The trend in restaurants these days seem to be to go back to a more traditional, earth-to-table setting, where ingredients are sourced locally and fresh and the cooking style is not overwhelming with creams and sauces.
Hall-of-famer Justin Hilbert, from The George Hotel (England), Mugaritz (Spain) and WD-50 (New York), has decided to set up shop in East Williamsburg, which NYMag calls deceptively scruffy. The food is not the only thing that makes a successful restaurant. Hilbert seems to have gotten quite a few things right, like menu design, space and decor, knowledgeable and attentive wait staff, good drinks, reasonably priced plates ($44 3-course meal for Sunday dinners) being some of them.
Gwynnett St is a must-go if you love food, maybe bring a friend or two so you can share and try more things on the menu. The items to look out for are (though the menu might change according to the ingredients they are able to source at each season):
The Duck, sou-vide and served with peach, chanterelle mushrooms, farro and pecan.
The Chicken, sou-vide and served with broccoli, buttermilk and ash.
The Shrimp (appetizer), cooked with tomato, melon and oregano.
Thanks to my usual food-super-database Sarah and Gan for recommending this place!
312 Graham Ave,
Brooklyn, NY 11211
I’ve been of the opinion that really good Mexican food does not exist in Manhattan. Maybe Queens, maybe Brooklyn, definitely out on the west coast in SF and LA, but not in Manhattan. Which is a sad thought, because as much as I am addicted to Asian food, I do like myself a taco here and there.
I’ve been taking the long ride on the A train out to Rockaway Beach because I’ve been volunteering with a group called Stoked that teaches high school kids to surf on weekends in the summer. And recently after a 26+ mile bike ride, Rockaway Taco was discovered and I had finally found my reward for going all the way to the beach (yes, it’s still not in Manhattan, but who cares?!)
Behold the Fish Taco (a.k.a. Best Thing Ever And You Should Not Eat Anything Else). Also get the sweet plantains.
If ever I did have to choose a favorite soup noodle (other than anything Malaysian of course), it would be the ramen. Deeply flavorful pork broth with buttery pork slices and perfectly al dente noodles. It’s not an easy combination to perfect, and few do it well.
So I’d like to highlight the folks in NYC who have attempted and did well (ok, some did only decently).
We’ll start with Terakawa Ramen. Nested in the middle of Gramercy, on Lexington Ave between 23rd and 22nd st, is this nondescript Japanese restaurant that seemingly looks innocuous and borderline boring, like just another Japanese restaurant you would find in any other city. Not every ramen they make is good, but a week ago I tasted one that was actually worth mentioning: the Mayu Ramen.
Accented with black garlic oil, I think it is by far the best ramen I’ve had here at Terakawa. It’s fragrant and is just perfect for the cold, rainy night (Ok, I know it’s the summer and cold nights are hard to come by, especially after the hot spell we’ve had, but even then, I would still eat a bowl of this). It never really gets very crowded here, so it’s almost always possible to get a seat. And it’s good for groups as well.
So, there you go. First ramen of the series.
18 Lexington Ave,
New York, NY 10010