I recently completed another culinary tour of New York, this time focusing on Chinese and Thai. As always, it’s exciting, clocking in 10 restaurants in 10 hours. Here’s a taste, in order of meals, starting at 11 a.m.
Breslin at the Ace Hotel – this new, boutique hotel in Midtown has a very cool lobby. We grab a good, quick breakfast at the Breslin – April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman’s (owners of The Spotted Pig), latest Michelin-starred restaurant – and an even better latte at Stumptown coffee.
Kin Shop – the name, which means “to eat” in Thai, is the latest restaurant from Harold Dieterle, the first winner of Top Chef. Small operation, menu with some nice flavors.
Fatty Cue – this place has received a lot of buzz and for good reason. Outstanding ribs, bacon platter, fried chicken, and a really neat half bottle menu idea. For those of you who don’t know, these are the people behind Fatty Crab and it’s other incarnations.
Dominique Ansul – After all those savory dishes, you gotta have some sweets and there wasn’t a more apropos spot that this bakery in Soho headed by the former executive pastry chef for Daniel Boulud.
Porchetta – not Asian, but the restaurant in West Village that’s thriving on basically a one sandwich concept – the Roman pork sandwich. Lines out the door. It was delicious, a sandwich and a handful of sides produced in what amounts to 500 square feet and six counter seats with a few outside. Only in New York.
X’ian Famous Food - A tiny place that hits a very regionalized city in China (quick refresher – X’ian is considered China’s original capital, and where you can find the famous terra cotta soldiers). Simple noodle dishes, great value.
It’s now 4 p.m. – seven places in five hours. Not that I’m counting.
Red Farm – in a word, outstanding. Every dish looked great and tasted better. No wonder we hear that they turn away 200 to 300 people a night. Located in the West Village, this is the restaurant by Joe Ng that pairs Asian flavors with “market sensibility.” It would have been cool to come for dim sum – Ng is considered a dim sum master chef.
Wong – Good food, but even cooler is the entirely open floor plan, a truly open kitchen including the dish area. You won’t find an inch of wasted space in this West Village spot. The idea here is a Chinese restaurant based on local farmers and sustainability – sound familiar?
The team is starting to get full.
Lani Kai – a restaurant and fun Polynesian cocktail lounge in Soho. We take in the Polynesian cocktail menu along with some great appetizers.
Chinatown Brasserie – the last stop, and this restaurant (same chef as Red Farm but the space is much bigger) and food does not disappoint.
All the operations we visited - large or small – had an intense interest in local, natural, sustainable foods. Since Big Bowl has been leading that charge for seven years, in this respect, we are not the second city.
In between, there was a lot of great conversation, and additional coffee and dessert stops not listed. No wonder I couldn’t sleep.