Chelsea

Flavor of the Month – Gelato Giusto

img_3883This is a new monthly feature on EWZ that simply features a NYC establishment that I like right now.  Not a full blown post as I will spare you the unnecessary details and jokes and simply say GO, and why.  And yes, I’m changing the meaning of the conventional usage of “Flavor of the Month” and making it my own.

I will pre-phase this one by saying that I dont know any other place like it.  EWZ historians must be scratching their heads wondering if I’ve ever written about an ice cream place before.  But ever since I first set foot here, I’m attracted to this place like Anthony Weiner to selfies.  You wont find Instagrammers lining up around the block.  And you wont find crazy flavors like Bacon infused mocha beet swirl, with vegemite.  But what you will find is simplicity at its absolute finest form, by someone who not only knows the craft well, but matches it perfectly with the neighborhood

img_4016I hate sounding overly cliche sometimes but there’s no other way to say this.  Lorenzo Franchetti is a walking and talking example of someone who followed his dream.  An insurance broker in Milan, turned master gelato maker.  Lorenzo inspiration came from a gelato shop in Milan where he learned the craft under the supervision of galato and chocolate wizzard Vittoria Bortolazzo.  And with this relationship with Vittoria, the mild mannered Loreznzo opened a second outpost of Gelato Giusto in January, 2015.  We all can use a Vittoria at one point in our lives

Gelato Giusto is not just about gelato.  Various confectioneries, sandwiches, great coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice are offered as well.  Lorenzo’s goal is to mimic a typical Milanese quick stop but also adjust to the neighborhood.  If this place was in the middle of Times Square it would have been very different most likely, but smack in the middle of Chelsea, an emphasis on the healthier side of things is necessary.  Which is why half of his small offerings are sorbets which are given the same exact attention as the gelato.  In fact when you taste his hazelnut (from Piedmont) sorbet, the first thing that comes to mind is “is this a mistake, this tastes like gelato”.  With the same kind of richness he narrows the gap.  As with the super refreshing concord grape sorbet, and the sick Sicilian pistachio gelato, the ingredients talk loud and clear.

This place is slowly turning me, a glato lover, into a sorbet junky, but the gelato cant be overlooked.  What is also hard to overlook is how inviting the place is.  Is it chic, modern, comfortable, and very appealing to the eye.  A place that makes you feel good as soon as you walk in on a hot day, where everyone knows your name the second time around.  A place that every neighborhood needs, but sadly the vast majority dont have.  In fat I cant think of any other gelato shop like it.

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Categories: Chelsea, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chelsea {Market} Lately – 2016

Chelsea MarketTime to update the old what to eat at Chelsea Market post.  But instead of simply updating it, I will just make a fresh one.  As fresh as the Hummus at Dizengoff, the latest sensation to hit the market.  You can say what you want about the market.  Its increasingly busy, packed with tourists, and theres a decent chance a large polish gentleman will step on your feet.  But largely due to that foot traffic, the market also attracts vendors like no other market or food court in NYC.  For every Amy’s Bread, and Num Pang that you can find all over town, there are 10 vendors and purveyors that are unique to the market.  And besides, the traffic doesnt hamper my movement much.  I come, I eat, I go, juts like anywhere else.  Since I’ve been to the market around 20 times this year alone, I will only post about the food that I like and target these days, not something I’ve eaten 3 years ago and now dont even look at that direction anymore (I’m looking at you Rana!)

Chelsea Lately – 2017:  This year I’ve been spending some time at Los Mariscos, Los Tacos #1 sister restaurant hidden off the Los Tacos space.  While staring at Los Tacos, look left, and walk through the hallway.  It will look like you are doing something illegal and you are about to enter a secret Food Network club where everybody is playing poker and Guy Fieri is the dealer.  No!  Keep walking until you get to Los Mariscos.  Its like a Mexican seafood shack that feels like a Chelsea Market speakeasy.  Their baja style fish tacos are perhaps the ones to beat in NYC at the moment (had today at a competitor – Feh!).  And guess what else they have… bathrooms!  With no lines!  You welcome!

For dessert lately I’m flirting with Sarabeth’s mini Cherry pie, but only if there’s no line.  I’m a little allergic to lines.  This is it.  The rest of the lineup is still awesome….

Lobster Roll at Cull and PistolNo Surprise here.  I’m attracted to this place like a magnet, like Germans to David Hasseloff.  Even when I go elsewhere, I often stop by to check out the ever-changing menu, and on occasion see a game and plan changer (Lobster Ramen!).  This is my go-to Seafood spot in NYC, and an obvious inclusion in the Z-List.  Although I’m picking the lobster roll for the purpose of this post, the entire menu is essentially the freshest of the fresh from the Lobster Place next door.  While most tourists head to LP for the miniature $18 roll, this is much more like it, albeit at $27.  I go for the Connecticut style, hefty amount of mouthwatering, buttery, warm claw meat with a touch of mayo stuffed inside a toasty bun with a good amount of great fries

Cull & Pistol Lobster

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup at Very Fresh Noodles – One of the newest kids on the block.  As of this writing, they are still under soft opening with a minimal menu, though this kind of menu works for me.  Its not the size, but what you do with it, and how you pull the noodle that matters!  Two giant pulled Biang noodles go into the bowl along with slow cooked braised beef shanks, scallion, cilantro, and chili oil.  The aromatic beef broth packs plenty of heat and leaves a nice tingle for some time.  The noodles are a bit uneven, with some parts chewier than others, but a delicious dish all around.  Sitting is very limited in that hidden corner of the market

Very Fresh Noodles Taiwanese Soup

Adobada at Los Tacos #1.  The Shawarma of the south.  First rule of fight club: you see a line you stand on it, as long as its not the bathroom line.  Second rule of fight club: stand on this line, enjoy the view of the pork goodness dancing on a spit and become its Tango partner a short time after.  The lines move quick, but your mouth should move slowly to the tune of this juicy marinated pork awesomeness.  Dont yield to temptation and add more ingredients because they are there and they are free.  You dont want the flavors of some of our best tacos to get lost. (Note:  I was clearly very hungry when I wrote this)

Los Tacos

Double Cheeseburger at Creamline.  Simple American classics suggests, just like with Los Tacos, quite busy with families, school groups, and other Ziggys who simply admire the craftsmanship.  Grass Fed dry-aged burgers from the butchers next food (Dickson’s), with perfectly matched soft sesame bun makes this one of the best “fast food” type burgers I’ve had in a while.  Order, take a number, and look for a seat which I usually find.  Who said there’s no seating in CM?  I did!  But thats not the case anymore, especially with the selections in this post.  Turkey Burger here is good as well

