When I was in New York City back in April, my coworkers and I spent an afternoon bopping around Soho. In between lusting after jackets at H&M and trying on more shoes than I can count, I managed to spot an adorable restaurant! This particular day in April was one of those rare, sunny, 90 degree days and all of the Soho restaurants and bars had their windows open. We were walking on Lafayette Street when I spotted a place called Jack's Wife Freda.
The restaurant caught my eye for two reasons: one, it's adorable sign, clearly a tribute to Freda, and two, it's long center table designed for communal dining. I whipped out my phone, took a picture and typed in the address for safe keeping.
Last week when I returned to New York for a five day business trip, I decided to make Jack's Wife Freda my first night dinner location. I hailed a cab to the corner of Lafayette and Spring Street and popped out just in time to meet my college girlfriends.
Here is the adorable storefront I was talking about:
On this June night the weather was cloudy and muggy, so the patio was vacant, but the menu was still outside for anyone interested in taking a peek.
I set foot inside and was happy to see the restaurant was every bit as warm and inviting as I had remembered it. The communal table was front and center. I couldn't help but think it would be incredibly fun to reserve that entire table for a birthday dinner.
We were seated in the front, left corner of the restaurant right in the window. I never turn down a prime people watching seat!
We settled in and I noticed that each girl had a paper placemat at her seat that had with Freda's face on it and the restaurant's menu. I loved the cartoonish quality of the menu, particularly the entree and dessert doodles!
To celebrate our reunion, we decided to order a bottle of Cava. The waitress poured each of us a glass in glasses that look like the kind caterers use to build pyramids of champagne at weddings. Rather than leave the bottle at our table so we could pour it at our leisure, our waitress kept taking the bottle away with her! I am sure it was so our table wouldn't feel too crowded, but we would have loved to refill our own glasses.
We struggled with the menu because we wanted to order absolutely everything! No exaggeration. We started with the grilled haloumi which was served with picked rhubarb. Haloumi cheese is a bit dense and as such, responds well to a char from the grill. The cheese has a nutty taste to it, making it easier to devour an entire plate of it, as opposed to say a mozzarella.
Next up was the cauliflower with sour cream and bread crumbs. In the past two years, I have become obsessed with cauliflower. It's replaced mashed potatoes for me. This dish specifically was creamy, crunchy and definitely had a heavy dose of garlic. Are you drooling?
Our third and final appetizer was the zucchini chips which were served with smoked paprika aioli for dipping. Fried zucchini can be soggy, but these chips were super crisp and crunchy and the paprika aioli had the perfect kick. Warning: these are addicting!
It's hard to believe we had room for dinner, but hey, we're just that good at dining out. One of my friends ordered the Greek salad which to our surprise, came over a bed of kale instead of lettuce or mixed greens. It also came topped with pickled onions and a giant block of feta cheese!
Next to me, a friend ordered the prego roll which is basically a steak sandwich. It came with a side of French fries. She said the bread the sandwich came on was soft and delicious and that the steak had a tasty garlic, herb and butter rub. She did say that though she loved the bread and the steak, she wished the sandwich had cheese.
I ordered the evening's pasta special, housemade pappardelle with asparagus, cherry tomatoes, minted ricotta cheese and freshly grated parmesan.
Look at all that cheese!
The pasta itself was light and the ideal base for this cornucopia of toppings! I loved the flavor combination of the asparagus, the juicy cherry tomatoes and the rich ricotta cheese. Yum!
Our waitress asked if we'd like to consider dessert, but one of the ladies at the table is the head pastry chef at Brooklyn's Baked and she brought us treats!
A few minutes later our waitress returned with our check, which was paper clipped to a postcard of the restaurant! Too cute.
Before leaving one of the girls asked our waitress to bring her phone number to the handsome chef! The perfect end to a dream girls night out.
If you find yourself in Soho, make sure to seek out a meal at Jack's Wife Freda. The restaurant is warm and cozy and though the menu is small, each and every dish is outstanding.
Stayed tuned for three more posts about my dining adventures in New York!