Made Nice Supper Club
Made Nice Supper Club proves that youth is not always wasted on the young.
Your husband is just finishing his beer at the bar across the room,” says the smiling young man who greets me at the door. He is in a t-shirt, along with everyone I spy working in the kitchen. Based on appearance, it’s hard to judge who is in charge— everyone looks to be well under 30, but then Made Nice Supper Club seems to be in the habit of disproving all preconceived notions.
With Scandinavian design touches here and there, Made Nice does not have the look and feel of a traditional supper club as our parents knew it. It does have a certain polish despite the bare concrete walls and natural wood; it is an intangible thing I cannot quite put a finger on. Then I realize that it has nothing to do with the lighting (which is spot on) or the china (which is handmade pottery). It’s the food here— straightforward, uncluttered, and well executed— that commands my undivided attention.
The menu is not constrained to a certain cuisine, allowing the chefs—husband and wife Jack and Gabbie Flores, and Raulito Fores who makes the fresh pasta—to focus on their strengths rather than adhere to a particular style. For instance, their much talked-about octopus starter can easily be inspired by the Spanish pulpo a la Gallega, and yet it is very much its own. Its origin seems irrelevant, especially since the flesh is so tender and sweet, with the garlicky sauce giving it just the right punch of flavor. A slim piece of bread is simply toasted and topped with seared foie gras and accompanied by a sweet orange glaze, because that’s really all foie gras needs.
The same restraint is applied to the main courses. The Tagliolini—fresh and al dente—is given a simple tomato sauce, which can be amped up with some guanciale. But what should be a mainstay on Made Nice’s ever-evolving menu is their duck— two generous slices of roasted, glistening skin encapsulating juicy, pink meat; it is accompanied by foie gras torteli and a simple jus.
While Jack’s savory dishes tend to be streamlined, Gabbie rightfully indulges guests with her whimsical desserts. Her Milk Chocolate is composed of chunks of dense chocolate cake reminiscent of chocolate crinkles, topped with a rich dulce de leche sauce and crowned with malt ice cream. While that takes you back to your childhood, the Fig offers a more grown-up alternative with its notes of strong Gorgonzola.
Made Nice Supper Club might have captured the media’s attention thanks to its young lineup of New York-educated talents, but this is not merely a crew of millennials eager to prove a point. Elegant food, precise service, and a clear sense of self make this Legazpi Village restaurant the real deal.
Octopus Foie Gras