Creamline Burger

Chirashi Bowl at Lobster Place – Did I mention that Lobster Place has some of the freshest fish in town (see Cull & Pistol)?  As much as I love lobster its usually the last thing on my mind when I’m inside (and not next door).  I get a seat at the Sushi counter and order the same thing every single time, the wonderful Chirashi bowl.  Then I order this at other Sushi places and weep a little.  Last time I got dry rice shaped like a heart.  I will just let the picture do the talking here

Lobster Place Chirashi

Hot Dog at Dickson’s Farmstand.  Hot Dog killed the (previously recommended) Pastrami star.  Instead of paying for a dirty street hot dog, how about spending a few more bucks for a clean naturally raised beef dog.  Or the Mortadella dog that gives me just about the same satisfaction except that its much more twitter friendly.  Mortadella hot dog just looks and sounds much cooler than “Hey look at me, I’m eating a hot dog, that looks like any other hot dog.

Dicksons Mortadella Dog

Hummus at Dizengoff.  The hottest, most anticipated addition to the market since they added another women’s bathroom.  This is a Hummuseria by Michael Solomonov and the rest of the team behind Philly famed Zahav.  Solomonov’s acclaimed hummus has been featured in cookbooks, magazines, children books (“Goodnight Hummus”), and now found its way in section C of Chelsea Market (the hottest section to hit the market since section B!).  Hummus, as fresh as it can get, can be topped with slow cooked lamb neck, egg, tehini, among other seasonal goodies.  You also get a small salad, some pickles, and a wonderfully chewy thick pita bread straight out of the pizza-like oven.  Once you are half way into the hummus, start experimenting with the intense homemade red S’hug sitting on the counter.  And yeah, try sitting at the counter watching the men and women at work

Dizengoff Hummus Dizengoff

Halvah at Seed + Mill.  Raise your hand if you never had Halvah.  Halva is one of those funny trendy items hitting the streets of NYC as of late.  Halvah ice cream, halvah donuts, halvah ramen.  Ok maybe not.  But its funny to me since I’ve been eating Halvah for breakfast with either bagel or fresh baguette for as long as I remember.  And whenever I’m around Seed+Mill it never ceases to amaze me how many people are trying Halvah for the first time, and go “fascinating”, “what a concept”, “who knew”.  Well, we all knew pretty much, but even if you know your Halvah you can try it for free here for yourself.

Seed+Mill4

Gelato at L’Arte del Gelato – This is not your standard, typical NYC gelato or ice cream.  Great raw material like Hazelnuts from the Langhe hills of Piedmont.  This is just about as good as it gets.  And if you always wandered about the difference between ice cream and gelato, this is a good place to see the difference, starting with the way it looks

L'Arte del Gelato

Chocolate Chip Cookie with Caramel at Liddabit  – This is simply an awesome cookie!  Dont believe me?  Just ask my friend Lou who is a self proclaimed cookie snob.  When I brought him the cookie, this is how the conversation went

“So, how do you like it?”

“This is a good cookie!”

See?  What sets it a part for me is not so much the caramel, but the liberal use of dark chocolate chunks all around.

Enjoy Chelsea Market, and remember… stay hungry my friends.  (I dont even know what it means anymore honestly)

Liddabit Cookie

Categories: Chelsea, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Only Three Food Courts You Need to Know About

Gotham West Market - Ivan

Gotham West Market

Pretty much overnight, food courts in NYC went from a concept to “What, another one?  We need another food court like I need a pimple in my tuches”.  Food courts, food halls, semi-annual festivals like Madison Square Eats have become part of us, like bagels, and pizza rats.  It almost seems like a new one opens every week, and one can easily lose track of openings just like with new restaurants these days.  At some point you just stop and ask yourself, how many more Luke Lobsters and Mighty Quinn’s does this city really needs.  Some of them start to look the same, and one of them even invited me for a free tour and tasting.  I get such invites on a weekly basis and its either something I’m not interested in, or in Staten Island.  Ziggy will not be bought.  PERIOD!  Unless you invite me to one of these three.

Chelsea Market

CM is busy, touristy, perhaps the most crowded food hall out there, and I cant get enough of it.  I bike there for lunch more often than some of the places by my work I can walk to.  And, yeah, you guessed it, I dont go there for its history.  The vendor list is incredibly impressive, and for the most part unique to Chelsea Market.  A high quality butcher, An “A” List Taco joint, fresh seafood, top notch gelato, Halvah, and the soon to be best hummus in NYC, Dizengoff, which will open any day now, are just some examples.  Its unlike any market in the world, so comparing it to something like Venice, Barcelona, Mahane Yehuda markets is silly.  Some may even suggest its not much of a market, but a collection of high quality food purveyors, but there’s definitely enough market in it.  In fact one of the things I love about CM is that some of the vendors source their stuff directly from next door.  Cull & Pistol gets their seafood from sister Lobster Place, while Creamline (great turkey burger) gets their meat from Dickson’s Farmstand next door.  If you are a food enthusiast (well. you are reading this blog post) you owe it to yourself to stop by.  But dont do it when you tired or stuffed.  Many tourists just walk the main isle, leave the other door and then ask whats the big deal about this place.  Stay for a little bit, explore, and meet some of the vendors, like Rachel from Seed + Mill.  Tell her Ziggy sent ya.Chelsea Market Los Tacos

Eataly

Yeah, nothing shocking about any of these picks.  Long time readers already know that Ziggy hearts Eataly.  Unlike, say Little Italy, Eataly is super touristy for good reason.  And like Chelsea Market, yes, there’s a good chance that a large Polish man will step on your foot when you least expect.  But do you know who especially likes Eataly, that may come as a surprise?  Italians.  Italians who appreciate quality, and can even find items that are not easily available back home.  Whether we go for a little shopping, Nutella Bar, or have a snack at one of its restaurants, we cant get enough of it.  I usually have a small mental laundry list of stuff that we “need” like Italian craft beer, Venchi chocolates, fresh pasta like the Agnolotti dal Plin, sauces, cookies, and whatever else catches my eye on each visit.  Yes, the stuff is expensive, and I dont shop there on a monthly basis.  But cheaper than this is, well, essentially “Stop and Shop”.  Quality and imports come with a price tag.  Another reason for tourists to come to Eataly is the location.  Your attraction heavy guide book may not tell you that Madison Square Park and its surroundings is a must see, especially during squirrel season.Eataly

