The Orchard House is a fun eatery that boasts a varied menu full of drinks and dishes for all ages, moods, and occasions. Situated on the historic Orchard Street on the Lower East Side, The Orchard House provides an edgy space for either a late night cocktail or a romantic meal. With both homemade elixirs and an eclectic menu of small and large plates, The Orchard House is a definite must-see for the upcoming summer season.
As guests of owners Kevin and Teddy, we were invited into their restaurant with an attentive staff and a great sense for genuine hospitality. When my friend and I walked through the door, we were invited to sit either in the open-front end of the restaurant or in the cozy back. We opted for the back space for a bit more privacy, even though the airflow was spectacular at the entrance. As we were seated, we met our friendly waiter and quickly got to perusing the cocktail list. The Orchard House pride itself on a variety of specialty cocktails as well as a wonderful selection of wines and beers.
Christopher and I each started with one of Orchard’s renowned cocktails – I quickly decided on The Sage Lady, while he went for a more whiskey influenced drink, The Derby. The Sage Lady was a lovely, light choice for a warm spring evening. It had Absolute Mango, Combier, lime juice, simple syrup, cucumber, sage and peach bitters. The Derby was a bit more masculine, comprising of Kentucky Bourbon, mint, lime, demerara syrup and coca cola. Both were a great way to start the meal and reasonably priced at about $12 a piece. After studying the menu a bit, we decided to sample several small plates in order to taste all of the different regions of food available on the menu. We started with a personal favorite, fried pickles.
Pickles are a staple in my diet, whether my dentist wants to know or not. They are a crunchy, easy-to-eat food that never seems to disappoint my palate. The Orchard House’s pickles were sliced thinly, lightly battered and fried – simply delicious. They were served with horseradish and whipped sheep’s milk ricotta.
Next we tried a tapas sized plate called Devils on Horseback, which were dates stuffed with blue cheese and bacon. These were unbelievable. Creamy and rich, these dates were cooked to perfection and offered a lovely savory flavor.The dish It was a stand out in both flavor and presentation!
Next we tried a popular favorite, the crab cake. Orchard’s crab cake was delicious and full of real crab meat. The seafood essence went really nicely with my second citrus-influenced cocktail, an Orchard Fizz — which had sparking wine, Absolute apple, cranberry citrus and lemon bitters. I was impressed by Orchard’s eye for presentation throughout the meal. All plates were beautifully composed, full of color and natural beauty.
Our second to last dish was a prime example of this. The chef brought out a refreshing avocado salad, featuring grapefruit, heart of palm, and frisee all topped with a lightly spiced carrot dressing. It was a masterpiece.
To finish off the meal, we shared a plate of beef skewers, served with Thai basil dip, jicama, Korean chili and bibb lettuce. The meat fell right off the stick and the sauce complimented the beef marinade perfectly. We were able to sample cuisine from all over the world in one sitting. Very impressive.
The Orchard House
146 Orchard Street