RH Rooftop Restaurant in Meatingpacking

Are restaurants the new experiential retail? Everyone knows that in-store experiences are important to luring in the customer, and a lot of retailers seem to be banking on the experience of eating. La Mercerie in Soho, for instance, sells the plates that it serves its crepes on in the adjoining store, Lexus operates a sleek lifestyle center home to a restaurant called Intersect, and Restoration Hardware invested in a stunning, 6-story concept in the Meatpacking District, where customers can eat in the dining room of their dreams at RH Rooftop Restaurant.

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Momofuku Noodle Bar at the Time Warner Center

Remember when the first Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village was all the rage? It was this exciting place run by a rebel chef who made pork buns and people could not get enough, even if it meant having to endure loud music and uncomfortable seats. The Momofuku brand has really matured since then. The newest addition to the empire is a second location of Momofuku Noodle Bar, in the NYC equivalent of a suburban mall, the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle, far from the hip zip code of downtown. Read More

Frenchette in Tribeca

Once in awhile we always hear about that one annoying kid in high school who wasn’t that great but somehow got into Harvard. Someone like a Jared Kushner. That’s how I feel about Frenchette, the critically acclaimed French bistro in Tribeca that’s been on many “Best of 2018” restaurant lists. On the surface, it looks very pretty and polished, and there were glimmers of brilliant potential, but the meal lost a lot of steam very early on.

At the beginning of our dinner, I did indeed feel as if I had a seat at the table of one of the best restaurants in New York City. We had ordered the spanish omelette, and I was really blown away by it. It was truly better than a lot of the omelettes I had at tapas bars in Spain, and I could envision this plate coming out of the kitchen of Barrafina, an excellent restaurant in London.

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Chinese BBQ at Hao Noodle in Chelsea

Certain Asian cultures are known for their bbq, but Chinese has never been one of them. Grilled skewered meat, however, is actually a very popular street food in many parts of China. The new outpost of Hao Noodle in Chelsea devotes a portion of its menu to this relatively unfamiliar but very tasty Chinese bbq tradition. The cuts of meat are small and delicate, but the flavors are anything but. The lamb with cumin explodes with heat, while the pork shimmers in a sweet marinade. Once in awhile the flavors venture too far out into the deep end, as was the unfortunate outcome with the gloppy eggplant in fish-flavor sauce, but in most instances, the boldness hung comfortably by a thread. The most successful dish, in my opinion, was the one with the most restraint, which in this meal was the grilled steak. There were minimal seasonings and the meat was accompanied by just a side of garlic and salt and pepper, a less is more approach that was very effective.Read More

Ho Foods in East Village

Taiwanese food is trending in New York City. I’m aware of famous dishes like lurou fan, three cup chicken or bubble tea, but otherwise my knowledge of the cuisine is pretty minimal. A recent meal at Ho Foods introduced me to the world of Taiwanese beef noodle soup, which is very much its own thing. The broth is extremely flavorful and pungent, dark and brown with powerful notes of star anise resonating throughout. You can choose from either round, udon-like noodles or thick-cut, wide ones, and I preferred the latter, as there was more texture and body to them. A bowl of this will leave you feeling warm and well-insulated for the night ahead.Read More