Gotham West Market

While I was waiting for my Steak Barbacao bowl at Choza the other day, I bumped into something I dont see very often at GWM… Tourists.  The process of ordering anything at Choza for tourists can be as complicated as our current presidential race, so I was happy to put my Matt Murdock mask on and step in to help.  GWM, simply put, is one of the best things to ever happen in Hell’s Kitchen, and one of its main advantages and what separates it from the pack is that its out of the main tourist route.  Other than the Intrepid nearby I cant think of any reasons why tourists would come here.  Maybe check out our incredible lineup of auto dealerships?  GWM is also a very different food court.  Its compact, with only 8 or so vendors, and it has more of a neighborhood feel than other food courts.  Think of it as one large restaurant with 8 different menus to choose from, where your kids and husbands can run around freely.  You can order something at one vendor and eat it at the counter of the next.  The funky Avroko design of the place may be reason enough to stop by for some, but I personally go for, you know, the food.

Gotham West Market 3

Categories: Chelsea, Gramercy, Flatiron, Midtown West, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Weekend of Firsts: Mogador & Cookshop

Cookshop

Cookshop

We visited two old timer, neighborhood spots for the very first time this weekend, and here’s what happened.

Cafe Mogador (Williamsburg)

Considering the amount of places we visit, it almost feels embarrassing that we never made it to this popular Tagine mecca in East Village or Williamsburg.  Only the couscous gods can explain why it took me so many years, especially considering a well made Tagine is one of my favorite things to eat on this planet.  With that said, now that I’ve finally done it, and made to the schlep to the Burg, I feel like the couscous gods need more explaining to do.

Once inside, its no mistaken that you are in a bustling neighborhood spot in the heart of Williamsburg.  Arm Tattooed hipsters hovering all over, along with arm tattooed hipsters holding arm tattooed babies.  You can tell that these are the coolest babies in the world.  The ones that go to sleep before us.  The quoted 20-30 turned into a closer to an hour, though we didnt mind as the bar was roomy and the drinks were good.  Good Dark and Stormy.

Started with a nice Mixed Platter consisting of an Eggplant & Tahini concoction, an “I cant believe this is not Israeli” Arabic salad, and a surprisingly decent Hummus.  In places like this, the hummus usually lacking the creaminess, and texture that I like.  We also shared a tender tandoor marinated chicken, and a delicious grilled Halloumi cheese.  Unfortunately, and quite shockingly, the fun essentially stopped here.  The famous Tagine, with the choice of apricot & prune was fall off the bone tender and juicy alright, though somewhat one-note and sweeter than should be.  Yes, apricot and prunes are sweet, I get it.  But where are those bold Moroccan spices, the Taginess you bump into from time to time like at Bar Bolonat.  The great Mogador Tagine is widely known for the best Tagine in town (Google it).  This was more like a second place potluck dinner party with friends winner.  The same, albeit, slightly lesser degree can be said about the Couscous dishes which are almost similar to the couscous you get with the Tagine.  I would consider introducing those pearl like bubbly Israeli couscous instead to go a long with the Tagine.  133 Wythe Ave (7/8)IMG_5564

Cookshop (Chelsea)

Yes, I know, I know.  I’ve never been to Cookshop.  Like Cafe Mogador, this is another super popular neighborhood spot, and yeah, I do have some serious hood envy.  But just like with Mogador, I never felt that this is a destination place.  Cookshop is long considered as one of our premier Brunch spots, and now I see why.  40 minutes wait on a Sunday morning, even though the place is kind of huge.  Its so big that the staff, when leaving and entering the kitchen area, is instructed to direct people to the vacant airplane like bathrooms that are in the same vicinity, but not directly next to each other.  A couple of them are essentially in the kitchen.  They can easily hire a bathroom attendant whose job would be to direct traffic while wearing aviation ground headset (its really loud in there) and sticks.

We had some major cooking plans that night courtesy of the Chelsea Market nearby but we did get enough of a taste here.  We started with the Beignets, filled with Di Palo’s fresh ricotta that blended nicely with the dough.  Beignets that NOLA experts may appreciate, though I cant say the same thing about the Bloody Mary.  The kids opted for burgers.  The older opted for a fried egg with hers, which had me shed a little tear.  This is the most important milestone since she tried squid ink pasta in Venice.  The burgers were nicely cooked, though the fries were salty to the point of uneatable.  100 kuddos points for removing the Beignets from the bill after mentioning this to the waitress.

The Baked French Toast here requires more attention than it gets.  It comes with poached blood oranges, and a lovely, cinnamony cream with almonds.  The nutty bread is just rich and sweet enough.  Some of the best French Toasts we’ve had in NYC.  The Roasted Broccoli & Cheddar Scrambled eggs, with caramelized onions and a fantastic supersized buttermilk biscuit was another solid dish, if not a tad too salty as well.  We enjoyed Cookshop overall.  In a way it reminds me of one of those SF Farm-to-Hipsters spots like NOPA, albeit not quite as good.  156 10th Ave (19/20)Cookshop Beignets IMG_5579 Cookshop Burger Cookshop eggs Cookshop flowers

Categories: Brooklyn, Chelsea, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Seed + Mill + Chelsea Market = Mahane Yehuda

Seed+MillOk, not exactly!  But inching a little closer.  Raise your hand if you get the title.

One of my fondest food trips ever was a two week falafel/hummus/shawarma extravaganza all over Israel about three years ago.  And one of the many memorable eats on that trip was the Halvah from the Halvah Kingdom, a long time staple in the famed Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem.  Its quite a sight.  A grown man wearing a crown standing in the middle of the market, handing out free samples.  If there was ever a free sample that works like magic, this was it.  The Halvah had a kind of softness and freshness to it that I’ve never had before.  And the amount of various flavored Halvah on display was impressive in itself.  We bought some for the hotel, and enjoyed it on a daily basis with our Shoko, chocolate milk in a bag (you make a very small hole with your teeth in order for it to last for a while – its that good).  I always wondered why we cant get the same type of Halvah here in NYC, and further research pointed to the challenges involved in making it, which doesnt quite coincide with demand.

