clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Good News/Bad News: Ed's Chowder House

New, 14 comments

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Krieger, 9/16/09

Upper West Side: It was just last Thursday that Jeffrey Chodorow reopened his steakhouse Center Cut as a new UWS "seafood shack" Ed's Chowder House, installing chef Ed Brown at the stoves, and already the 'Hounders and bloggers have filed early reviews. Most went on opening night and had fairly mixed experiences. And strangely enough, it sounds like the chowder is what needs the most work. To the early assessments:

The Mostly Good News: New York Journal samples some dishes on night one and is mostly a fan: "I loved the New England clam chowder and the sweet corn chowder, but the Manhattan-style chowder tasted like Campbell’s. A Savory Lobster Crumble ($16; above left) is listed as an appetizer, but it’s hearty enough to be a small entrée. I would be happy to eat this again. I asked a server to recommend her favorite side dish, and she suggested the Jalapeño Creamed Corn (above right), and this was also very good...servers were more polished than I would expect at a brand new restaurant. A cocktail took a bit too long to appear, but the staff got me out in time for my 7:30 concert. There was no attempt to upsell me—a first in a Chodorow restaurant." [NYJ]

The Ozersky Endorsement: Josh 'The Dash Bag' Ozersky gets the VIP treatment on night one, and he files a rave: "Brown brought his arugula pesto risotto with rock shrimps with him over from Eighty One, and more importantly, the scallop ravioli from Lucas Carton, the three-star restaurant in Paris where he trained earlier in his career. I can’t easily indicate how good these were, or how simple: great scallops, clean and sweet, in a pasta shell covered with beurre blanc. Period. I also had a lobster roll (impeccable), a simple weakfish (also impeccable) a delicious glass of lemonade, a delicious corn gratin, and some smoked cod cakes as an app. This is by far the best restaurant the Chods have opened up in recent years. Strangely though, the only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the chowder, which was thinner than I like. But the space is approximately 1000% more pleasant and lively than Center Cut was." [TFB]

The Lackluster News: An Eater commenter goes on night one, likes the decor, mains, and raw bar, and has some service issues: "Raw bar was very good. Chowder sampler took an hour to show up and was completely lack-luster. It's a chowder house, right?? I wouldn't name my place after something so average. Our main courses were all pretty good. Given all the managers around you would think they would apologize for the hour plus delay between our starters and main course. Seafood shack it is not. Be prepared to pay. Decor was nice. Hope they can work our the management/service kinks. Would like to have another good UWS option. I'll give it one more try before officially cross it off the list. And if they hand me one more form for my contact detail I will walk out and never return (3 request tonight). Time will tell..." [Eater Comments]

The Okay News: A Chowhounder has some hits and some misses: "The room is LOUD, both the bar and the dining area. At 6:30pm we had to lean in to hear each other and the waiter- across the slightly too large 2 top table. I had the Manhattan stlye Blue Crab Chowder- slightly spicy, lots of crab- very tasty. My dining mate had the "Loaded Shellfish Chowder" which was very good except for the fact it was not loaded. It was a 1/2 portion in a little black kettle. Had they filled it even 3/4 it would have been a more reasonable size. The beet salad was average, and the spicy chopped salad w/crispy calamari was more flavorful and calamari was well prepared. The bread basket had one warm delicious chive buttermilk biscuit, one cold but fresh Parker House roll, and one rock hard baguette stick. It was BEYOND stale- it should never have made it into the basket. Service is attentive, if slightly flustered..." [CH]

The Meanspirited News: This Eater commenter likes the chowder okay, but hates the idea of the place: "chowder was actually decent, as was all the food Docks with a little more style, but acoustical tile in a chowder house. generich, white bred decor, corporate robots on the floor, place reeks of a chodorow/kb thinktank. retarded move. he should shut these places down instead of dragging everyone through the mud trying to make something work that never will." [Eater Comments]

The Great News: The lone Yelp review is a rave: "Portions were pretty big, though the kind of food they serve is seafood-comfort food so it is filling in and of itself anyway. Servers were all really friendly, water was constantly being refilled. Drinks were ok...They serve the most delicious bread ever...The trio chowder sampler was amazing- corn chowder is slightly spicy, New England clam chowder was perfectly done, and I had never tried Manhattan clam chowder before but I loved it as well...A couple of my fellow diners had the tuna steak and the tuna steak-frite, both were fantastic dishes. Butternut squash risotto was a bit rich but perfectly al dente...The deserts are spectacular." [Yelp]