Ask 100 Staten Islanders what is good to eat on the island and the answers will be roughly as follows: 50 will say pizza. 25 will swear by the Eyetalian. 10 will say nothing, as in time will expire until they can come up with something. 10 will say Mexican. 4 may surprise with Spanish. And 1 will mention Sri Lankan, followed by ding ding ding. Mexican is in fact getting better. But Sri Lankan is still the correct answer if we are talking about reasons to come to the island for food. Coincidentally 1 is also the percentage of my readers that will make the trek to the island for food (or live there). But last time I checked this is an equal borough opportunity blog.
So considering the above, its not so far fetched to consider The Richmond one of the island’s best. The menu and location on Bay Street near other island greats like Lakruwana and Vida gives it a certain ‘Je ne sais quoi’ if you will. The Richmond bills itself as the default New American which begs the question; WTF is New American anyway? And what ever happened to old American? Did we miss it? Its very simple actually. New American is a menu that can not be categorized. Its not French, not Italian, Russian? Nyet. Its essentially an eclectic, random bunch of stuff in a semi expensive restaurant in America.
The room is spacious, inviting and just elegant enough, without crossing over to the pretentious side (ie no tablecloths). One of the main differences between dining in Manhattan and SI is real estate. In SI, you dont need to say gezuntheit every time one of your neighbors sneezes. There’s usually ample separation between tables, but at the Richmond the layout and the various sections take it to another level. Noise levels in SI usually can only be hindered by music (I’m looking at you Enoteca Maria)
The menu is quite far from your typical SI joint. Items like Octopus Carpaccio, French style Charcuterie, and hand cut steak tartare are not something you can find on the island. And the execution is there. While the Octopus Carpaccio lacks much Octopus flavor, the dish including the chick pea salad on top still manages to work. The Kobe Beef hand chopped Tartare reminded me of the beefy Tartares of Piedmont. It is that good. But the star early on was the superb spicy seafood bisque. I would come back just for that
And there is a burger of course, and its a good one. The Wagyu patties cooked to medium perfection dont need much else. Instead of asking you how you want it cooked, they print how its cooked on the menu. I suppose you can request a different temperature but I wouldnt dare. There’s also some gourmet Mac n Cheese. We tried the Seafood (the other is Beef short rib) that featured wagon wheel pasta, and a smart combination of Gruyere, Raclet and sharp cheddar. It is relatively light, creamy and satisfying. The only dishes that felt short were the mussels, and the below average creme brulee. Verdict: If you live in Brooklyn, Go! If you live on SI: Run!
75 St Marks Ave (Brooklyn)
Rating: Two Z’s (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes: Burger, Octopus Carpaccio, Tartare, Seafood Bisque, Mac n Cheese