So you probably heard the shrieks of New Yorker Jews when it was announced that the Chelsea Market will have a new tenant specializing in Halvah and other sesame seed (Seed+Mill, get it?) related goodies.  Over a dozen gorgeous Halvas line up Bunny Ranch style waiting for you to pick and taste.  Dark Chocolate, Coffee, Nougat, Cinnamon, Pistachios, Cranberry are some of the flavors on display.  Nougat gets the edge for me, but I’d urge you to try the others.  You can buy them at $6 per quarter pound, to go, or simply eat it right there by the giant windows on the side.  Who said there are no seats at Chelsea Market?  I did.  Many times.  But they exist.  You can also try the Halvah on their awesomely fresh goat milk ice cream.

Passionate part owner Rachel from Chelsea via Australia knows all about the Mahane Yehuda phenomenon.  She tells me the Halvah is made in Israel based on their specifications, and they are looking to expend on the flavors as they go along.  They also sell Tehina, and spices created in conjunction with spice guru Lior Lev Sercarz at La Boîte.  It’s a modest, somewhat hidden counter for now, but with big plans in store.  Its just a matter of time until Rachel gets out to the main hallway, wearing a giant crown.

Seed + Mill (Chelsea Market)

Seed+Mill2 Seed+Mill3 Seed+Mill4

Mahane Yehuda

Mahane Yehuda

Categories: Chelsea, New York City | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Nishi – La Cucina Fukina

nishi-jajangmyeonJanuary 9, 2017 Update:

When you finish the year with three meals in 9 days at the same place, it becomes quite apparent. I seriously need to learn how to cook  Nishi is my favorite newcomer of 2016 and I cant get enough of it.  One can very easily dismiss this place when Googling it and facing the cranky initial reviews, and that would be a grave mistake.  Grave I tell ya!  There’s a good place for food critics in our society, but they are often coerced to review too early, especially when faced with the buzz of a Momofuku.  Buzz and brand lead to certain expectations.  If Nishi opened last month with the current menu, and owned by a no-name, it would have gotten some major accolades right now.

So I’ve now tried all the pastas on the menu.  Love them all except the Chili Squid.  I think I prefer XO (spicy seafood sauce) on meat dishes, rather than seafood.  The Butter Noodle is still a revelation.  The Spicy Beef is a delicious combination of pasta shells, beef, mint, fried shallots, with a nice kick.  Love the Jajangmyeon with the biggest fried egg you will ever see covering the entire plate, and more joy to the spicy lovers.  But my favorite is still probably the Toasted Noodles (formerly Clams Grand Lisboa).  Eating this is like listening to an entire Ariana Grande song by accident in the car.  Lost in the moment, which can be dangerous when wife is giving you important weekend instructions.  I think I have to drive someone to the airport, but I’m not entirely sure who and which airport.

I will update the bottom line with my favorite dishes which is getting too long, but it will include the delicate Mackerel Tataki, and the BBQ Pork Rib with sweet and sour sauce which is a spare ribs game changer.  The Ko-esque Roast Pork is still quite good, but the best thing on the large section right now may be the fish.  A very shareable Skate Wing with bits of toasty Cauliflower, topped with this beautiful buttery light gravy.  Freakishly good stuff!

June 19, 2016 Update:

Happy Father’s Day to all the foodie dads out there!!

Nishi is quickly becoming my favorite Momofuku in the city.  Wait a minute… this just in… it just did.  See how quick it was?  I will most likely replace Ma Peche with Nishi on the next Z-List update.  Other than the Habanero, I’m simply running out of reasons to schlep there.  Every thing that I like are taken out of the menu, starting with the rice cakes w/pork, and ending with chef’s Paul’s sensational jerk wings.

There’s somewhat of an identity crisis I feel with Nishi.  Nothing outrageous, but more like “am I an Ox or a cow?” type of an identity.  They started with a No Tipping policy which got axed recently (New Yorkers may not be ready for it quite yet).  The much buzzed Ceci e Pepe is now Butter Noodle as they may be trying to get away from the Cucina Fukina Italiano tag.  Nishi Scallops

But what remains constant is all the goodness that comes out of that kitchen courtesy of Josh Pinsky, the man behind the best meal I ever had (bearded dude in one of the pics).  A very Ko-like Diver Scallops come floating on a citrusy Peruvian inspired Tiger’s Milk and topped with Shio Kombu to give the scallops a nice crunch and flavor.  If you going to serve scallops raw, this is the way to do it (I’m, looking at you Grand Banks).

Another great discovery is the Clams Grand Lisboa, one of the few staples on the menu from day one.  The clams are dressed with Oregano based sauce, sitting on top fried Chow Mein noodles and cabbage.  Calling this Cho Mein almost sounds like an insult to this dish.  Its cooked with apple sauce that give it this sweet richness, like no Chow Mein you’ve had before.  A newish Roast Pork with asparagus that is quite similar to what I’ve had in Ko is another winner.  I was so excited to get reunited with this dish, that I forgot to take a picture on time.  Go!     nishi-toasted-noodles-clams

February 3rd. 2016 Post:

Yesterday I blew the dust off of Fred Plotkin’s Italy For the Gourmet Traveler to brush up on my Sicily food scene.  The book was published in 1996 and is still a good resource for everything Italy foodstuff, since not much really ever change there.  In Venice, people continue to eat canal seafood.  In Piedmont they will continue to munch on Vitello Tonnato and Carne Cruda.  And in Rome they will continue honoring the Cucina Povera (simple food of the poor) for what seems like indefinitely.  You dont come to Bologna and ask what people are eating these days.  Its the same cuisine they’ve been enjoying for centuries.  New York City on the other hand is a totally different beast.  A Plotkin book on NYC would get stale after about a year.  Bagel, pastrami, egg cream, hot dog, steak…  those seeking what New York is known for are missing out in a big way.  New York is known for everything and nothing.  The only constant here is change, and the new Italianish Momofuku Nishi is perhaps the poster child of that NYC ever changing dining scene right now.

The answer to what is the hottest restaurant in NYC right now has never been clearer.  Franklin Barbecue, Noma, a psychic in New Orleans, a call girl in Stuttgart…  Just some of the things that come mind that are more difficult to snatch than a table at Nishi at the moment.  Those lucky enough to make it, got the bragging rights of a Taylor Swift posse member.  The other day they announced that they now accept reservations two weeks out.  That will improve your chance of getting a table by roughly .04%.

