I am beyond excited for my move out west to San Diego, but that doesn’t mean that I am not going to miss my favorite NYC restaurants in my neighborhood. And with the move just 10 days away, I’m trying to fit in all of my favorites before the cross country drive that will be filled with snacks and roadside food… And at the top of that list is 44 & X Hell’s Kitchen. Just around the block from my family’s Greek bakery, Poseidon Bakery, is an inviting corner restaurant serving an inventive American menu. The freshest ingredients, beautiful presentation, and welcoming service makes this one of my staple Hell’s Kitchen eateries.
You guys know how much dessert means to me ((and Nonna, the matriarch of our Greek Bakery)). So while I will gush later about the delicious culinary works of art that make up their main menu dishes — I have to start with the dessert that we discuss at least once a week ((no exaggeration)) the 44 & X Banana Split. Now I know what you’re thinking… That seems like an unassuming dessert. Especially to someone with an 100 year old bakery at their sweet tooth’s disposal. BUT this banana split sundae is so good that we asked the waiter the first time to write down the name of their gelato supplier because we needed our fix even when we weren’t able to dine at 44 & X. This banana split sundae is so good, that we will often forgo individual entrees just to have room for said dessert.
What makes this sundae worthy of my willingness to write a 5 paragraph essay on it? First thing’s first — the quality of the gelato is otherworldly. The flavors are anything but basic — the base is one scoop of salted caramel, strawberry, and banana praline gelato. The perfect drizzle of chocolate + caramel sauces. An unreal halved brûlée banana but the kicker is the toasted house made marshmallow. Our spoons are always fighting for the last bite of that marshmallow. To die for.
44 & X HELL’S KITCHEN BANANA SPLIT SUNDAE
Our spoons are always fighting for the last bite…
But for those of you who skip out on dessert or simply just have more willpower than Lili Fable and I… Their seasonal menu is always evolving and serving the best of what that month has to offer. If you know me, you know that presentation and plating is just as important to me as the quality of food — and 44 & X never disappoints. All of their dishes truly are works of art and it adds that extra element to your dining experience. Honorary mention to their wait staff because I always feel so welcomed and have never had an instance of anything other than kindness and attentiveness while dining there. While impeccable food is omnipresent in Manhattan, the service at 44 & X is yet another thing that pushes it to the top of my favorites list.
Their cocktail menu is on par with the inventiveness of the food. Shown above is the Hunny Girl cocktail: Don Julio Silver, Cointreau, fresh lemon juice, honey & rose water, rose brice petals — gave Nonna a sip of mine when it came and she loved it so much that she ordered on of her own. And she is a Gin lover but 44 & X had her sipping tequila. Next up, terrine of roasted beets and aged goat cheese served with poached Mission figs, wild watercress, navel oranges, candied walnuts, navel orange vinaigrette — a combination I would never think of and now I will never forget… Also the pan roasted lemon sole, braised asparagus, artichokes, brussels sprouts, hen of the woods mushrooms, patty pan squash, pickled ramp Sauternes reduction. A clean and delicious meal before I devoured the split sundae in under 6 minutes.