There’s something great about having your neighborhood expand as outdated businesses are replaced with new bars and restaurants, creating a local neighborhood worth inhabiting. Maysville in the Flatiron District, which takes it’s name from Kentucky, and is also the birthplace for American Bourbon, may be the initial inspiration as more Americans are gravitating towards the spirit, but it’s Chef Kyle Knall’s cuisine and
accompanying service, which will make the strongest impression and have you returning, and recommending to friends.
Part of the charm of Maysville is that it isn’t very large and has a menu that is equally minimal, but strategically divided into smoked and charred food, and raw and chilled seafood.
The space is warm and inviting starting with an entire bar stacked with over 200 of some of the best Whiskeys around. If you like Whiskey, you need to stop by and sidle up to the welcoming bar and try your favorite over rocks. For newbies to the spirit, Maysville has concocted a cocktail menu of Bourbon and Whiskey cocktails from the traditional Old Fashioned, to new inspired Whiskey cocktails that incorporate sparking wine. The bar is also available for counter dining, one of my favorite ways to experience both the cocktails and cuisine, while interacting with the friendly bar staff. Sitting at the bar is also conducive to neighborhoods, as it elicits grabbing a friend to enjoy a weeknight meal or cocktail, while catching up. Since the space is limited, and the word has gotten out about Maysville, I suggest making an advance reservation, as when I was there on a recent Monday at 9 PM, the place was buzzing and completely at capacity.
Chef Knall may be young and under 30, but his cuisine is anything but unsophisticated. That being said, there’s a nod to his roots growing up in the South, with noticeable awareness of his time over at Gramercy Tavern. The menu is refreshingly innovative and comforting at the same
time. One of my favorites that I haven’t seen on a menu before was the Arctic Char Tartare with Horseradish and lemon, off of the Raw & Chilled Seafood portion. I love a restaurant that features fresh oysters, and the night I went they were handpicked from Rhode Island that tasted sweet, briny and paired perfectly with the accompanying mignonette.
The Crispy Grits with country ham and bourbon aioli should be a must for the table as they are decadent and surely a specialty of Chef Knall. You can also tasted the grits on one of the standout dishes on the menu, and one of Chef’s favorite dish, the Poached Egg Duck Confit, which in addition to the grits, features roasted mushrooms, collard greens and a smoked broth. The savory flavors are heavenly, especially after you mix the egg with all of the other delicious ingredients. The bowl is nicely rich and perfect for sharing.
Other non-obvious choices on the menu include the Charcoal Smoked Makerel Carpaccio, with sunchokes and jalapeno, as well as the Roasted Bone Marrow with charred red onion
jam and gremolata. I love a menu that features Trout, and Maysvilles features a whole smoked option. I ordered the Poached and Crispy Chicken, which may be the moistest preparation I’ve ever tasted. Chef Knall paired it with apples, celery root, potato dumpling (gnocchi), and turnips. The incredibly Fall dish was superb and light. My friend had another standout dish, the Sea Bass with quince, salsify, razor clams and black quinoa. Again, similar to my dish, the Sea Bass included a nice root vegetable paired with the light sweetness of the quince. The black quinoa further added to the texture, lightness and presentation of this overall satisfying and scrumptious entree. The dishes were so rich in flavor, but light in presentation that we actually opted for dessert.
There’s so much on this vibrant menu that warrants several repeat visits, and after meeting this young chef, I’m sure he’s drawing inspiration from his own Southern roots, seasonal and light cuisine, time at famed restaurant, Gramercy Tavern, and of course Bourbon! Visit, MaysvilleNyc.com