But as long as there’s no physical harm involved, I’m game with this modern “text me when my table is ready” wait.  Arrived at 5:45 on a Saturday, 15 mins after they opened, with a disturbing looking line around the block.  But things move fast, as after only 20 minutes I was having the much anticipated meeting with the hostess.  “Next available table is… looking like… ooh, I can sit you on Wednesday, 10:30” was going through my mind as I was expecting the worst (ok, slight exaggeration).  But instead I got “Two and half hours”.  No biggie, as I was planning to take the opportunity to show our visitors (from Staten Island!) Chelsea Market.  I get a text an hour and 45 minutes later, and off we go

Stylish wooden communal tables, extremely loud, supportless seats unless you count the occasional waiter bumping behind.  Essentially a typical NY establishment these days.  No complaints from me as long as the inventive menu delivers (spoiler alert:  It does).  Although the Asian Italian mashup isnt necessarily new to NYC (Piora, All’onda), Momofuku almost makes it look like brand new.

Ceci e Pepe – The early reports signature is what I call a grower.  A play on the Roman Cacio e Pepe but instead of Pecorino, it’s swirled with chickpea hozon which Ssam bar has been toying with for a while now.  The result is a subtle sweeter version.  While I couldnt quite make up my mind if I prefer this over the classic, by the time I finished I found myself “Scarpettaing” the plate with my middle finger.

Nishi Ceci e peppe

Beef Crudo – One of the more complex, and beautiful raw beef dishes out there.  Topped with watermelon radishes (think daikan), ponzu, dashi and scallions.  All combined produces a very nice bite.  And for only $48 extra you can get a decent shaving of winter Black Truffles on top,  Its about $24-30 more than I’m willing to pay for Black, and $10 more than I’m willing to pay for white in the fall.

Nishi Beef Carpaccio

Chicken and Dumplings – Another great dish.  A riff on the Korean Sujebi, with Chicken, bread dumplings and plenty of delicious shiitake along with an excellent rich broth.  Mrs Ziggy especially appreciates a good soup and this was her favorite dish

Nishi Chicken Dumplings

Spicy Beef Sichuan – Perhaps the top pasta of the night.  This is where they take a classic Italian dish like Pappardelle with meat ragu, and applying bold Sichuan flavors like Yacai (preserved mustard greens), fermented chili paste and tofu.  Like Pappardelle with ragu, and Dan Dan noodles gave birth to a baby named Roger.

Nishi Spicy Sichuan

Chitarra with Squid – The only miss of the night.  Should have gone with the clams Grand Lisboa.  This was sort of one note, with fishy XO sauce that doesnt quite go well with this pasta for me (emphasis on “for me”.  How dare I question the king).  And then there’s the squid that sort of gets lost in the shuffle.  I like the use of XO in heavier pastas like the Agnolotti in All’onda.  Add the odd price of $36 (why?), and its an easy skip IMO.

Nishi Chitarra

Leg of lamb – Truly exceptional piece of meat.  Arrives looking nothing like the legs you know and love.  So tender, so delicious, with white beans and sauce that would disappear much quicker if there was bread (no bread here and not really necessary.  I’m just being a little melodramatic)

Nishi lamb

Finished with the famous Korean dessert… Pistachio Bundt Cake.  Or is it Italian?  Either way, it was a proper finisher, pictured below with my friend Robert still pursuing his dream of becoming a hand model.  Some wine, some Limoncello slushies (about a drink each) added up to $320 for 4 (Note we ordered 2 of the Cecis as one is not enough for 4).  No tipping allowed.

Momofuku Nishi
232 Eighth Avenue (22/21), Chelsea
Rating: Three Z’s (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes: Butter Noodle, Mackerel Tataki, Beef Crudo, Spicy Beef, Jajangmyeon, Roast Pork, Toasted Noodles, BBQ Ribs, Skate Wing, Roast Pork, Pistachio Bundt Cake

Nishi Bundt Cake

Momofuku_Nishi

Gabriele Stabile

 

Categories: Chelsea, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Jun-Men Ramen – Come for Nails, Stay for Italian

fried rice Jun-men ramen

Photo by Jun-Men Ramen

March 29, 2019 Update:

I cringe sometimes when I read things I wrote over 3 years ago.  I had to take an entire paragraph about Cialis, yes Cialis, from this post because its not very relevant or funny today.  But here it is.. an oldie but.. Ok, just an oldie.  Z-List staple Jun-Men is clicking on all cylinders, and established itself as one of the most important Chelsea neighborhood hangouts.  Well, you cant hang out for too long as the place is very small and waits can stretch to the corner.  But this is the only place I know where you add yourself to the list on the ipad in the front, where you can see exactly how many are ahead of you.  A good spot to go before Hudson Yards if you want to eat “local”

The Ramen here settled down to a silky smooth broth, losing, in a good way, some of that heaviness felt sometimes here.  The Spicy Miso is the way to go on a cooler day.  The signature Uni Mushroom “Mazemen” (brothless ramen) is still the same feel good creamy pasta goodness I crave every time I’m here, even though it includes truffle oil. Fake truffle flavoring rarely works but it does no harm here.  The wings I noticed later in the afternoon can get a bit greasier but that soy makes up for it big time.  And on a recent visit I was impressed by the elaborated quinoa based poke bowl (below).  What happened?  I simply woke up that day realizing I ate nothing but pizza, pastas, and burgers for 5 days.

Jun-men Ramen poke

October 28th, 2015 Post:

The historic Ramen attack of the 21st century has been in full swing for a while now in Hell’s Kitchen, lower Manhattan, Queens, and parts of Brooklyn.  And it has now infiltrated the belly, the pork belly of NYC if you will, Chelsea. This is a fierce, no prisoners, noodle assault on a city already overrun.  Even those who dont specialize in Ramen succumb eventually and add it to the name (Puff Cha Ramen specializes in Thai curry Puffs, started as just Puff Cha.  Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen specializes in steamed buns).  Its just a matter of time until this site is changed to Eating Ramen With Ziggy to boost more eye balls.  EWZ interns researchers report the Staten Island is the only place in NYC where 9 out 10 residents react with a “You mean like.. instant?” when asked for local Ramen advice.  The 10th will go “fughetaboutit” and direct you to his favorite eyetalian.

