I used to watch Top Chef on Bravo a lot, so visiting Tom Colicchio‘s restaurant in Garden City was rather exciting for me. Located right at Roosevelt Field Mall, Small Batch is located amongst the other collection of restaurants at the mall, such as Capital Grille.
I really liked the exterior of the restaurant. The glow of the letters against the dark panels is truly inviting.
The restaurant has a very “farm-to-table” feel, which some people really love and others truly hate. The decor and atmosphere could be either seen as overly simplistic and austere or refined and modern. The choice is yours. There is an open kitchen, which makes it fun to watch the chefs running about trying to cook your food. I’m a big fan of restaurants with open kitchens — it adds a layer of transparency, interaction, and entertainment.
The menu is written in rather small print, which could be a turn off in itself for some. Again, at this point in the restaurant, you’re either totally digging the atmosphere or you’re dreading it greatly.
I ordered the tuna tartare as an appetizer, and it was phenomenal. I also had a glass of Malbec, which was one of the best glasses of Malbec I have ever had — it was Viba Cobos Felino 2017 from Mendoza, Argentina. I was very happy with this starter dish. The mussels and octopus also looked very good and tasted great.
The Roasted Cod was served with Brussel sprouts, bacon jam, apple butter, and crispy quinoa. I copied that from the menu — I truly had no idea you could make bacon jam or apple butter, but I guess I learn something new everyday. The dish was genuinely perfect — beautifully presented, good portion size, very tasty, and lots of character. There were many dimensions to the dish with crispy and tender qualities. I would order it again. The pasta and the burger also looked great.
To top it off, we ordered some cappuccinos, espressos, and shared a dark chocolate tart with apple tarte tartin. Both desserts were tasty and served with ice cream; nonetheless, they were not particularly noteworthy.
All in all, the most memorable aspect of this restaurant is the food. Tom Colicchio has trained these chefs well to present beautiful and rich dishes full of flavor. The atmosphere is pleasant and simple, and is largely a function of personal preference in design. It’s a good place for a relatively quiet and calm dinner — it’s not hustling and bustling like crazy, although it was rather crowded. I would go to Small Batch again.