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Everything Ever Written About ABC Cocina’s Spring-Pea Guacamole

“An addictive, velvety vegetal twist.” Photo: Alyssa Ringler of Tasting Table

ABC Cocina’s signature spring-pea guacamole is at the top of Robert Sietsema’s list of “crimes against gastronomy“: He calls it “an affront to one of the world’s most perfect dishes.” Fighting words! Sietsema’s aversion is surprising considering so many others have obsessed over the dish — even Ryan Sutton, who gave the restaurant a scathing one-star review. The opinion at Grub HQ is that the guac is well worth $11, but it’s funny how much attention it’s received. What’s going to happen when spring peas aren’t in season? We’ve rounded up what food critics, writers, bloggers, and chefs have said about it. Your move, Pete.

Robert Sietsema: “Putting fresh peas, raw sunflower seeds, and extraneous green matter on the top of your guacamole is an affront to one of the world’s most perfect dishes. Jean-Georges: For Escoffier’s sake, and for the sake of all your food-obsessed countrymen, fix the damn thing!” [Eater NY]

Ryan Sutton: “Pair the vino with pea guacamole ($11), packing gentle heat, sharp onions and bright cilantro, and things become quite pleasant.” [Bloomberg]

Adam Platt: “Our first avalanche of food included ruby-colored slices of Ibérico ham (from the “Table Snacks” section) and an excellent, faintly spicy bowl of guacamole stuck with a chewy, fresh-fried tortilla and scattered on its top with garden peas (also a “Table Snack”).” Note: Platt included the guacamole in his “Ideal Meal” recommendations. [NYM]

Joshua David Stein: “The guacamole ($11) is doted upon and, in a way pools aren’t, made exponentially better with the addition of some pea. One part tristate peas to two parts avocados, studded with jalapeño and spring onion, topped with toasted sunflower seeds and fresh spring peas, the guacamole is hot and fresh and surprising.” [NYO]

J. Kenji López-Alt: “You’ll immediately get distracted by the Pea Guacamole ($11) as you try and figure out if the guacamole itself has actual mashed peas in it, or if that sweet flavor is coming solely from the whole peas sprinkled on top that pop in your mouth like spring-filled caviar.” [Serious Eats NY]

Andrew Steinthal: “Peas are popular on the ABC Cocina menu, and they make their way into a light, crisp take on guacamole that’s a must order. It’ll get the meal off on the right foot.” [Immaculate Infatuation]

Danyelle Freeman: “It’s not easy to come up with something innovative these days, but they’ve done just that at ABC Cocina. Take the Spring Pea Guacamole, for example. No one’s denying the simple pleasures of guacamole, but it’s a pretty straightforward Mexican dip. At least, it was until ABC Cocina added fresh-from-the-farm peas and chiles into the mix, then paved it with sunflower seeds — an addictive, velvety vegetal twist on this Mexican staple.” [Restaurant Girl]

Gael Greene: “Loved guacamole w/peas, maitake w/goat cheese, spring pea empanada. pork taco. passion fruit sundae.” [GaelGreene/Twitter]

Melissa Clark: “Adding fresh English peas to what is an otherwise fairly traditional guacamole is one of those radical moves that is also completely obvious after you taste it … The dish, a collaboration between ABC Cocina’s chef-owner, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and his chef de cuisine, Ian Coogan, is the best kind of greenmarket tweak upon a classic.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT]

James Mulcahy: “Like many of the other dishes, the guacamole in this Mexican-inspired eatery incorporated crazily fresh produce and, in doing so, became crazily good. Here, there were some spring peas dotting the dip, and additional texture came courtesy of sunflower seeds. The dish was very lime heavy, and the citrus-forward mix was a fitting way to start off a memorable meal.” [Zagat]

Alain Ducasse: “I wanted to taste Jean-George and his chef Dan Kluger’s new ABC Cocina tapas menu. I was particularly impressed … We nibbled on plates like the salty, delicious jamon Iberico, the tacos, and spring-pea guacamole.” [Grub Street]

And for bad measure, some asshole on Yelp: “I think the Webster dictionary definition for disappointment should be ABC Cocina … For example, the lauded spring pea guacamole was a generic guacamole with peas. I was expecting some mind blowing experience because everyone spoke so highly about it and I was totally underwhelmed. Perhaps, some of these people have never had guacamole before and their first time was quite memorable?” [Yelp]

Everything Ever Written About ABC Cocina’s Spring-Pea Guacamole