EV Bites is a monthly feature (well sort of. I may have skipped a few), that showcases five places in or around East Village you should know about. I will occasionally extend the border to surrounding hoods and maybe even mention a name more than once. East Village in case you are not aware is an incubator for top industry talent, and a goldmine of world cuisine.
Foxface – The smallest kitchen in the village keeps attracting the most interesting stuff. Inside the William Barnacle Tavern/Theater 80, out goes Feltman’s Hot dogs, the rebirth of the inventor of the hot dog (or Coney Island red hots) and the best hot dog in NY. In goes Foxface, the little Sandwich shop that could. It took me a couple of months to try it, because that’s how long it takes me to get excited about a sandwich shop, but man was it good. One bite of the well crafted, balanced Smoking Fox (smoked boneless rib, coleslaw, pickles, homemade spicy sauce) is all you need to understand. Its owned by a duo that used to own a cafe in Tokyo. Quite the ingredient driven little place, starting with the bread they get from NYC’s elite like Pain D’Avignon and Fat Witch.
Hunan Slurp – Possibly the most important opening out of the countless of Chinese openings over the last few years. Half of my meals in the area as of late are here. A fresh Z-list addition. Cant say enough. The incredible whole fish, the cabbage, stir fried chicken, Hunan Salad, and the signature Hometown Lu fen. I will have a dedicated post when the time comes.
La Rossa – Hate the generic sounding name, love the pizza. This is from yet another Italian pizza legend, Stefano Callegari who owns some of Roma’s best and the inventor of the Trapizzino. We are just missing Bonci (Interestingly he owns two in Chicago). I like to start my pizza relationships with a light no frill meal which means a basic Margherita, and this one did not disappoint. Although from Rome, its more Neapolitan-style featuring a light and airy dough with great ingredients all around. But the pizzas to get are most likely the Roman inspired Carbonara and Cacio e pepe baked with ice in order to “glue” the ingredients better. Technically just inside Soho on Lafayette.
Dunhuang Noodles – Its getting to the point where its hard to limit this feature to just one Chinese, but they are all so very different. Dunhuang specializes in Northwestern Chinese food, and is growing a la Xi’an Famous. In the winter I usually crave spicy noodle soups, and very few in the area beat Dunhuang’s Braised Beef Noodles and Lanzhou Beef Noodles these days.
Patisserie Florentine – Is no more! That group from Canada that makes the semi-annual pilgrimage to Patisserie Florentine after pre-ordering ALL their Almond Croissants will soon get the painful truth just like I did. Only in East Village a place with a perfect Yelp score offering a legend-esque product can still close. I’ve watched these Almond Croissants make countless of people smile over the years on my tours. But hey, its East Village. There’s plenty of fish in this sea.