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.

Read More

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

Manhatta in FiDi

Why is it the case that a meal at a rooftop restaurant often involves a fabulous serving of city views with a side of mediocre food? These spots are lovely occasions to commemorate a special event (the Prudential Center for my sister’s Wellesley graduation comes to mind) but never the palate. Danny Meyer’s Manhatta, however, is an exception to this rule. Set on the 60th floor of a commercial building in the Financial District, Manhatta offers up stunning views of the Lower Manhattan skyline while serving equally impressive plates of refined, crowd pleasing dishes.Read More

Best Asian Breakfasts in NYC

Asian breakfasts are the new avocado toasts. Anyone can make scrambled eggs and pancakes, but the real pros are the ones making bo ssam or nasi lemak in the AM. You’ll usually find these in an Asian kitchen, which were few in number in NYC but those numbers have grown to represent a diversity of countries like Japan, Malaysia and Korea. If you’re willing to branch out from a bagel and lox, you should stop by some of my favorite Asian breakfast spots in the city. These places embrace authentic flavors rather than trying to water things down with matcha pancakes or something like that. And nothing wakes you up quite like a bowl of fried anchovies or kimchee in the morning!Read More