5.7 pounds (and counting) and 3 months later it is time to update this beast. But first a word from our sponsors… oops we have none. But, I do want to say a few words about this list because it became more popular than the original intent.
This list is not for everyone. If you are looking for the prototypical pre-theatre dinner where you are nicely dressed, most of these options are not for you. This list is all about the food, mostly on the casual, cheap side, and mostly really its about what Hell’s Kitchen does best – ethnic food. If you want to eat at a “Nice” place than I suggest picking a different area. If you are looking for that special pre-theatre meal and really care about the food than I would suggest looking at places that are not in the area but not too far. i.e. Betony, Marea, NoMad, The Modern. You are already spending $300 for a show, surely you can afford a $5 cab fare to add. Although after a nice long meal, I rather take a nice long walk.
The complete guide is here…
Here’s whats being added to the guide…
Italian – Mercato. This is quickly becoming not only my favorite Italian in the area but my favorite restaurant in the area. I cant quite explain how I missed it all those years. Truly flavorful, mostly authentic southern Italian dishes like the excellent homemade Trenette with garlic, almonds, tomato and basil. Check out the simple spaghetti, and the flavor rich gnocchi. Owners from Sardinia, chef from day 1 from Sicily, good looking all Italian wait staff means I fit right in.
Thai – Larb Ubol. My favorite is still Pure overall but this new kid on the block is quickly gaining traction. Larb Ubol is an offshoot of Zabb Elee in the East Village, specializing in authentic Isan cooking. Like Pure, some of these dishes not for the faint of heart. Even more so here actually. If you want your typical American Thai dishes this is not the place. Go to something like Kare Thai on 10th or Wondee Siam 2 instead. In Larb Ubol what you get is complex flavors like you never experienced before (unless you did!). Try the Pad Ped Moo Crob – Crispy pork, thai eggplant, basil, peppercorn, ginger, and spicy curry paste
Ramen – Ippudo Westside. Perhaps the most exciting HK opening in 2013. One block away from Totto making HK a NYC Ramen powerhouse. Just like Totto, this is an experience but quite a different one, starting with all the yelling in Japanese every time a new guest arrives, leaves, a dish on its way, or a guest going to the bathroom. I have no idea what they are yelling but its fun, and after a few minutes you start to yell as well. Clearly my favorite here so far is the Akamaru Modern, but you must add the egg, and for a little more spice add the spicy miso paste. Highly recommend this one
Chicken Over Rice Guy – 11th and 51st (Northwest corner). Every neighborhood has a favorite chicken over rice guy. This one is mine. Try the chicken over rice!
Tried a few other new places like Nook… Feh!
Randon tidbits on existing places…
Szechuan Gourmet 56 – I had my first terrible meal here, followed by an excellent meal. Keeping it on the list for now but inconsistency will not fly
Gazala’s Place – I’m not big of the Bourekas overall, but the cheese and sun dried tomato Bourekas here is the bomb. The bomb I tell ya
Sullivan Street Bakery – Quickly becoming one of my favorite breakfast places in the area. Discovering all kinds of bread goodies lately
Guelaguetza – Spicy chicken burrito is now officially my favorite Burrito in the area. Readers, its official!
The Complete Guide…