A while back, on a cold winters’ eve, I stopped into Weights + Measures for dessert and an after-dinner drink. It hadn’t been open long, and the PR was still in high gear: This was the hippest place in town!
Shag carpet, vinyl playing on a vintage Marantz, and classic cocktails reminded me of the Cactus Lounge in the Standard Hotel on Sunset in Los Angeles. Out there, the kitschy 1970s décor was and are circa 1990, but here, it was fresh and vibrant. I was in a trance.
My Irish Coffee and “Doughknots” with cardamom sugar and honey only enhanced the mood. Dessert and drink paired flawlessly, giving me the only “sweet ending” I would get that night. When my check arrived in a plastic cassette case, the time warp was complete.
Buzz on most new restaurants quiets down after the initial blast. Not so for Weights + Measures. This restaurant, bakeshop, and bar still get the accolades, despite minimal changes to its menu or concept.
In naming Weights + Measures #21 on CultureMap’s Top 100 Restaurants list, editor Eric Sandler had this to say: “Whether it’s pastries and slices of bread for the bakeshop or pizza crusts and pastas for the restaurant, the dough room drives the menu at this eclectic Midtown restaurant. Chefs Richard Kaplan and Fernando Rios… turn them into any number of tasty bites. Creative cocktails from bar manager Shan Liu maintain the standards established by founding partner Mike Sammons, and the wine list remains an affordable way to indulge.”
So it was that after a grueling visit to the medical center I stopped into Weights + Measures. A Grilled Bone-In Pork Chop with apricot-miso sauce, sautéed Swiss chard, and parsnip-potato mash sounded like the relief I needed.
It was, indeed, as good as any medicine. All the flavors in this dish came together seamlessly. From the bar, a spicy take on tequila called The Fun Side of The Wall (get it?) mixed Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, guava, and lime with Hellfire bitters and a Tajin rim. It went down faster than I could say “Another, please!”
Fast forward to last weekend when I met friends at Weights + Measures. Our server recommended a medium-bodied Sprockets Pinot Noir+ blend from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. With rich aromatics of orange, apricot, and a wee bit of capsaicin, we all loved it.
As we did our dinners. A “small plate” of nicely wood fired Lamb Chops in a nest of shishito peppers awakened us and left us energized for a party afterward. Low-carbs, take note!
Spaghetti Alla Chitarra with pistachio pesto and a watermelon radish-spinach salad was light, fresh, yet still filling. Not too big, not too small. Just right.
Weights + Measures is located in a still-isolated area of Midtown. Turn on your GPS! But that’s part of the fun of Weights + Measures. It’s like something you’ve discovered for your very own. Discover it soon!