King for a Day

Marc Murphy conquers Midtown with Kingside

Let the record show, Marc Murphy maintains that he is "doing a public service" by serving a slick of whipped lardo with bread at his new Midtown restaurant, Kingside.

The chef has done the research and maintains that the lardo with rosemary he serves is better for you than butter. We can't comment on the nutritional breakdown, but we can confirm that it is delicious.

Fregula mac and cheese | Fries

It's especially so when paired with salt-and-pepper French fries that come heaped in a wooden bowl ($10). Resolutely crisp and with a taste like something from a drive thru (in a good way), they are the Platonic ideal of deep-fried potatoes.

Nothing on the menu here is hard to love–it's a little French, a little Italian and a whole lot of New American. You've already seen shades of this accessible food all over town, along with the handsome Balthazar-esque mirror, zinc and wood finishings, and the graphic red-grouted black and white chessboard tile floors.

Hello, vegetables!

The burger ($19)–with a giardinieria relish, sopressata and white cheddar on a hefty ciabatta roll–is best ordered plain ($18), as the accouterments swamp the taste of the beef.

And though it's completely composed of raw baby vegetables, the crudité ($14) with Green Goddess dressing is merry in its sheer dimensions–like Murphy cleaned out an entire farmer's market stand.

Handsome accents

At a place like this, it only makes sense to order chocolate cake ($10) for dessert. The molten center is no different than a million Jean-Georges Vongerichten-inspired ones before it, but the coconut dusted ice cream on the side is Murphy's own inspired take.

He confesses, "I was inspired by my favorite Dunkin Donut–the toasted coconut–and figured, 'what the hell, let's do it."

Like a Dunkin' Donut, Kingside's familiarity breeds comfort. And sometimes on West 57th, that's exactly what you need.