Our visit to Bedford & Co. on 40th Street, East of Lexington, Downtown side
If you spend your life riding in the bar-car, commuting from Manhattan to Darien you’ll probably make friends who share insights into the markets, opportunities others might miss. For me the opportunities that my professional travels afford are the occasional invitation to what we call in the business a “friends and family soft opening”. That’s a first night of service, intended to tighten the team, a shake down cruise if you will. My dinner this evening with our oldest child Lyman at Bedford & Co. on 40th Street between Lexington and Park was just one of those special occasions. I not only shared a perfect evening with my daughter, like those Wall Streeter’s in the bar-car, I also got a few good ideas from an old friend.
John Delucie and I go back to my early days in Amagansett, John worked the line at Nick & Toni’s but then had the good fortune of opening a kitchen under his own direction called the Bullshead in Bridgehampton in the mid 90’s. His experience since then has been impressive, opening the Waverly Inn and then the Lion, among several others. He’s learned to navigate swift water on the streets of Manhattan all over town.
Tonight, he popped the cork on his first solo project. Bedford & Co. is swell, sweet, smooth and sophisticated. We started with an octopus served over a squid ink vinaigrette that I’ll spend my next week trying to replicate. It was actually an aioli finished with a spark of chili that provides a perfect foil for a lightly poached tentacle served alongside tiny, house made, pickled cucumber.
Main courses were spot on, too. We loved his black bass, poached in olive oil and served in a pool of tomatillo salsa. The tomato sauce tossed with pasta was blissful, featuring a light crunch from pistachio and deep rich finish from merguez. For the last of our shared main courses we devoured a Bedford & Co. burger, with sheets of melted bloomsday cheddar and just enough caramelized onion to compliment and not overwhelm the burger turned out to be a perfect call.
Bedford & Co is a newcomer with masterful direction. The location is perfect for me, located one block from the last Hamptons bound Jitney stop and 2 blocks from Grand Central. The plan is aggressive, breakfast, lunch and dinner. And the room is sinfully private, warm and tuned for success.