NYC Local: Haven's Kitchen

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I had a breakfast meeting with one of my sales reps a few weeks ago and we had a few requirements: serves coffee and tea; quiet enough for us to go over our agenda; close to our office.

We headed to the ever-delightful Haven's Kitchen in Chelsea. I know, "delightful" sounds twee and dramatic, but it is an absolute delight. The ambiance is chic but quaint, the food is wonderful, and the whole vibe is just delightful and calm.

Haven's Kitchen is located at 109 West 17th Street (just west of 6th Avenue) in Manhattan. In addition to their adorable front café, they offer cooking classes, sell specialty foods, and private rentals for parties and events. Plus, they quote Queen Julia on their menu board:

"No one is born a great cook - one learns by doing." Preach the good word, Jules.

I enjoyed a fluffy and creamy slice of leek, thyme, blue cheese quiche. It was as thick as a Chicago deep dish slice and every bite made me happier and happier.

I enjoyed the flavor combination so much that I recreated the mix of flavors in a recent dinner! I found a pork chop recipe I wanted to try and thought I could make a dressed up pork and beans. The thyme, leek, and blue cheese combo applied to green lentils. I loosely used Bon Appétit's Canal House Lentils for inspiration, though I left out soy and tomato paste. I started with three beautiful spring leeks and sliced them all up.

I also need to find some jewelry in this color green. It's just so vibrant and gorgeous. It's an energetic green.

I cooked those down for awhile with a large capful of dried thyme. Then, I added a cup of green lentils.

In keeping with the BA recipe, I covered the whole lot with 2 1/2 cups of water, brought it to a boil, and then simmered until done. Fantastically, the pork and the lentils ended up being done around the same time.

Oh, right, the pork chops? Insanely good. Mix Dijon mustard with paprika and cayenne, then slather it all over your chops.

Coat with the panko and bake!

Once the lentils were done, I stirred in a hefty shake of blue cheese crumbles.

Protein and protein and cheese. Divine.

Each component of the dish on it's own was outstanding. The spicy mustard on the pork was so delicious and the panko, although baked and not fried, was the perfect amount of grainy crunch on the outside.

The lentils were tender and creamy, more so with the addition of the cheese, and the little bursts of leek throughout were fresh and yummy. I'm so glad I tried that quiche at Haven's Kitchen - this meal was a knockout and will definitely be a repeat!

Haven's Kitchen in no way compensated me for this post - I love their story, I love their mission, I love their space, and most of all I love their food.

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