Jun-Men Ramen OutOutside Jun-Men looks like a swanky nail spa, especially when someone sits by the door facing the right bar/reception.  Inside however, Jun-Men looks like a swanky nail spa with an open kitchen.  Plenty of Instagram friendly natural light, communal table in the middle provide nice space for you and your phone, and then there’s counter seating facing a small army of pork belly torcherers.  Drinks, apps, four Ramen items (one not really ramen, but more on that later), and two desserts are all listed on one idiot proof page.  Considering the place is new, the kitchen seems to run things smoothly.  On our last visit, the main (Ramen) came a few minutes after the half finished appetizer, and we were given the boot (check) before we were asked if we want dessert or anything else.  But those are minor quibbles that will be corrected, if not soon, as soon as the first angry Yelpers mention it.Jun-Men Ramen Pork Bone

In this Ramen infested city, blogging about ramen is no longer considered sexy.  While there’s definitely some fine Ramen at Jun-Men, the sexiness lies in the other dishes, one of which is pasta disguised as Ramen.  The Uni Mushroom Mazemen may be considered dry even for Mazemen standards.  Its a well crafted Pasta with mushrooms, salty pancetta, Porcini butter and truffle oil.  The lower quality uni is just there for Instagram.  I would order it with or without the uni.  The tasty Kimchi Ramen featured unramen like juicy bits of pork shoulder, along with a solid broth.  On the other hand, the Pork Bone on the last visit wasnt nearly as good.  A bit too rich, too funky, too fatty chashu for my taste.  The fried rice even with the too sweet Chinese sausage was one of the best fried rice in recent memory (7 days give or take), and priced very well considering the the crazy fried rice prices out there.  The good looking wings will be next on the agenda, and maybe even some Matcha flavored cheesecake.  Go!

Jun-Men Ramen
249 Ninth Ave (25/26), Chelsea
Rating: 2 Z’s (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes: Fried Rice, wings, Uni Mushroom, Kimchi Ramen, Spicy Miso, Poke Bowl

Jun-Men Ramen

Uni Jun-Men Ramen

Borrowed from Jun-Men Ramen

Jun-Men Ramen Kimchi

 

 

Categories: Chelsea, New York City | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Cull & Pistol – Escape the Room

Cull & Pistol LobsterWhen we were done with our meal at Cull & Pistol the other day, right before we stepped out, we paused for a few seconds.  “Its like a scene from the walking dead out there” I told the hostess who nodded nervously, almost as if she was saying, “I hope you got the proper protection”.  I did not.  I never do.  We felt safe inside, but out there they were in large numbers, walking gingerly and awkwardly in one direction, some even salivating.  And before the hostess had a chance to call the manager, we had no choice but leave.  And there we were again walking among them, slowly, in the same direction, toward the same goal… ice cream.  Five minutes into the walk, we only made it to Lobster Place next door.  We reminisced about the meal we had five minutes ago.

Cull & Pistol is more than just an oasis in this lobster, taco, zombie, Chelsea Market frenzy.  And its not exactly a new-comer to EWZ.  I already blogged about it here, and here.  I can’t even update the latter ‘here’, because I visit C&P or sister Lobster Place on just about every Chelsea Market visit these days, including three visits in the last 4 weeks.  Why?  its the fresh seafood stupid (Its just an American expression, I’m not calling any of my readers stupid, again)

What I like at Cull and Pistol doesn’t really matter much, because chances are, unless its lobster or fish and chips, it wont be on the menu by the time you visit.  The menu is not only seasonal, changes based on sister Lobster Places availability, but also benefits from a chef with a menu OCD.  One of my favorite chefs on the planet suffers from a menu OCD – a chef that will ride the hot stuff, but also likes to dare, experiment and invent.

Cull & Pistol

If you have to pick just one lobster roll in NYC, this is it.  To me around 90% of the lobster rolls out there carry very little value, and are as filling as a Doritos snack.  A very expensive snack.  C&P stuffs theirs with a lot love – sweet, juicy, claw meat kind of love.  And they pair it with excellent almost shoestring fries (though a little bit less salt please).  Another must for me as of late is the Spanish/Portuguese octopus.  A few weeks ago it was a Portuguese beauty that came with a porky and veggy mix of some sort.  One of the best octopus dishes I’ve had in NYC.  Nowadays, its a heftier Spanish stallion, simply paprika’d, and served with crispy fingerling potato.

The highlight from the last meal was four Ecuadorian head-on shrimp baked with tarragon-vermouth salt.  They were huge, sweet, and missing the funkiness/fishiness of similarly sized gulf shrimp.  Oysters and happy hour always one of the main draws.  Yesterday I grilled their succulent salmon burgers which are on the menu and can be purchased next door.  Two nights before we sauteed their excellent garlic shrimp and served over pasta.  Another hit on the current menu is the whole Dourade fried Thai style with mango, coconut, Thai basil, cucumber, chili, mint and fish sauce on the side.  I found this more expertly done than in some Thai places where the fish is often dry and overcooked.

Great drinks is the norm, outstanding chocolate mousse for dessert.  One of my NYC favorites at the moment.

Cull & Pistol
75 Ninth Ave (Chelsea Market)
$$$
Recommended Dishes: Lobster Roll, Octopus, Shrimp, Thai style Dourade, Salmon Burgers

Cull & Pistol Shrimp Cull & Pistol Octopus Cull & Pistol Mousse Cull & Pistol lobster RollCull & Pistol Dourade

Categories: Chelsea, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lupulo – A Taste of Lisboa in… Chachkitown?

Lupulo

January 7, 2016 Update:

Sorry to say I’m not as enthusiastic about Lupulo after a recent visit.  The place may still be a fun spot to grab a beer and perhaps some Piri Piri chicken, but the food is way too hit or miss and pricier than it should be.  Also for a Saturday night I would expect it to be much busier.

A special of snails in garlicky sauce was bland and uneventful.  The dry snails were impenetrable and could have used some French mastery perhaps.  Shrimp Porridge with two perfectly cooked shrimp was quite good.  No complaints about the shrimp turnovers either.  Manilla clams and Brussels Sprouts were fairly forgettable.  The one big miss was a lamb leg that was under-cooked while lacking any distinct flavor, accompanied by faro (good) and some pickled veggies that didnt quite belong.  The Frango chicken with Piri Piri sauce was still good.  Nice and moist, while big enough to share.  The sauce can be too intense for some, depending on how well you shake that thing.  The Piri Piri I have at home is a bit more family friendly.

