[Pigging by Wilfrid: June 25, 2012]
Someone called me crazy when I told them I'd given The Dutch another chance. Perhaps so. It was prompted by a couple of things. The news that Andrew Carmellini is set to launch a French operation in the Chinatown Brasserie space was one reason The Dutch was on my mind again.
The other was that I needed a fall back when I failed -- as I did -- to get into Perla. I was horribly disappointed by The Dutch when I first visited. First impressions are sometimes right.
So, I'd heard good things about the fried chicken, which long ago disappeared from the dinner menu. I decided to try the chicken wings, a $9 snack. Big snack. Four enormous, tip-on wings, with a shatteringly crunchy casing. There's some hot oil in that kitchen. The meat inside the crispy coating wasn't dry; it was a successful dish of its kind, although a horseradish note in the sauce/glaze was slightly off-putting.
They let me have some cornbread this time. Last time they didn't, and I don't know why. It was pleasant, although the spicy jalapeño element was mute. The butter, if that's what it was, was liquid.
There was a softshell crab on the menu, so I ordered it, and like the chicken wings it was a good enough dish of its kind. The crab was crunchy, served in a mild, brown-ish curry sauce, and garnished with peanuts. Was I in Kuala Lumpur?
Finally swordfish -- Block Island swordfish, no less -- and the kitchen finally reverted to the lameness of execution I'd found on my previous visit. This swordfish may have been potentially succulent when hauled from the cool waters off Block Island. The kitchen at The Dutch soon put at end to that, blasting it to cardboard and smothering it with an indecent amount of salt.
It was salty enough, in all good conscience, to send back, but I was done in any case. No more Dutch for me.
I was comped a glass and half of wine, purportedly in compensation for slow service. It was slow, I guess, but not wickedly so. I took the wine, instead, as consolation for being patted on the back some fifteen or twenty times by my solicitous server.