What appears to be a Knicks fan cave from afar is in reality a salute to one sensationally attired Walt Clyde Frazier. Far on the west side, this 10th avenue restaurant is a space befitting the giant to which it pays tribute. And while the rhyming name may be a turn-off for some, but for others, it evokes a greatness both on the court and off.
As one of the first pet projects of the rich and famous, restaurants really cannot rest on the laurels of a pretty face. Today however, is one of those happy days when taste buds best hoity toity cynicism. Every dish a Clyde favorite, and every dish the picture of satisfaction. Even the unexpected smattering of Asia flavor falls into place, which, in the age of everything-Asian-fusion, often just feels orphaned on a plate.
The space is gargantuan for New York, with a lounge, bar, and dining area. Televisions occupy the only spaces not already decorated with the likeness of Clyde. Before I even get to describing the food however, let my long winded praise go first for the drinks. Ordering outloud itself is far from the only benefit, though simply saying “bounding and astounding” gave me a forceful flutter of happiness. The muddled blueberries, mildly flavored with ginger liqueur, was a perfect refreshment. “Spinning and Winning” however, with elderflower and passionfruit, might have just been a tad bit better. But come on, what would you order aloud?
The swift wait staff quickly brought out our appetizer. Buffalo grilled butterfly shrimp, just the tart to cut through the sweet drinks. Sadly, the meager portion was not nearly enough to savor the buffalo flavor. All in all, a strong opening.
Entrees came up next, and who could resist ordering a vanilla bourbon? The blackened scottish salmon was shockingly well prepared, with the charred surface only outmatched by the tender, gently cooked mid section, revealed by an effortless cut. The sweet of the sauce was subtle, and added a nice unexpected dimension. The garlic thyme chicken was no sucker either, moist and with the flavor sunken in, this herbs made a perfect dressing to the otherwise humble bird.
Take a moment. Instead of skimming the blog entry for photos of food and me looking disapprovingly at the camera, read this: order the donuts.
Even if you were skimming, you’d probably see the photo following this. Powdered with a little cinnamon if I remember correctly, these donut holes are just spectacular and serve above and beyond the call of its doughish duty. Anyways, I could just really like fried sugary items, but really, they are worth the calories.
What I just wrote may sound overly positive, but Clyde’s just exudes a feel good atmosphere with a dash of outrageous humor. On your way out you can even try your hand at a free-throw–under the often present and watchful eye of Mr. Frazier.
What does this rating mean?