Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Cardinal

For Mr. Matzo Ball's birthday, he picked the Cardinal to celebrate. Southern food with fried chicken on the menu. Oh baby, yes!
We started off the night with some pimento cheese on bread ($9). Creamy cheese dip on toasted bread with pickled vegetables as the garnish. Not bad at all. The flavors were more pronounced with the roasting of the pimentos and poblano peppers as well as with the extra sharp cheddar.

Next, the hush puppies ($14) with blue crab meat and fried until crispy. These were very good as well. The outer shell was so crunchy while inside a noticeable mix of crab meat and filler.
The fried oysters were another big hit that night. Plump little oysters battered then fried until golden. The oysters were juicy and briny while the corn meal crust was crispy and light. They certainly know how to fry here.
To share, we ordered a bucket of fried chicken ($70) which also came with 4 sides. The chicken pieces were huge. The breast pieces could have easily been cut into 2 parts.
Overall, I thought the chicken was just okay. The crust was thin and delicate (probably a thin batter) but the seasoning was not there. It wasn't seasoned throughout either so it tasted bland to me. It needed more brining. Also, by serving the chicken in a bucket, the bottom pieces got a bit soggy after sitting in there for a bit.
Mr. M&P opted to get the house burger ($14) which american cheese and caramelized onions. He thought the burger to be really overcooked (he ordered it medium rare) and probably wouldn't get it again. It wasn't memorable.
For our sides with the chicken, we chose fried okra which were cornmeal dusted and fried. Delicious little nuggets. Does this still count as a vegetable?
And deviled eggs. I didn't try these as I had become too full after the chicken and various other sides.
The corn and tomato succotash was better as an idea than executed. The larger uncut tomatoes didn't work well with the really small corn kernels and random pieces of kale.
The fried green tomatoes were another meh side. I thought these to be overly fried and under seasoned. All I tasted was tartness from the green tomato.
And here the potato salad was the mayo laden kind. Not much to this dish and to that not memorable either.
Overall, I thought the Cardinal to be just mediocre. The chicken (the one thing I was looking most forward to) was under seasoned and the pieces were unruly. It makes for very uneven cooking. The sides were also not very interesting. The best part of the meal were the appetizers. Those had the most flavor and was seasoned properly.

The Cardinal
234 E 4th Street
New York, NY 10009
(212) 995-8600


  1. That's a shame... what's on the left side of the fried oyster plate? Looks like a hunk of fish?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.