You may know blue-haired chef Jason Santos from his appearances on “Hell’s Kitchen.” Or perhaps you know him from local restaurants such as Gargoyles on the Square (now closed) and Blue Inc. Now Santos has a new venue at which to get to know him: Abby Lane Food & Spirits, in the Theatre District.
Santos, who is executive chef, became known for experimental cuisine. He filled his menus with ingredients that had been dehydrated, foamed, and frozen with liquid nitrogen. At Abby Lane, he does an about-face, serving comfort food that is meant to be affordable, approachable, and family friendly (there is even a kids’ menu). Case in point: In the past his signature dish was duck confit with sticky rice and mango. Here it is a spit-roasted half-chicken with potato puree, mushroom demi-glace, and baby carrots.
Diners will also find appetizers such as grilled shrimp tacos, tuna tartare, Buffalo wings, and nachos. The menu features soup, salads, and personal pizzas topped with anything from fried calamari to prosciutto, figs, goat cheese, and arugula. There are burgers, lobster rolls, and other sandwiches. Entrees include macaroni and cheese and pork tenderloin with mashed turnips and maple-cranberry jus. For dessert: apple crisp, red velvet cake, and more.
Sometimes even the most creative cooks are in the mood for something simple.