Octavia’s Porch (Closed)
40 Ave B, LES
As a certain sign of the times, I ate at Octavia’s Porch a few months ago, and now that I have a chance to write it up, it has already shut its doors for good. So this will be more of a eulogy than a review. I actually liked the place, Spud thought it was fair, and several critics ripped it apart. So, that’s all it takes in this fickle city.
Octavia was the creation of Top Chef alum Nikki Cascone, who attempted to modernize Jewish cuisine at a relaxed LES space. I dug the space, thought there were nice nods to classic deli fare, like good homemade cream soda and black & white cookies. We had the kreplach (meat dumplings) and the brisket sandwich with pickled onions, which I thought was delicious. The Long Island Duck Breast was a miss, as it was served rare and not crispy. But overall, I thought this place had potential as a new niche between deli and upscale kosher restaurants. But since it went out on a limb, it was easy for critics to pan. RIP Octavia, now all of us NYC Jews will have to go back to Katz’s and Chinese food.