High time for lunch, and Kitch Organic is filled with plugged-in guys who gravitate toward the counter seats that ring the wood-meets-metal interior, and women dining solo, in pairs, in small groups who settle in at the central communal table. It’s all warmed by an outer layer of brick, informed by blackboards telling of foods that are on special for the day or are vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free, and of aromas from the open kitchen.
Kitch, located on the West Side of Red Bank and serving forth fare with ingredients that blur the lines between breakfast, lunch and dinner, is a newfangled hub in the town that prides itself on taking trends to max chic. Kitch has foods – avocado toast, plump salads, bowls with noodles or quinoa or spaghetti squash, tacos with worldly pedigrees, sandwiches made from thick-sliced gluten-free breads, platters based on vegetables and legumes, and juices, juices, juices – that Millennials have been living on since birth and Boomers have been taking to in droves.
Call Kitch popular, and you’ve nailed it.
But don’t underestimate the pure deliciousness of its food.
I sip a blueberry-mint lemonade as a bowl of chilled black bean noodles dressed in a brisk rice vinaigrette appears. The noodles, topped with a crush of roasted cashews and slivered scallions, come with a flight of julienned carrots, peppers and cabbage meant to be tossed into the mix. It’s all fresh and refreshing, the perfect partner to Kitch’s signature salad of seasonal greens – on this day, it’s kale – brightened by snips of cranberries and coconut flakes, slivers of almond and a wash of a very lemony vinaigrette.
We’re stopped in our tracks by the butternut squash toast: What have the folks in Kitch’s kitchen done to make this squash so silky, so sweet without tasting sugary, so intensely vegetable without being vegetal? The puree is spread atop toast, then served open-face style with diced apples and chopped greens before being crowned with sesame-roasted cashews. It’s one perfect lunch. Order it, perhaps, with a side of curry-roasted cauliflower scattered with raisins that add a counterpointing pinch of sweet to the controlled heat.
All the while, you’re likely to notice a brisk take-out trade. Folks come and go, picking up parcels to take back to local offices or XL-size portions of Kitch’s prepared foods that will serve as dinner for those who live in the surrounding communities. You also can get the foundation for a “cleanse” – known as the “KO Klean Program” – in the quantity of your choice: say, a one-day, three-day, six-day or 21-day eating program based on juices, soups and salads.
I give this cleanse business some thought as I consider Kitch’s cookies. The cookies win out, for the moment, and I’m experiencing happiness munching an oatmeal number with the occasional raisin and a Snickerdoodle-esque treat that’s the size of a silver-dollar pancake and, blessedly, emphasizes warming cinnamon over sugar. There’s even an apple-cinnamon doughnut that’s almost as light as a meringue.
Kitch leans vegan-vegetarian, but there are dishes with chicken and turkey, as well as specials with bacon and options for adding bacon to certain dishes. There’s even bowl that employs flank steak, though as an accent. Thoroughly modern.
Kitch Organic, 75 Leighton Avenue in Red Bank. 732-741-5400; www.kitchorganic.com. Open Monday through Thursday from 8 am to 3:30 pm, Friday and Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm. Closed Sundays.Click here to leave a comment