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The Early Word on New Noho Hotness Acme

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Acme, a Cajun staple that had seen better days, closed last year and reopened last week under the auspices of the owners of Indochine and the kitchen genius of Noma co-founder Mads Refslund. As expected when dealing with a noted chef bringing a bistro version "New Nordic" cuisine to an inviting low key atmosphere, the crowds are digging the place so far. Some fervent diners have experienced some irregular hours due to private events, and the owners will note that they are still "soft open" (but charging normal prices). But streams of Eater readers, bloggers, Yelpers, and the like have already been in to file reports. Check out their earlier thoughts ahead:

The Exciting News: This comes from the tipline: "The place is bustling and has a great vibe, almost like a brasserie, yet it's intimate. The cool people -- fashion folks, non-douchy Europeans -- are already packing it in. As for the food, we had four things: carrot and lardo, chicken and egg, steak with charred onion, and ravioli. The carrots and steak stood out, though everything was interesting (except maybe the ravioli, which were just solid). It's seemingly simple food, but Refslund, one of the guys who founded Noma, knows how to put the right few things on a plate. It's natural and comforting but also cosmopolitan. Exciting to see a place like this open up." [Eater Tipline]

The Hyperbolic News: A commenter on Mouthfuls wrote about their experience: "It's hard to believe it, but Acme is now The Most Exciting Restaurant In New York...here's one way the new Acme actually beats Copenhagen: they've come up with cocktails in the New Nordic style, which at least as of 2010 Copenhagen had failed at. I had a cocktail with gin, basil, and other stuff that I just loved. The NYC restaurant this is most like, you'd have to say, is Isa. Although it's not as much fun as Isa -- not nearly as cool -- the food, I think, is even better. Now the disclaimer: this is baby New Nordic. Don't go in here thinking you're going to be eating as at MR, Refslund's onetime Copenhagen fish restaurant. It's haute casual food. Fairly simple. No advanced cooking techniques. Few crazy ingredients. But, this food, at these prices, at . . . Acme? I can't believe it." [Mouthfuls]

More Great News: This is from a five star review on I8 NYC: "What we loved most about the meal is that nothing sat heavily on our gullets. Quite the contrary, actually. The interplay of sweet and sour made us that much hungrier. It is also important to point out that nothing we ate was saturated with heavy sauces or oils. Each ingredient was showcased to its potential for the most part. When you have good ingredients, you don’t need to douse your dishes with creams to mask their true flavors. Albeit the fact that we were not quite as fond of the Blackened Carrots as we would like, there was still balance. Not only between lean and fat, but also texturally. Being a big fan of textures and mouth feel, we appreciated the symphony of flavors that hit our palates. Must haves are the Duck in a Jar and Fallen Fruits dishes. The main dishes took a back seat to the apps in our opinion." [I 8 NYC]

The Superb News: An Eater reader writes: "Has anybody commenting EATEN at the new Acme? It's now the most significant restaurant in New York. The chef is Mads Refslund, who opened a restaurant in Copenhagen you might have heard of called Noma along with his friend Rene Redzepi (who still remains there). This isn't Southern-accented food. It isn't bistro food. It's baby New Nordic. And it's superb. This is like the NYC food story of the year." [Eater Comments]

The Bad News:The single Yelp comment is from a very unsatisfied patron: "It's like the Hamptons came to winter in this restaurant. We had a 1030 reservation, the owner bought us a round of drinks because "people were finishing up dessert" as if anyone in that place was eating dessert.. Even these complimentary drinks took 20 minutes to arrive. After an hour, we left, after watching several tables being seated before us. The owner certainly didn't look too sad to lose a potential regular customer. He was satisfied with his mostly club friend mercenaries that were brought in. It's nice that our cash was not needed. Anyway, I wish them luck as when the model crowd moves on to the next place, they will have to start treating people with reservations or potential new customers with respect. Maybe I will come back but, hopefully I can just go to the next restaurant Mads Refslund goes to when he sticks his head of the kitchen and sees what he is apart of." [Yelp]

The Very Good News: From the eGullet forums: "What happens when a restaurant opens in New York City, and it’s informed by a cuisine with which you might know nothing about? In this case, go...You know, dining out can sometimes be a learning experience, and two meals at Acme have taught me quite a bit. Certainly a bit about the philosophy of the New Nordic Cuisine, and how the use of bitter and sour components is as important as the use of sweet and salty. They open the palate. Raw, crunchy things on a plate are good and can serve to heighten the flavor and texture of the other components. Excellent ingredients are important, but hey, that’s a given?respecting them and treating them properly should be a given too, but often that’s not the case; here at Acme, it mostly is." [eG]

ACME

9 Great Jones Street, Manhattan, NY 10012 (212) 203-2121 Visit Website

Acme

9 Great Jones St., New York, NY

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