Mad Morton is special. Such vibrant and bright spot can only be found where it's located — West Village. In fact, this is one of the few venues we have encountered where every single dish or cocktail is better than the other, and boy, did we have fun with this experience. We will walk you through the experience as if you were sitting there, trying out things you'd never thought possible.
We would like to mention that the venue is high-spirited and will make you feel really comfortable with the music, the bartender (yay), and every single other person there.
We started the magnificent experience with the Grilled Octopus (fennel, olive, herb yogurt), the Shishito Peppers (cured egg yolk, lemon, sea salt), and the Fried “Chicken” Mushrooms (maitake, ranch, dill). This place showed us we can't judge a book by its cover, and the Fried "Chicken" Mushrooms are the perfect example for it. We weren't told what it was when it was brought to us. We were so wrong at asserting what it was. It definitely does not taste like mushrooms, and it definitely looks and "tastes" like chicken.
Trying out the fried mushrooms and the grilled octopus reminded us that there's so much more to life (LOL), and that good food is scarce and hard to find. The two dishes were hard to describe, as they were beyond amazing, and the shishito peppers were one of those dishes that caused the "WTF" reaction. How does cured egg yolk and peppers go together? We do not have the answer to that, but they were absolutely delish.
Consequent to the appetizers, we had some small plates which delighted us greatly. The combination of ingredients used for the following dishes was felt throughout the rest of the experience. The flavours were intense yet delicate. They were there, and you could feel them but they did not obstruct the way for new flavours to hit your palate. The dishes we are writing about are the Tuna Tartare (tuna, guacamole, soy citrus dressing, tortilla chips) and the Salmon Sashimi (mango & avocado, red onions, lemon vinaigrette).
The flavours here were perplexing yet crystal clear. The crispiness of the tortilla chips combined with the fresh guacamole and the citrusy tuna gave us a sort of Je ne sais quouis feeling, and it felt really good. We could not resist asking so we did... the tuna had four main ingredients (to marinate it) that caused it to be way better than expected (yet, again, we did not expect any less from MM). The salmon sashimi and its mango and avocado really caused an explosion in one's mouth. The mixture between the sweet and the sour (minimal sourness) really kicked it and left us with our mouths wide open. The perfectness for these dishes are only achievable by using the freshest and highest quality ingredients, otherwise, it would be technically impossible for a restaurant to achieve such a feat.
For the entrées, we had the unforgettable "coco", the Brick Chicken, & the Asparagus White Mole, and the Lamb Lettuce Wraps. The Brick Chicken (baby bell peppers, basil aioli, pea tendrils) was a marvellous combination. The aioli, alongside the peppers, and the chicken were wonderful to the taste. The Coconut Plantain Stew (grilled coconut, jasmine rice, coconut milk, ginger) was such an amazing dish. This dish can be made (is) gluten-free, and, vegan, as well, because of the coconut milk, and tastes heavenly (who would have thought, right?). The Lamb lettuce wraps (pickled veggies, yoghurt, bibb lettuce) were out of this world... it is honestly one of the most luscious dishes we've had in a while. And to finalise, we had the Asparagus White Mole (sauteed maitake mushrooms, almonds, & sesame seeds). Holy MOLEEE! It was such a divine combination between the fungi grown shrooms, almond, and the heavy cream (can be made vegan/GF). We could tell that this heavenly dish was lovingly prepared.
The cocktail experience here is a unique thing! If we were to talk about all the delicious cocktails we had, we'd spend a whole day talking about it, as they were all especially unique, and all distinct in flavour.
We would repeat all of the dishes over and over, and strongly encourage others to try out Mad Morton. It's a different gastronomical experience, and it is definitely surprising, as it is one you would not expect. The drinks are exquisite, and for any person with high standards, when it comes to drinks - this is the place. The place itself is super fun! The music is great, and the servers and all the staff are great. We rate the place 5/5 stars.
ps. Ask Sarah about the special drink (it has mezcal).
pps. The bartender is transcendent.
ppps. Enjoy this short clip.
Music credits: SickickMusic