June 27, 2015 Original Post:

Oh oh.  We may have our first “Where the hell is this place” situation on EWZ.  Is it in Chelsea?  Is it KoreaTown?  Is it the newly formed NoMad neighborhood?  Or is it the even newer “Midtown South” whatever it is.  I’m pretty sure its not Flatiron, I already established that.  Although its in Flatiron according to Yelp.  You see, up until a few months ago there was really no good reason to visit this area unless you have a cheap Chachkies fetish or in desperate need of a groin massage.  I suppose Chachkitown is another possibility if we are  inventing names as we’ve been doing for the past 20 years (“Clinton”? no thanks.  We are proud of Hell’s Kitchen thank you).  So I’m filing this under Chelsea until Chachkitown catches on.  And then when we are ready we can move on to Nocita. North of Chachkitown

George Mendes’ new gig Lupulo is the sexiest spot in NYC at the moment, which really means North America when you think about it.  It all feels very sexy, with a sexy staff, sexy bar, and those sexy light bulbs, but that vibe sort of diminishes once you get to your table.  From the semi-comfortable table vantage point, it feels like a casual, bustly Portuguese cervejaria.  Mendes who was Michelined with Aldea has something pretty cool going here

My food critique below may seem a little too critique as overall we enjoyed the buzzy atmosphere and most of the food.  Other than one outstanding dish there wasn’t anything particularly noteworthy, nor bad.  But I still recommend Lupulo for some fun Portuguese comfort food like the Chicken Piri Piri which is a Lisbon staple.

Lupulo derives from Humulus Lupulus which has almost nothing to do with hummus I’m pretty sure, but hops.  Beer is the name of the game here, though what I ordered failed to impress as the Mitten and the Saison fell rather flat.  The Saison (forgot the name of the brewer.. “Home” or something like that) came about 30 minutes after I ordered it, but there were no other hiccups I should mention

Bread:  Terrible.  I read somewhere that it comes from a Portuguese bakery in Newark.  Might as well come from the deli across the street.  Mendez should talk to chef Guerrieri of City Sandwich who also gets his bread from a Portuguese bakery in Newark

Chicken Liver Pate – On the drier side with decent flavor.  The lack of creaminess adds to the difficulty of spreading the thing on thin gap-filled crisps.

Green Peas, chorizo and egg – Nice, light and springy.  The peas were enjoyable, as was the occasional okra that was almost as rare as the chorizo.  If you put chorizo in the name, put it on the plate too

Red Snapper crudo – By far the best dish.  Just about the spiciest crudo I ever had, but the heat is more of a delayed, back end heat allowing the fish to shine without much interference.  Great dish, though at $18 its Marea price Crudo, and should really be in the small plate column, not “fish”

Octopus Rice – Did not suck.  Essentially a mini paella priced as a regular paella ($26 or $24) with maybe one octopus leg sliced inside it.  Although I was assured the octopus came from Spain and passed immigration, it didn’t have the “balls” of a Portuguese octopus we enjoy sometimes.  Recommend still

Chicken piri piri – Simple, nicely cooked, good size, and a shockingly low price tag compared to the other dishes. How can this be $14 while the rice dish $26.  I would order it again even with the same overcooked Mcdolands fries.

Chocolate Salami – Minty, rich, with ice cream. Must have.

Pasteis de Nata – Egg tarts.  Misshapen and not very traditional looking (perhaps not on purpose), a little too greasy but not too bad overall.  Borderline recommend.  You cant go to Lisbon without having Pasteis de Nata after your chicken Piri Piri

Lupulo
835 Avenue of the Americas
$$$
Recommended Dishes: Peas chorizo and egg, Red Snapper crudo, Octopus Rice, Chicken piri piri, Chocolate Salami, Pasteis de Nata

***** Terrible iPhone pictures alert ********

Lupulo Pate Lupulo Peas Lupulo Octopus Rice Lupulo Chicken Lupulo Pasteis Lupulo Chocolate salami

 

 

 

 

Categories: Chelsea, New York City | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

What to Eat in NYC – The Ethnic Plays

Taim falafelContinuing the What to Eat in NYC miniseries.  Part 1 is here.  Ethnic food is a big part of our daily diet hence it requires its own page.  What should you target in NYC of course depends on where you are coming from, but these are generally the areas of excellence in NYC…

Eat Thai – NYC has a thriving Thai food scene, and for reasons unknown to me the area known as Hell’s Kitchen is leading the Pad pack.  New Thai restaurants keep opening and existing ones keep multiplying right next to each other.  Yum Yum 1,2,3 all on the same block, and Wondee Siam with its three locations is another example.  But my favorites are Pure Thai Cookhouse with its vibrant menu, and fun vibe, and Larb Ubol specializing in Isan (North Thailand) cooking.  Lately however I’ve been cheating on those two with an old timer, Pam Real Thai.  Outside of HK, you got the great Somtum Der in East Village, and the popular Uncle Boons not too far.  Zabb Elee is another excellent Isan, and if you can somehow make it to Pok Pok in Brooklyn, you are in for a treat.  While not exactly Thai, the Laos inspired Khe-Yo is quite unique in itself and deserves a mention

Pure Thai Ratchaburi

Pure Thai Ratchaburi

Eat Indian – We eat a lot of Indian food, and the scene overall is fairly competitive.  Between Curry Hill and Curry Row in the East Village alone you have a slew of very good options.  In the East Village, guidebooks and TV shows may direct you to the Gimmicky Bricklane Curry House, but I suggest heading to Malai Marke around the corner.  In Curry Hill you have Chote Nawab, the vegetarian Vatan, and the southern flavors of Kokum and Anjappar.  Moving uptown, Moti Mahal Delux is part of a worldwide chain known for their butter chicken, and newcomer Awadh across in the west.  But if you are mesmerized by the Times Square lights and cant leave, Basara on 9th may do the trick

Moti Mahal Cauliflower

Moti Mahal Cauliflower

 

Eat Middle Eastern -Middle Eastern plays a big part in our Mediterranean diet.  You got a few mini empires fighting for the top rights.  Einat Admony with Balaboosta, Bar Bolonat and Taim is perhaps the biggest Israeli name at the moment.  While Taboon continues to be a strong option in midtown, especially now with its original chef coming back.  Baby sister Taboonette dishes out unique healthy[ier] street food in Union Square.  Modern Lebanese hot spot Ilili has been around for some time now.  Gazala showcases her Druze specialties in two location, Gazala’s and Gazala’s Place.  And Zizi Limona in Williamsburg is a product of three veterans who know how to treat the classics well.  Speaking of which…

Bar Bolonat - Creme Brulee

Bar Bolonat – Creme Brulee

Eat Falafel – While visitors seek that perfect New York Cheesecake, keep in mind that we New Yorkers argue more on who has the best Falafel.  Is it Taim  in the village?  Is it Azuri in midtown where watching Ezra make it is like watching Picasso paint.  Or is it the nostalgically cheap Mamoun’s.  None of the above.  Top marks go to Nish Nush which is yet to be discovered by many locals, and those who did will certainty not appreciate me touting it.  But the others, especially Taim’s marvelous platter, and Azuri’s sandwich and Shawarma will do you just fine.

