomatoes, oregano, and a dollop of ricotta cheese on top. I’ve never had duck in a bowl of pasta, and now that I’ve savored it at Acme, I would definitely go for seconds on the Duck Ragu. For our entrees, we ordered a bowl of the Cacio E Pepe and a plate of the Sea Bass "Al Mattone". I’ve heard so many great things about Acme’s Cacio E Pepe that I couldn’t resist ordering.—even though I had pasta as an appetizer. Cacio E Pepe consists of spaghetti, capra sarda, pecorino, and grana padano —which wasn’t overly creamy. It was rich and tasty and satisfied my belly. As for the Sea Bass “Al Mattone”, the dish contained saffron pilaf, fennel, lemon nage, and urfa. This dish happened to be very light, pleasurable, and nutritious at the same time. Lastly, dessert is always the best thing on every menu. We ordered the Affogato and the Chocolate Financier. Of course, you cannot go wrong with having an affogato. All it takes is a scoop of vanilla gelato and a shot of hot espresso to create this dessert. Plus, anything with caffeine is always comforting after a great meal. The Chocolate Financier is the chocolate lovers dream. It consists of two little chocolate cakes, an elegant ribbon of chocolate mousse, and a miniature drop of whipped creme fraiche.
If you are looking to take your date or friends to a place that provides great hospitality, chic decor, a relaxed and entertaining environment with a touch of elegance, then Acme is the place to go to. Plus, dinner is much more luxurious in New York