Pages Navigation Menu
Categories Navigation Menu

Dishspotting: The Best Thing I Ate This Week

Posted on Oct 19, 2011 in Dish Spotting

We’re launching a new column called, Dishspotting: The Best Thing I Ate This Week because some discoveries are too good to keep to yourself.  We know you don’t always want to sit for a big meal or make dinner a night long event.  So instead of highlighting restaurants, we’re spotlighting dishes, many of which you can grab during the day or even to-go.  This week, we have the pleasure of sharing ABC Kitchen’s divine concord grape tart.  We first discovered it last fall and it’s even better than we remembered it. In fact, it’s the best thing we’ve eaten this fall to date. It’s not a secret that we love the rich flavor and fragrance of concord grapes, but that’s just part of the reason we love this tart.  It’s the whole package, especially the crust, which is unusually...

Read More

Dishspotting: Tonkatsu

Posted on Sep 16, 2011 in Dish Spotting

We’ll travel almost anywhere to get great ethnic food. Luckily, in New York, you don’t have to travel very far.  Hop a train to Astoria for great Greek, Flushing for Szechuan, or head to Jackson Heights’ “Little Tibet” to satisfy a momo craving. Right now, we’re obsessed with Japanese food and we’re not talking about sushi or soba.  It’s katsu that’s got our attention lately.  Truth be told, there’s nothing super unique about a breaded, deep-fried cutlet.  Almost every culture has one.  (Schnitzel and chicken parmigiana come to mind.) But what sets a Japanese cutlet, aka katsu, apart is the phenomenally crispy coating, the result of panko breading. Japan has several kinds of katsu, some made with pork, others with fish ground beef, or chicken. And they not only differ by protein, but also by thickness.  The most popular,...

Read More

Chinatown Pork Bun Run

Posted on Aug 23, 2011 in Dish Spotting

One of the greatest things about living in Manhattan is the variety of cuisines at your fingertips. One moment you could be eating your way through a big bowl of bibimbap in Koreatown, the next saganaki in Astoria or twirling noodles on Arthur Avenue.  When the craving for a pork bun calls, your best bet is to head south of Canal to Chinatown. We recently found ourselves longing for pork buns, and fortunately for us, there are plenty of spots that serve excellent char siu bao. Our first stop was at 456 Shanghai for what the restaurant dubs “tiny buns.”  Ironically, they’re not tiny at all.  They’re the size of a fist and come eight to an order, each sprinkled with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.  What sets them apart is that they’re steamed, then griddled, which achieves a...

Read More

Dish Spotting – Kenka

Posted on Jun 20, 2011 in Dish Spotting

St. Mark’s Place is famous for its cheap, mostly Asian eats.  This small stretch of the East Village has become a destination for its Japanese izakayas, Korean bbq joints, and ramen – some admittedly better than others.  (And, of course, some are just plain awful.)  But there are a few gems that are worth visiting, and even worth waiting in line for.  Kenka is one of those places.  Just across from two 2 Bro’s Pizzas and sunken below street level, this spot always seems to have a line from forming outside around seven.  But unless you speak or read Japanese, you might miss Kenka altogether, because the sign out front is written in Japanese.  The best way to find it is to look for the cotton candy machine just outside the entrance.   Inside, there’s affordable and terrific tapas-style dining....

Read More

Dish Spotting: Whelks

Posted on Jun 19, 2011 in Dish Spotting

Oysters, crabs, lobsters, mussels, and shrimp are raw bar staples, but recently we discovered a new entree onto the ice display.  They’re called whelks and we discovered them at The John Dory Oyster Bar.   Whelks are giant snails, plump, sweet and briny and pretty hard-to-find in New York. We’ve always admired April Bloomfield’s finesse with pork at The Breslin and hamburgers at The Spotted Pig, but it wasn’t until the opening of the original John Dory that we discovered how gifted she is with seafood, too.   Bloomfield sources her whelks from Maine, serves them raw, paired with a pot of melted butter, flavored with parsley, garlic and an ingenious dose of cayenne. The warm butter is a great contrast to the chilled whelks, which come three to an order on a bed of crushed ice.  The raw bar...

Read More

Dish Spotting – Cocoron's Yuba Soba

Posted on Jun 5, 2011 in Dish Spotting

A bowl of warm noodle soup sounds great in the winter, but there’s plenty of other things I’d rather eat when summer arrives.  That’s why the Japanese invented cold noodle salads.  (Genius.)  Chilled, slippery noodles are just as refreshing as a salad and a lot more interesting.  If you’re a noodle freak, you’ve probably been to Cocoron, an noodle shop, which opened on the Lower East Side in December.  The chefs, Yoshihito Kida and Mika Ohie, met at Yakitori Totto (a favorite of ours) and Soba Totto, then partnered up to open this unassuming spot.  If you haven’t been to Cocoron, summer is the time to visit.  Cocoron specializes in homemade soba, earthy buckwheat noodles, which are used in both hot (as a soup) and cold preparations.  There’s eight kinds of cold soba to choose from, including kimchee, sesame...

Read More

Dish Spotting – David Burke Kitchen

Posted on Apr 13, 2011 in Dish Spotting

Did you ever eat ants-on-a-log when you were growing up?  I can still remember assembling this childhood snack, made of celery stalks (the log) smeared with  cream cheese and topped with raisins (ants) at summer camp and Girl Scout meetings.  (Though I don’t remember liking it.)  But the very grown up version served at David Burke Kitchen happens to be delicious. David Burke is famous for his whimsical cooking style — a style I sometimes find precious or gimmicky   and his new restaurant in the James Hotel follows suit.  Instead of the classic, bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with  almonds that you might find on any tapas menu, Burke’s menu features bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with, well, peanut butter strangely enough as well as lobster & crab dumplings curiously skewered on a lobster leg with the shell still intact. But I...

Read More