Nish Nush - Falafel

Eat Ramen – We are in the midst of a ramen revolution in NYC, and I dont hear anyone complaining.  Except for Mrs Z perhaps who wants to go to Ippudo now on a regular basis including Jewish holidays.  In Hell’s Kitchen alone you can feel that craze.  Even former none ramen establishments are joining the fun.  The delicious Akamaru Modern at Ippudo is leading the pack, while the Spicy Ramen at Totto is not far behind.  Ivan Ramen in Gotham West is another option, though I would be tempted to get the Smoked Salmon Donburi, formerly known as Smoked Whitefish Donburi instead.  But to get a fuller taste of the Ivan without sounding too dirty, one must go to the downtown location.  One option that gets overlooked by many is Bassanova in Chinatown with its fiery and unusual Green Curry Ramen.  And while you ate it, give the lemon and pepper Ramen a shot as well.

Ippudo - Akamaru Modern

Ippudo – Akamaru Modern

Eat Chinese – Some folks familiar with the Chinese scene here, may be asking themselves at this point, how is this guy going to cover our entire Chinese arsenal in one paragraph.  I cant, and I wont, but I’ll offer a small glimpse just like with the rest.  Some of the best Chinese Food is offered outside of our many Chinatowns, like the Szechuan Gourmet empire (I frequent the one on 56th st).  A recent discovery for me is Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns and their addictive Shanghai style soup dumplings.  Talking of which, Prosperity Dumplings is perhaps the biggest value in town, and that’s saying a lot.  Mission Chinese Food is the hottest Chinese play in the city right now, and may even be when you read this a year from now.  Han Dynasty, a Philly chain is doing a lot of things right seems like.  And do check out at least one of our Chinatowns.  Dim Sum in Golden Unicorn, or if you feel adventurous, East Harbor Seafood Palace in Brooklyn’s Chinatown, followed by cruising along tourist free zone 8th ave.

Gourmet Szechuan 56 - Shredded beef

Gourmet Szechuan 56 – Shredded beef

Eat Mexican – Lower your eyebrows and listen up.  The notion that there’s no decent Mexican in NYC is sooooo 2013.  In the last few years a slew of exciting young chefs like Alex Stupak has given us some very cool options.  Stupak perhaps is leading the rat pack with the Empellon empire… Empellon Cocina is the flagship, Empellon Taqueria is the high end Taqueria, while the new Empellon Al Pastor is the more basic Taqueria highlighting the namesake Al Pastor.  Other options include Tehuitzingo, the fine taqueria in Hell’s Kitchen and its bigger neighbor Tulcingo Del Valle.  Visitors flock to the more polished and Toloache practically in Times Square, and while I don’t have any quarrels with it (I recommended it myself), I tend to feel more at home in the previous two.  Los Tacos #1 at the Chelsea Market is another great option if you can brave the crowds, though I would opt for something more along the lines of Otto’s Tacos which is in the process of opening a branch in Hell’s Kitchen.  Another one to consider is Mission Cantina, home to the best Burrito in NYC, not surprisingly coming from the Mission neighborhood in SF

Mission Cantina Tacos

Mission Cantina Tacos

Eat Eastern European – Perhaps this is more for the Coney Island bound tourists who should keep in mind that there’s much more to downtown Brooklyn than a Hot Dog.  The area adjacent known as Brighton Beach is loaded with all sorts of great Uzbek, Russian, Georgian and even Uzbek/Korean delights.  Consider Cafe Glechik on Coney Island Ave, sort of a Russian institution in the area.  Or perhaps Tone Cafe, aka Georgian Bread for the great Adjaruli Khatchapuri.  Uzbek/Uyghur specialty Kashkar Cafe is an absolute gem, and one of my favorite restaurants in whole of Brooklyn.  For a livelier Uzbek filled with Russians on a daily basis there’s Cafe Nargis a few blocks north on Coney Island ave.  Cant leave Manhattan but still want a small taste?  Veselka, Oda House, and Uncle Vanya in midtown should be able to take good care of you.  Unless you are a vegeterian

Kashkar Cafe - Geiro Lagman

Kashkar Cafe – Geiro Lagman

Eat Tapas – Basque, other Spanish, Mediterranean tapas galore all over.  In Chelsea alone you can Patata Brava to your heart’s delight, starting with tiny Tia Pol and ending with Toro near the Chelsea Market.  In the East Village you have the fun Cata, and lately I’ve been itching to go back to her sister AltaTertulia has its fans in the West Village, while I’ve been enjoying its sister El Colmado in Gotham West Market lately.  Many locals are in love with Casa Mono, but I need a bit more convincing.  And watch out for newly opened Espoleta, some big names behind this project

Casa Mono Razor Clams

Casa Mono Razor Clams

Eat Miscellaneous – Do you honestly need more ideas?  I didnt think so.  But all of this is just scratching the surface of what the greatest food city in the world has to offer.  In Staten Island for example, you can take advantage of the large Sri Lankan community by trying the museum-like Lakruwana, San Rasa or New Asha.  Vietnamese food, while still lagging behind other cities, is getting better.  Try Co Ba and Co Ba 53.  How about some Korean like Danji, Jungsik, HIT Korean Deli or Food Gallery 32Filipino inspired?  We got plenty of that too.. Lumpia Snack Shack, and Maharlika are just some

Overwhelmed?  Join the club.  I only live here.

Jungsik Steak

Jungsik Steak

Categories: Brooklyn, Chelsea, Chinatown, East Village, Gramercy, Flatiron, Lower East Side, Midtown East, Midtown West, New York City, SoHo, NoHo, Nolita, Staten Island, TriBeCa, Upper West Side, West Village | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

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