More Praise for Ela


Ela - Photo by Jason Varney

Brian Freedman is the latest to heap praise on Jason Cichonski and his Queen Village restaurant, Ela. Only thing different is that Freedman was not particularly impressed with the scallop noodles.

[T]he best dishes at Cichonski’s Ela are generally the most seemingly classic ones, where modern touches were couched in a context of necessity. The skate arrived curled up like some sort of loose nautilus shell, its butter-browned flank a visual reference to the addictive whole-grain mustard crisps off to the side. Pureed sunchoke added further nuttiness to main components that alone would have been a pleasant and earth-toned composition. But like the best chefs, Cichonski often adds a final twist. Here it’s a vivid tangle of vinegary cabbage braised with mulling spices. This was the spark that ignited the other flavors on the plate. Nothing fancy, nothing precious: just cabbage, treated with respect and wit. Gorgeous.

Photo by Jason Varney